Thursday, June 25, 2015

From cone to cloth: weaving tweed yardage with Harrisville Shetland yarn

Hello, friends. Happy summer!

I finished my first length of wool yardage this week and am pleased with the results so far. I used Harrisville Designs Shetland yarn for both warp and weft. I chose Harrisville yarn partly because I like their palette and partly because I wanted to support a local New Hampshire mill!

I'm going to use this blog post to share some of my findings about the yarn and how it turned into cloth, partly for my own records and also to pass along to my weaving friends.

Warp: I wound a warp of 4.5 yards long and threaded 1 per dent in a 15 dent reed, using "Ginny's Coat" pattern from Davison. I wound 360 ends + tabby selvedge threads. This warp measured 24" in the reed.

Harrisville Shetland, "Silver Mist"
The weaving proceeded smoothly. Adding the tabby selvedges was a big time saver, allowing me to throw the shuttle efficiently (no poking the shuttle under or over floating selvedges). When I came to the end of a bobbin, I allowed the "tail" to hang out of one of the sides of the cloth and started a new bobbin in the next shed in the pattern, also with the tail hanging out of the side selvedge, to eliminate a bulky weft in the cloth. There were only two warp threads that needed repair throughout the weaving.

I had very little loom waste on this warp. Weaving a cloth that had no long repeated pattern allowed me to squeeze out as much as I could out of the warp. All told, I used all of one 1/2 lb cone of pine green for the weft and just about all of the 1 lb (2 cones) of silver mist Shetland yarn for the warp.

Here is the cloth after cutting it from the loom. See the lovely pine-y colored cone? I love this yarn; there are flecks of yellow and light green throughout the darker shades of green.

Finishing the cloth...I placed the yardage in the washing machine on the gentle cycle, cool water, and washed with a mild detergent. I then decided to "full" the fabric a bit by placing it in the dryer, along with a small terrycloth towel, for just 10 minutes on the delicate cycle. I removed it after 10 minutes and while still slightly damp, the cloth had softened and fluffed up and felt really nice. I hung the cloth to dry the rest of the way.

Finished cloth dimensions: 21" wide x 104" long or 2.9 yards. Wool shrinks up quite a bit but that's part of what makes it so cozy, right?

So now I have to be brave and stop looking at the lovely small folded bundle of cloth that is resting on the table and start thinking about cutting! The men's vest sewing pattern pieces are cut and ready.

I think that this cloth would look really pretty in a heathered purple or blue in the weft, right along with more of the silver mist in the warp. Maybe someday.

Thanks for reading, friends! Happy weaving.
Be well,


Thistle Rose Weaving said...

Beautifully done! Looking forward to seeing the finished vest.

Cindie said...

Great weaving draft for a man's vest - the fabric looks lovely.

susancoyotesfan said...

Beautiful! I look forward to seeing the finished garment!

I have hand spun Shetland I'm saving for a weaving project - I had read somewhere that Shetland was too fragile for weaving so of course I wanted to test that assumption. I have to spin the rest of the fleece before I can though. And your project gives me a lot of confidence that I can in fact weave fabric with Shetland.

Kate Kilgus said...

Thank you, everyone! Susancoyotesfan, I have had just two warp threads break during the weaving process. I have been careful to not over tension the loom and also made sure to relax the warp in between weaving sessions. I hope you give your Shetland yarn a try!

Serious Craft said...

Really beautiful. I was looking at the Shetland yarn too but wondered: does the end result seem to be a bit too thick for a jacket or men's slacks? Does it look like more of a throw/blanket weight than a tweed fashion fabric weight?

Lynda Halliger Otvos (Lynda M O) said...

Gorgeous fabric !~!