Saturday, December 11, 2010

Estrella project: plan B

Between making things for the Etsy shop, I'm starting to ramp up on my historical weaving project. See, I've got an event coming up in February called Estrella War ( that includes an arts competition as one of the activities. One of the three categories this year is weaving. The finished item needs to be something appropriate to Europe in the pre 1600's time frame.

I had planned to recreate a length of Viking cloth, complete with spinning the yarn on a reproduction Medieval drop spindle and weaving the cloth on a warp weighted loom. My husband had the loom half built...and then he got into a motorcycle accident. He's got another month before he can put weight on his broken leg. Well, that put a damper on that project. So, plan B.

I looked into my stash, and I have a batch of indigo dyed hand spun wool singles yarn.

There's 1660 yards there, which is a good start on the project. But I decided I needed more.
So, I ordered 5 lbs of white wool roving from the Sheep Shed Studio. ( This is mill end roving from the Brown Sheep Company, for $8.50/lb. I've ordered from them several times now, and have been pleased. The roving isn't always in perfect shape, but for the price you can't beat it.

Since I'm getting to a time crunch here, I'm not trying to spin all this on the drop spindle. Instead, I'm using my Kromski Sonata wheel, with the Woolee Winder attachment. When I want to spin for consistency and speed, that is my set up of choice.

I started a few days ago, in and among other work.

I took the first bobbin full off the wheel last night, wet it in hot water, and hung it up to dry. I'm pleased with the way it is turning out.

This first skein has almost 300 yards on it, and the box still looks full of roving. I expect even with the wheel set up, I'll still be spinning the rest of the month. Then, I think I want to pop it in the dye pot. I've got a pot of madder growing out front, though I don't know if there is enough to dye up the whole batch. Maybe stripes? I'm not exactly sure what I want the final cloth to look like--it will kind of depend on how much yarn I come up with in this spinning batch. But right now I'm leaning towards a batch of diamond twill yardage, with an eye towards making an overdress in the rectangular construction style. ('ll see.

In the meantime, I'm going to enjoy the spinning process. This roving is wonderfully soft to the touch, and a dream to work with.

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