Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Burn Test on a Mystery Cone

Just before the summer break, the Qualicum Weavers Guild has a pot luck lunch and this year they included, a car boot sale (it maybe an annual thing I don’t know, I’ve only been a member since October).  We picked up some goodies, how can you resist?!

The first are two monographs.  One is Seven Projects in Rosepath by Berta Frey, it is a guided monthly program written for a Weaver’s guild.  The second is Handloom Weaves by Harriet Tidball, it is a reference book that defines all the different types of weave structures and gives some basic drafts as examples.  Both are absolutely amazing resources.
We got a few of cones of Mohair in pinks and ink blue.  This will allow us to use up some cones that we have kicking around that aren’t enough to do anything with.  Now we have enough to do some throws or blanket scarves.  The Mohair is a little frosty because we put it in the freezer for a week, then took it out for a couple of days and then put it back in the freezer for a week.  It is just a preventative measure to make sure that there aren’t any carpet beetles or moths in the cones; these were perfect.
I was gifted a large cone of mystery fibre by one of the guild ladies.  It is very fine, probably 2/30 in a creamy white colour.  The cone has a lovely silky feel to it.  The lady who gave it to me said that the cone was manufactured in Abbotsford, BC and that there was some wool fibre content.
So out comes the book The Key to Weaving by Mary E. Black.
In the back is a section called Burning Tests for Fibers.  We did a quick read through the descriptions of the flame, smoke and smell before starting the burn, just to know what to expect.
We did the first burn test using matches and that wasn’t a good idea.  The smell of the match overwhelmed the smell of the burning sample.  So we changed to a click lighter for the next sample.
The flame was orange yellow, blue/grey smoke, smell was of burnt paper and it ignited easily.  There is a black skeleton and no ash.  So we think that the sample is cotton.
If the sample was wool the smoke would have smelt like burnt hair and the skeleton would be swollen and irregular in length.  So now I have a lovely cone of fine cotton to use and I already have an idea!
Final Garden shot is Gooseneck Loosestrife (Lysmimachia clethroides) and Beardtongue (Penstemon ‘Garnet’), both growing lushly in the back garden!

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