By Amelia © January 8, 2010
In books that discuss cotton spinning, we're told that one end of cotton sliver will spin more smoothly than the other due to the direction of carding. So if your cotton is not spinning smoothly, flip the cotton sliver over to see if it spins more smoothly from the other end.
Wool roving can also be directional -- not always, but sometimes, depending on the carding equipment. The thing with wool roving is that it usually contains jumbled fibers anyway, so the texture from spinning it can be attributed to the jumble as much as the carding direction – so it’s not usually much of a concern. I learned about direction in roving from a very experienced friend of mine (Joan, the lady behind Crosspatch Creations), who sends much of her wool off to a mill to be carded, and has found that she can get a more even yarn when spinning from the “right” end of the roving. She also told me that directionality in roving is not always present, that it does depend a fair bit on the carding machine.
How can you tell which end might be better to spin from? Without spinning, run your fingers gently along the surface of the roving in each direction; one should feel smoother than the other – start from the end you started the rub, in the smoother direction.
When spinning, if the drafting feels start-and-stoppy, try spinning from the other end, to see if it is smoother.
Not all roving will seem to have a direction – it depends on the machinery it was carded on, some tend to impart more direction than others. The wool/fibers involved may also affect it (what they are, how jumbled they are, how carded they are) So if it feels the same both ways, dive in, and see how it spins.
I have not read anything about commercial top having a smoother direction, but I wouldn't be surprised if it, too, was occasionally directional. If you try it, I'd be interested to hear what you find.
This post inspired by a recent question on the Ravelry group Wannabee Spinners
For related posts, see: What fiber preparations are there?
© 8 January 2010 by Ask The Bellwether, posted at http://askthebellwether.blogspot.com/
Friday, January 8, 2010
By Amelia © January 8, 2010
Monday, January 4, 2010
By Amelia © January 4, 2010
My daughter's viola case is quite nice -- there's a velour pad to cover the viola with, and the case is nicely padded and lined, and in great condition. But, it came without a strap. Now, she knows her mother well, so the request to make a strap was made knowing it might take a little while (school started in September, as usual).
It was mid-December when I pulled out my inkle loom; a week later when I got Helen Bress's Inkle Weaving from the library; and New Year's Eve when I warped up the loom and wove off a nice 2" wide band in blue 5/2 perle cotton -- navy-blue borders and space-dyed center.
I highly recommend Helen Bress's book -- it covered everything I'd long since forgotten from the last time I'd woven on my loom, warping, color patterns, weaving, advancing the warp, and removing the weaving from the loom. Of course, her books never disappoint, and I'm pleased to know her masterpiece, The Weaving Book, is being republished soon.
I knew I needed D-rings, but I wasn't sure where to put them. A google session later, I realized perhaps a blog post was in order, once I'd sorted it out for myself.
So, once you have woven your inkle strap, here's how you make it into a detachable, adjustable strap to go on your instrument case. First off, the instrument case needs to have D-rings or loops at each end -- most do, my daughter's did.
Joanne Fabrics had the clips for the ends of the band and D-rings for making the strap adjustable. Your own local craft store may have them as well -- they were in the section with the purse handles in mine.
Make sure the clips will fit through the D-rings. If they do not, you'll need to alter the order you put your band together. This picture shows the test-fit and placement of the parts.
I sewed one clip at one end of the band -- folding the band through the clip's loop and sewing the end of the band onto the band on the other side of the clip's loop to hold the clip in place.
I placed the other clip's loop on the band; it's a "floater", as it needs to move when you adjust the band length. It stays in the loop formed when you make the strap adjustable -- more on that in a bit.
Then, I placed both D-rings, one atop the other facing the same direction, at the other end of the band and sewed them in, together, in place at the other end.
The adjustableness is created by taking the fixed-clip end of the band and putting it up through the center of both D-rings, then around the oval end of the top one and back through the center of the lower D-ring. Keep the movable clip in the loop that this creates, moving the clip down to the end of the loop to be at the other end of your strap. Wa-la! adjustable.
Clip your strap onto your instrument case, and adjust the length of the loop to suit your carrying style -- over-shoulder, cross-body, backpack. My daughter is pleased to be starting the new year in orchestra with her stylishly strapped case.
There used to be a great website on inkle weaving -- inkleweaving.com -- but it appears to have lapsed, as now it's a Japanese fashion website. More information on inkle weaving can be found on inkle loom makers' pages such as Schacht, as well as the on-line weaving communities Weavolution.com, Weavezine.com, and others. There's also a fun flickr pool of inkle and card weaving showing looms and woven items. If you have a favorite on-line inkle resource, I'd love to hear about it in the comments - Thanks!
© 4 January 2010 by Ask The Bellwether, posted at http://askthebellwether.blogspot.com/