Monday, November 3, 2014

Mystery Warp

In Memory of Lynn

Recently a weaver friend of mine passed away leaving a substantial collection of yarns. My weavers' guild was the recipient of her stash. Each month for several months tables bearing cone after cone of yarn were set up and offered to members in exchange for voluntary donations. The guild turned the proceeds over to a member scholarship fund. The generosity of our late friend and her widowed husband will long be remembered and appreciated.

Cat Tracks and Snail Trails lap robe woven with mystery warp yarn.
(In the background you can see one of my warp painted rep rugs.
The trim on the upholstered sofa is my own Kumi Himo braid.)

I was able to pick up some nice yarns, in particular perle cottons for weaving Miniature Overshot. My latest warp was from one of these yarns. I saw it in the perle cotton section and took it home without further thought. That is, until I went to wind it into a warp. It seemed slightly fuzzy and I worried it would cause sticky trouble. But beaming it was easily accomplished without tangles. Still, it did not behave like cotton.

The pattern I chose is a miniature version of Cat Tracks and Snail Trails. I adapted the draft from a towel in Handwoven's Design Collection #5: Dishtowels. The towel draft was by Carol Strickler and appears on page 19 with a photograph on the back cover.

Cat Tracks and Snail Trails is an asymmetric design posing special challenges when designing borders. I struggled to come up with a satisfactory idea, but am still not entirely satisfied.

As usual, I enjoyed mixing random variegated ends into the warp. By the time I had woven the first piece it occurred to me that the warp may not actually be cotton. So I cut the first piece off, hemmed it and machine washed and dried it. The result is very pleasant, it drapes beautifully and kept a lovely sheen. Now I think that the mystery yarn may be Rayon.

Another surprise was different shrinkage rates for the tan and the variegated warps. The tan main color shrank more than the variegated. This made the variegated more apparent both in color and texture. It is an interesting result and one that bears some thought and further experimentation.

So here is the final result, four nice 36x62" lap robes, one 36" square wee coverlet and a small end piece (the navy blue one). The one with magenta pattern warp was a stretch color-wise. But once it was off the loom I found it to be quite successful.

I have one more cone of the mystery yarn. I wish I had several.

 Thank you, Lynn.