Friday, June 26, 2020

Thoughts on the Retirement Commission

Today, (and according to the forecast, for seven days starting yesterday,) we had such poor weather, not quite rain, (20 drops per day,) but sometimes gusts, bad for photo shoots. But the piece needs delivery on Monday, so here we go.
The long (5-7mm) floats take on a slightly curvy look reminiscent of the very long (silk?) floats on the back of Southeast Asian weaving. At first I didn't like it, but it's growing on me as something new/different.
Showing off the sheen and 3D-ness of the fulled weft. The color is fairly accurate.

This is the first piece, besides samples, I wove entirely with this 2/30 merino. Previously I've used it doubled in the warp for the elephants with cashmere wefts, and doubled (?) in the weft for two baby blankets with 50/50 merino/mohair for the warp. I love the sheen, the weight and the drape of the piece, and for something I wove, it's impressively parallel and perpendicular.

Mom was always nuts about woven pieces being light-weight, and she influenced me a lot when I started using cashmere. Early on I wove with 2/26 warp yarns at 12EPI. But I moved on to 15EPI for smaller pieces and 18EPI for wider ones, because I prefer the cloth to have some weight rather than imitate clouds and cotton candy. More pertinently, you need weight for drape. Also, Japanese taste and New Zealand taste are different; heftier, denser pieces are more successful here, even if I use coarser/scratchier yarns.

Until this 2/30, in the decade+ I didn't have a default merino, I aimed for an equivalent of 2/16 at 18 to 20 EPI with whatever merino I could get my hands on. For this warp, I used two ends of 2/30 at 24EPI, (two ends threaded together, so the true EPI being 48,) denser because the warp was first intended for a couch blanket. It created a wonderful drape, and so I kept it, but for scarves/shawls, I must also experiment with less dense EPI to take advantage of merino's fulling ability. Even though this is superwash, it fulls nicely.

I wrote a whole paragraph about how the sample feels airier and looks as though the yarn, especially the warp yarns, seemed to have fulled more, how I usually wash samples and what I did to this piece yesterday. But closer inspection, measurements and photographic evidence don't substantiate my claim. I shall revisit if I discover something, as I still have the pink and two-color ones to finish.

I am happy with the overall result, and I think it suits a retirement present. Being 62 myself, and realizing just this morning, because I don't work for an organization there will never be an official retirement party for me, (darned, that gold watch!) it was especially nice to get a good piece off the loom. I think Ben has tried to tell me, among other things, the technical superiority of this piece, (by which I mean, better than usual,) is visible even from a distance. And he likes the colors. And since both the retiree and client are his colleagues, he's allowed to bask in the vicarious glory.

Just kidding.

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