untouched but for some reason, uncullable.
Almost exactly a year ago I got it out and spun a little bit,
then set it aside once again when I realized I wasn’t going to use it for the project at hand.
and as luck, or fortune, would have it
Tracey even came to opening of my show in LaConner,
spindle in hand, towel over her shoulder,
to give me a short tutorial on wet-spinning flax on the fly.
A dream come true.
Naturally, I intended to try the moment I got home --
Perhaps in the greater scheme of things,
10 months is but a moment?
and this pleases me no end as
I love being a crappy beginner.
It means I’ve moved beyond the thinking phase
and actually started whatever it is--
entering a thrilling period of focus, learning and improvement.
why not a four selvedge linen warp
on my beloved and absurd plastic pipe loom?
The four selvedge part is not new, duh,
nor is the PVC loom (a trifle bendy but still works beautifully).
But barring my backstrap experiments of last year,
linen has not been my tapestry warp of choice since I switched to wool in 1995.
1. I didn’t like the way the wool weft kind of ‘hung’ on the linen warp.
It always seemed that the warp could just slip out of the finished tapestry
as though warp and weft didn't really belong together.
2. I could make my own warp if I so chose.
as the weft is locked into place when I’m done weaving.
Indeed, barring some untoward scissor action, it can’t slip out in any direction.
And linen definitely works with linen!
Problem #2 is still in the works
as I’m not quite ready to warp a loom with my very first spindle spun linen,
but the stuff is astonishingly strong,
especially the two ply,
so I might have to try pretty soon.
I mean, why not?
Inspired by the results of an American Tapestry Alliance member survey
on favorite tools, materials and techniques
(alas only available to members, but check out the website anyway if you're not),
I decided to use all manner of stuff as weft too.
Granted, half-assedly cleaned dogbane fiber with bark still clinging to the strands
Is not my favorite thing to wind on a bobbin, but it looks interseting once packed into place
and at the very least it made weaving with my little skein of spindle spun linen
feel like the height of sophistication.
silk (bombyx and tussah)
cotton: (Sally Fox’s natural brown and some white of unknown origin)
linen: (the strick that has now re-appeared to do its thing).
but it’s blog day,
and I’m having such fun as a wool girl in linen land
that I thought I’d share.
What I know so far:
—Linen warp is harder to put on than wool
mostly because of all the precise tension issues it’s famous for,
but once in place it is lovely on my hands and I like weaving with it as much as I remember.
—The various wefts pack into place very nicely on the nice tight warp,
and feel astonishingly normal to work with.
—The PVC loom will always make my tapestries look good
but for all its aesthetic imperfections is still utterly functional,
with a fine tension adjustment
and the best price in town.
When I know more,
you will too...
Linen warp used as weft — 7 ply yarn from the stash of dear Winnie Robinson who left us in January
Linen Twine — too hefty for comfortable weaving, but interesting (also from Winnie’s Stash)
Dogbane fiber and bark
First spindle spun linen (two ply)
Sally Fox Brown Cotton (house)
Tussah Silk (window)
One strand each of fine cotton and linen from Winnie’s Stash, wound together onto bobbins (sky).
The spindle is a Jenkins Lark (17 g)