Mary got a round of applause as she pulled her very first blanket off the 60″ loom. Now it goes home for finishing!
The weather cooperated perfectly for our annual Dye Day hosted by Louise H. A rainbow could be found in the dye pots and the ladies with their wheels found under the shade of a big maple tree.
To the spinning purist, it may seem a sacrilege to spin anything other than natural fibres. But to new spinners or those who may not have access to quality prepared fibres, the advent of super chunky yarn has opened up new avenues of hand spinning.
This yarn is made from 90% acrylic/10% wool super chunky roving. The wool content makes it easy to spin and the acrylic makes it machine washable.
From super chunky yarn to a super chunky plaid, this little baby blanket should see a lot of use both because of its design as well as the fibre it’s made with.
With the amount of work involved in warping our 60″ loom, most people do projects in groups. Each weaver in the group contributes fibre for the warp and comes up with their own weft. Someday soon, this pile will turn into a lovely warp. Each blanket that comes off the loom will look completely different despite having the same warp.
Jenny has taken advantage of being stuck at home to work through some fibre that has been taking up valuable stash room for over 20 years!
This set of placemats and coordinating table runner are creatively woven to show one side coloured and the other black.
At the Chilliwack Spinners and Weavers Guild, we often receive fleece from local farmers who would rather see it go to good use instead of buried, burned, or composted. Most of the sheep in the Fraser Valley are raised for meat and the fleeces aren’t usually high quality. When bags of fresh fleece arrive in the Guild room, they are free for the taking. Most members are of the been-there-done-that frame of mind and are fully willing to let the more adventurous members handle the good.
Guild Secretary, Jordan N., is still new enough to spinning to take the challenge, often bringing home several bags at a time when available. The fleece is usually really dirty. It’s always smelly. It’s often coarse and short. But sometimes you luck out and it’s soft and long.
The newest arrivals at the Guild room contained six bags each containing two fleeces. If you can look past the smell, dirt and bits of grass and… other things, you can see potential. Jordan took home two bags and immediately took advantage of the hot weather and free fibre.
After sorting through her score, she discovered some incredibly long locks. Having very little equipment at home aside from her Louet S71 spinning wheel, Jordan is always looking for creative ways to process fibre. The long locks lent themselves well to a simple soak and rinse for easy combing with a dollar store pet comb. Restaurant bussing trays are a perfect size and depth for keeping long locks in tact while they soak over night. The hot sun is perfect for drying during the day—and trying a bit of solar dyeing as well!
It may take all summer for Jordan to work her way through her freebies, but that’s okay. The wonderful thing about the fact that this fleece is free is that local farmers can feel good that their sheep fibre has gone on to be worked and appreciated and we spinners have the opportunity to play without having to worry about the possibility of ruining expensive fibre.
Stay tuned to see how Jordan’s experiments go!