Sunday, November 17, 2019
I also preferred not very white wefts to take the edge off the sharp contrast with the warp colors, but if in merino, there was only one clear winner, a newer 76/2 "undyed" 100% with scale. (Second last in the first picture. I put undyed in quotes because I can't remember if this is how it was sold.) I bought these from a garment manufacturer who decided to switch to superwash after getting complaints from customers their garments needed handwashing! When I first bought them, I immediately sampled to compare with the four old merinos and was so flabbergasted by the "dryness" I felt I put the cones on the highest shelf for when I could not get "good" merino any more. Until I sampled the elephants.
Mind you, there is nothing wrong with these, and doubled in the weft they produce a fluffy blankety cloth, but I can't help noticing a slightly dryer feel, as if the sheep was older or the yarn came from a drought year, or the treatment after shearing was harsher than old favorites. My syperwash merino and merino/mohair are still available, but at $300/$350/kg, completely out of my reach.
The elephant warp has 2/30 superwash merino, two strands acting as one warp "end", three "ends" per dent in a six-dent reed; that's 36 strands of yarn or 18 "ends" per inch, best approximation with yarns I have of the trusty 18EPI in old 110/2 merino. I doubled the yarns to act as one in the hopes of creating an airier, (i.e. softer,) cloth. In this last/new sample, I tripled the yarn, and sampled three different setts in the hope of creating an even softer/thicker cloth:
Three strands to act as one end; two ends per dent in a six-dent reed; 36 strands <> 18 EPI in yarn size if in 110/2;
Three strands to act as one end; three ends per dent in a six-dent reed; 54 strands <> 27 EPI in yarn size if in 110/2;
Three strands to act as one end; sleyed 2-3-2-3-2-3 in a six-dent reed; 45 strands <> 22.5 EPI in yarn size if in 110/2.
Doubling the yarn in the elephant warp worked well, and the short floats produced a nice, tight but soft, light cloth. The tripled warp in the last sample feels even lighter/softer, but it lacks the weight I'd like in a blanket for a grownup; they, too, stay separated, and the thicker warp "ends" dilutes the scale of the design. This last is a interesting one because Ben said the end-product being much larger than the usual scarves and shawls, the bigger scale is a good thing; I think he's right but I have to get used to the look.
Next sample, I'll consider the distribution/proportion of colors in the warp; sample doubled and tripled warp ends, and single and double strands of the new merino in the weft. I'm adding one more sett to the mix to see if I like the scale of the design better:
Two strands to act as one end; four ends per dent in a six-dent reed; 48 strands <> 24 EPI in 110/2.