Saturday, June 12, 2010

Never Said I Was Perfect...

This is a cautionary tale under the heading "It seemed like a good idea at the time."

A while ago I had the brilliant idea of getting another artist to do some of my dyeing for me. She had the studio set up, the expertise and the talent to paint 10 yard warps as well as skeins.

She was also quite willing to use fibre reactive dyes, which I don't really like to use. And so we worked together with me winding the warps and mailing them to her, she dyeing them and mailing them back. We started with a combination of Tencel and regenerated bamboo.

And then for my next 'brilliant' idea. Why not use soy protein fibre and Tencel? It seemed like a really nice combination of yarns for scarves and I had a source of supply for soy protein fibre in the same grist as the Tencel.

So I ordered in the minimum amount of spf with the intention of dyeing some myself in the skein using acid dyes and winding warps with one strand of Tencel, one strand of spf for Teresa to dye for me.

What I didn't realize - because I didn't do a sample first - is that the spf shrank a much greater amount than the Tencel.

Poor Teresa started dyeing these warps and noticed that they were getting awfully tangled. At first we thought I just needed to tie more ties to keep the yarns under control, but when I started weaving the warps it became apparent very quickly what the actual problem was.

If you click on the first picture you can probably see the loops of the Tencel in the warp chain.

By the end of the 10 yard long warp the difference is quite significant. Can you see the dark blue yarns on the left? That's the Tencel. The lighter blue yarns on the right are the spf.

I wind up brushing the loose Tencel from one end of the warp to the other in order to beam the warp, but once that's done the yarn doesn't shrink any more because it's done all its shrinking in the dye bath. And in the end they do make quite nice scarves. :)

Currently reading Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison (recommended by Syne Mitchell - thanks for another good author recommendation Syne!)


Annie said...

Weaving is such fun: never a dull moment!

barbara said...

Live and learn; and we just keep on learning!!! Thanks for sharing.
Weaverly yours ..... Barbara

Laura said...

I love the Kim Harrison Books!! Another author you might like is Patricia Briggs, and her Mercy Thompson books. They're really fun!

Doncha just hate it when things don't go quite as planned? I'm glad that it all worked out in the end - mine don't usually do that!!