Black, white, grey

Posted by caroline in doubleweave, Other fibre stuff, Spinning, Weaving on May 12th, 2012

I’ve been busy non stop all week but I don’t have a lot to show for it. Well, I do in that I have some sparkling windows, cobweb free ceilings and a few shiny door frames but spring cleaning is not exactly the most exciting subject matter for a blog post. It seems that everything woolly I do have to show is black, white or the colours in between.

I did warp the loom, I had to do it in the end as it was stubbornly refusing to thread itself. You don’t have to be a weaver to spot one of my errors in this picture because the two white threads showing in among the black are so obviously wrong. There’s another mistake – the gap in the middle is down to a crossed pair of threads, that one is more obvious if you peer in from the side. When it’s threaded properly I can weave a layer of black fabric and a separate layer of white which on the face of it doesn’t sound particularly thrilling as a project. In reality it is totally enthralling. Maybe doubleweave gets old after a while but I haven’t done enough of it yet for it to have lost its magic. It looks to be plain black but sometimes I’m weaving with white on the sneaky underneath layer. This bit doesn’t have to be exciting, its future is to be folded inwards and sewn because it’s a hem.

Once the layers start interchanging then the black and white layers resolve themselves into a piano keyboard. I’m working my way down from the top, four keys done and eighty four to go. The plan is that the first piece is a scarf for the piano teacher then I change the sett (knitting equivalent – change to smaller needles) and weave a piece of stiffer fabric that will become part of a cover for the digital piano. I’m not entirely sure how the wool I’m using will behave for the second piece at 15 epi, so far I’ve woven it at 10 and 12 for plain weave but I’ll look at that when the time comes. If I end up weaving it all at 12 epi it’s no big deal although the fabric keyboard will be bigger than the real one and I won’t need all eighty eight keys. The draft is from the December 2011 issue of Handwoven but I’m using different yarn and a different sett.

It’s not all black and white, I also have shades of grey. This is the other rabbit hole I fell down, if I hadn’t have run out of natural coloured wool after the second batch then there would have been no spring cleaning done this week because I would have spent every waking minute fastened to the carder or the wheel. I love these, natural sheep colours of black welsh at one end moving through grey falkland or shetland into white falkland. There’s some overlap between the colours so there’s not a clearly defined change between the three shades. If I had a loom free I would have woven it into a scarf that changed colour across the width and the length but I don’t so it will have to wait. When I made it I could think of so many things to do with the yarn, mittens, a multidirectional scarf or knitted alongside a mustard or red in a simple stranded pattern. That was last week though, this week I’m seeing it with a single colour change along the length, spun fine and knitted into a triangular shawl. The double knit yarn is so last week, so Etsy it is.

The postman has brought me a big batch of naturally coloured wool so between the carder, the wheel, the loom and spring cleaning I have a full couple of weeks ahead. The wool may not be colourful but it’s fun. The cleaning is not so fun but it needs to be done and if I keep slipping a bit in between the fun stuff it doesn’t seem so much of a chore. No, that didn’t sound convincing to me either.



2 Responses to “Black, white, grey”

  1. Carolyn says:

    I think there’s something very appealing about black and white and the shades in between. Looking forward to the yarn arriving, it just looks fantastic, and so nice that it is all natural colours – I haven’t knitted with naturally coloured yarn much before.

  2. marjorie says:

    There is something really satisfying about working with undyed yarn. I’ve been playing with my boxes of minimally processed yarn as part of my backup plan for a lighter-weight summer project, but I thought it was a kind of antidote to my 14-color Fair Isle–not as a way to divert myself from the inevitable cleaning that still awaits attention around here.

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