Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Possum, Mohair and Wood Shawl Part 2

I hope this hop scotching between my daughter Ngaire’s posts (her name is pronounced Ny Ree by the way); and mine isn’t too confusing; our goal is to give two perspectives on weaving.

This is my Window Pane Handspun shawl just after I pulled it off the loom – it measured 25” wide by 104” long plus fringe…pretty long but I had no idea how the shrinkage would work out and I wanted a long shawl. Pretty straight eh?

After machine washing on the delicate cycle for 6 minutes in hot water and cold rinse to encourage it to full I was surprised with the results. So I repeated the whole process for a total wash time of 12 minutes and a full cycle of machine spin drying and I still had much less shrinkage than I'd planned. The fibres are well knitted together and don't move, but it is still a very light weave as you can see.
The only place I could find to hang the shawl to dry was from my upstairs banister. Here it is hanging a full floor length! The shawl is now 23” wide by 99” long plus 8” fringes, plenty big enough to wrap around and throw over any shoulder.

I had some issue with the weft turns; the handspun didn’t snug up as much as I wanted around the silk selvedge threads, so I needle wove 4 more ply’s of the silk through the edge turns. I think it really did improve the look of the selvedges and seemed to finish off the window pane effect very well. Below is a closeup of the web showing that it's a very stable web and is squared in the beat...10 epi and 10 ppi, photo's a bit blurry though...

This shawl is not as soft as I had anticipated, the possum in the wool/possum/mohair blend makes it very warm and cozy, but the novelty mohair which felt very soft in the ball seems to makes it a bit less soft than I’d have liked. My handspun didn’t expand as much as I’d hoped either. I wasn’t looking for shrinkage as much as an expansion of the grist, you know general puffiness, and that just didn’t occur. This isn’t a gauzy shawl by any means but it’s not quite as lofty as I’d hoped, but beautiful nonetheless.

Gebrochene is the German term for the structure sometimes called M’s and W’s. It is a twill interlacement with an elaborate threading and treadling and a twill tie up.


bspinner said...

I like long shawls and this one is a beauty. I love the rich colors in your shawl. Funny about yarn you never know just how much it will shrink.

Susan said...

Oh, it's lovely Lynnette! You'll have to bring it and wear it when we dine by the water again. It will be so elegant.

Just a thought: if you wash your handspun after spinning then it will have been preshrunk before weaving.

Lynnette said...

Hi Susan, I did wash my handspun after plying to set the twist. I even did the New Zealand technique of plunging it from very hot water into cold water to let the wool "gasp". I still had hoped for more puffing from the yarn, I blame the mohair!

Life Looms Large said...

The shawl looks beautiful!

I'm kind of shocked by how little it shrunk though....I literally got more inches of shrinkage on a single 30 inch unmercerized cotton dishtowel than you did on this whole shawl. I guess it's all about the yarn though.

Very ingenious how you fixed up the edges.....I'll have to add that idea to my bag of tricks!!! The online weaving community has definitely helped me to see that we all face different technical hurdles - the secret is to work through them in a way that you're happy with.

It's chilly here in our sunroom this morning.....Perhaps I need a shawl! (And let's not talk about the "light dusting of snow" that was forecast....and that they're now saying will be more than 6 inches......I thought it was practically spring!)

Congrats on the shawl!!! It's gorgeous!!

Sunrise Lodge Fiber Studio said...

It's beautiful!!! I love the length!!!

Gwen said...

Oh, it came out beautifully! It's just gorgeous and long seems to be all the rage these days! :)

Theresa said...

It's magnificent! Love the colors and the length.
Please get a picture of yourself wrapped in allthat luxury.

Anonymous said...

i am most impressed by your beautiful soft and long shawl. Its so wearable. I have been reading your past posts, lots of ideas for a new weaver like me. Thank you.