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From Fluff to Stuff

From Fluff to Stuff

In today's post, I thought I would share my process from beginning with unspun fiber through the  production of a finished woven project . . . in other words, Fluff to Stuff.  

Those of you who have been following Flora & Fiber for awhile may remember back in May I wrote about customizing my spinning wheel.  At the time, Louet had a promotion that if you shared a picture of your painted S-17 wheel, Louet would send you $200 worth of fiber.  Below is a photo of the spinner's haul I received!  

I am using three of those fibers in this project.

fiber goodies - Flora & Fiber

The first is from Abstract Fiber, an 80% Merino wool/20% silk blend top in the colorway Lagoon. I deconstructed the fibers into individual piles of blue, purple, pink and dark green.  Then, I spun each of those piles into separate yarns, with the exception of the dark green which I reserved for a future project.

Merino Silk fiber

The result was 3 skeins of 2-ply yarn.  Pink Purple-12 gm/28 yd. Blue-10 gm/30 yd. Purple-15 gm/44 yd.  Each skein is variegated with hints of the other colors in the original fiber. 

Wraps per Inch (WPI) averages 14

Wraps per Inch (WPI) averages 14

Next, was another 80% Merino wool/20% silk blend top in the colorway Lichen.

Merino Silk - Lichen

I again spun this as a 2-ply yarn for a total of 258 yards (97 grams).

Wraps per Inch (WPI) 18

Wraps per Inch (WPI) 18

My final handspun yarn is a 50/50 blend I made of 18 micron Merino wool top and . . .

merino wool fiber

. . .  bleached Tussah silk; measuring out about 2 ounces of each fiber.

I apologize for the blurriness of the next few pictures - I guess I was caught up in the fiber moment!

I apologize for the blurriness of the next few pictures - I guess I was caught up in the fiber moment!

I separated each of the two fibers into sixteen piles and blended them together using my drum carder.

blending merino wool & tussah silk with drum carder

This produced three billowy batts that I stripped lengthwise into thirds.  I blended a third from each batt together on the second pass through the drum carder.  And then one more time through the drum carder for good measure!

batts Merino/Silk 50/50 blend

I rolled the carded fiber off the drum carder into these little rolags.  I could have stopped here and just entertained myself with their incredible velvety softness.  I wish there was such a thing as 'digital touch-a-vision' so I could share this with you.

rolags Merino/Silk 50/50 blend

But I did proceed with  making yarn.  Here, I'm spinning this fiber at Enoree River Winery during the Ag + Art Tour.

spinning demo @ Newberry County Ag + Art Tour

I ended up with 308 yards (104 grams) of 2-ply yarn that I would use as my weft.

handspun 2-ply 50/50 blend merino/silk

While I was spinning, I was also finalizing the project I would weave with this handspun yarn.  As inspiration, I used a project by Lynn Harper called 'Blue-Eyed Grass Scarf' found in the Summer 2015 issue of Spin-Off magazine.  This gave me a rough idea of the amount of yarn I needed, as well as a basic design.  I took the weaving draft from the article and entered it into a weaving software program I use called iWeave-It.  I changed around the threading and treadling to accommodate both the grist and the amounts of the yarns I had woven; finally settling on the two twill structures you see below.

iWeave-it image of Blue-Eyed Scarf design

I was finally ready to warp my loom.  This was really a moment of trepidation - how would my handspun hold up to the tensioning needed to weave?  I'm happy to report, only one broken warp thread through the whole weave!  I've had more than that with commercially prepared yarns.

handspun merino/silk warp on Louet Jane loom

Let the weaving begin!

weaving handspun scarf on Jane Table Loom

My final scarf is  6 7/8" by 62" plus 3 1/2" of twisted fringe on each end.  It's exquisitely soft with a beautiful drape.  And I have a little of the handspun leftover to add to another project.

finished handwoven scarf of handspun merino/silk yarn

And that my Friends is Fluff to Stuff!

Swedish Art Weave - Part 1

Swedish Art Weave - Part 1

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Let's Dye . . . Black Walnut

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