Subtle Tweed Plaid- Spinning Warp + Weft
I started spinning yarn for the warp + weft of a scarf last week. I was trying to create a scarf that was a very subtle plaid with a tweed handspun yarn. I use shoestrings to keep the warp in place instead of fiddling with lots of knots to get the right tension. It is especially handy since I can tug on specific shoestrings to tighten a section without changing the tension on the warp ends next to it, or the trouble of tying a bunch or larks head knots. I use a technique described in Warping on a Shoestring.
I used a pattern for the scarf from The Handweaver's Pattern Directory: Over 600 Weaves for 4-shaft Looms, though I modified the twill pattern I was using a bit to make it more interesting.
For the warp I spun it in tight short draws to make a dense yarn that is 2 plies and not very elastic. When I block the warp yarn I weight it down since I want the yarn to be not stretchy, which would create tension issues on the loom.
The warp yarn is a combo of the fibers used for the weft spun with long stripes of different naturally dyed colors I had in stock, a variety of bamboo fibers, mohair, soy silk, alpacas, and other wool. One strand is striped and plied with a plain ply of the weft color.
I tried to vary the colors and length of stripes for each segment I was spinning so there wouldn't be any huge blocks of color since I am trying to create a very subtle tweed and plaid in twill.
Spinning weft yarn- I divided up the naturally dyed roving in to short chunks and spin them long draw woolen style to create a squishy weft yarn that will fill in and full out between the warp threads. I don't weight down the weft since I don't mind if there is some squish and elasticity in it as I am weaving.
Tomorrow: The yarn and warping!