Tuesday, January 10, 2012

First Tri

I don't know what happened to November and December.  Oh well.  January has been too much fun to even worry about it.

Sometime during that November/December "fugue state" (does anyone watch Breaking Bad?) I did a lot or reading and research on triloom weaving.  There is a Ravelry group that is very active, and also a Yahoo Triloom Group.  The cover picture for the Ravelry group was the one that finally sent me over the edge.  Eventually, I took a short, one-day workshop in weaving on a triangular loom from Barbara Borgerd Ickler, who has been perfecting this technique for decades.  Unfortunately, her web site is a little out of date, but her workshop was wonderful. Even the show-and-tell part was excellent, and by the time she had shown us all of the beautiful examples of her work, I was sold.  Two days later I drove back and bought a 72" loom.

Unfortunately, the holidays interfered with my enthusiastic plans, so everything had to stay under wraps until all of the feasting and festivities were over.  But during that time, I found a nice easel on Craig's list,  sorted out some yarn, and vowed to set things up as soon as the house was mine once again.  

I decided not to waste my handspun on the first try, so found some mill-spun llama that I had dyed, and added some Noro and a bit of handspun for variation.  Lessons learned here:
  1. Llama stretches like the devil.
  2. Noro breaks and shreds at the slightest pressure.
  3. The handspun was not the same grist, in fact, nothing was the same, so tension was wildly uneven.
Planning took some while, since I had lost the notes taken at Barbara's workshop.  Duh.
But I managed to hunt up enough information on line to get me started.  From there on, things seemed to slowly come back to me.  Lessons from phase two:
  1. It seems to take forever to adjust the easel, chair and loom comfortably.  Had to hunt up some chains to use as reins for the easel.
  2. A 6' triloom and easel takes up a lot of floor space, and tends to frighten the dogs, while being of endless fascination to the cat.
  3. A light is really helpful.
  4. Use something to contain your yarn, in this case, a wire waste basket.

Before I could bind off and make fringe (and several times along the way) I had to stop and try to take up the slack.
  1. It is easier to straighten as you go than to try to clean up stretched and crooked rows at the end.
  2. Don't use 100% llama!
 I soon found that outside on a warm day is the best place to work, at least during daylight hours.

Hubby worried that the shawl was too - what was the word - sloppy?  But I rather like the open, gauzy feeling, especially for spring.  I finally got the shawl bound off with something that unintentionally looked like leno lace, but is actually kind of interesting, and celebrated the last of the fringe with a Kir Royale, sporting a rose garni.

Nothing provides confidence like one hard-earned success, so shawl #2 is well underway.  And this time, I am using homegrown pygora/cashmere handspun with bits of color.  All one texture, smooth as a baby's butt, and such a pleasure to work with!  The addition of a beautiful wooden Tunisian crochet hook really makes it hard to leave the loom.  Just one more round, just one more!


Sandra's Fiberworks said...

I do shawls, on 2 and 3 foot triangle looms. I too just finished one! Take a look at my post; new follower here.

shelly hancock said...

Ah, new fibery fun!

Laura McNeal said...

The shawl is so beautiful, and I love the look of the loom, too!

Jerry (Shearer/Fiber Artist) said...

Love it! I have a post On my blog - the wool harvester - of last years triangle blanket that I still have to put the finishing touches on HE HE HE... Typical. I really like tri looms and I am in the market for a rectangle loom. Looks like you had quite the experience and so much fun. I will take your llama comment to heart, my blanket is 100% hand spun alpaca which is going great. Can't wait to see more!

Sandra's Fiberworks said...

Yes, I like that open gauzy look too, or sloppy if that's what hubby wants to call it. I specialize in the loose open weave look on my own triangle looms so love this one!