Friday, 18 January 2013

Normal Service To Resume Shortly

Happy New Year Y'all!

So I've been back at college for, oooooh, what, two weeks now, and things are going just fine.

I have been doing lots of visual research and development and I have also in dribs and drabs been dressing the loom with an 1800 end warp of cotton, worsted and wool/lycra mix.

The wool/lycra mix is the star of the show. This is a core spun lycra wrapped with 97%worsted wool. The brilliant thing about this stuff, in contrast to other elastic yarns I've used is that at the lycra is held at extension in the normal tension of the worsted yarn. This means it's reasonably easy to weave with, as it basically behaves like a normal worsted yarn when it's under tension, which is FANTASTIC.

The really interesting thing as well of course, is that the lycra doesn't properly relax until it's been washed in a relaxed state, at which point it obeys it's true desires and pulls itself right in all scrunchy like.

The idea is I'm making cloth with a bit of boing in it. I have a number of complicated ideas (well, one) but at the moment I'm simply making a single cloth in 2/2 twill, with 4 warps and 6 wefts, to make 24 samples in all, which I will then finish to varying degrees to observe the effect.

One of the big ideas I'm thinking about is weaving a double cloth with centre stitching, where I use the elastic yarn as the centre stitching and then whatever I please as the front and back faces. I can have interchanging as I desire to create colour pattern, and then I can use centre stitching in certain areas to create textural pattern effects. I also have the option of using elastic in the weft as well as the warp, or just one or the other. It's all rather interesting.

I've never made a centre-stitched double cloth before and I'm kinda looking forward to it. I really hope I can get some of this stuff woven on Jacquard because I'd really love to do all big patterning and that, but we'll see, it might not be possible.

Also, I shall be Making My Own Yarns. Not from scratch, but from other yarns, I want to try using big chunky textured and irregular yarns, so I'm getting a postgrad student (big up Stephanie!) to walk me through the yarn-twisting machines. She's already shown me how to use the straight (Boyd) twister, and I'm hoping next month we'll be able to figure out the fancy twister which is capable of creating all sorts of interesting and creative effects by twisting different yarns together at different rates.

It's all very exciting, and I promise to blog everything I do, complete with full-recipes and pictures of funky yarn and so on.

Go 2013!


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