A few years back I bought an old wheel off a friend’s mother and did a spinning class. I didn’t really take to spinning. Not in that I couldn’t do it, or didn’t enjoy it, but I found the first five or ten minutes engaging but couldn’t maintain that interest for the time it took to make a skein. Still, I learned a lot about fibre and yarn construction, and I never consider trying out a new skill or hobby to be a waste of time.
Here’s some of the yarn I made:
Here it is with the natural white yarn I made in class:
Now, I imagined many projects I could use the yarn for, and the one I liked the best was one of those drapey tops that are a rectangle with two slits for the arms. One that folds over at the front and fastens with a shawl pin, letting the top edge fold down in sweeping, dramatic collar. And the more I thought about it, the more I thought it would be a good weaving project. But I never seemed to get around to it.
In a fit of wanting to clear out the oldest yarn in my stash recently, I got the yarn out. And I was a bit dismayed to find it smelled a bit like rancid oil. I’d spun it ‘in the grease’ as recommended by my teacher. Though I’d followed the instructions for washing the yarn, it was still very sticky. Yet the white yarn I’d spun in class wasn’t, and I’d used the same instructions.
I washed it again. And again. And again. I swear, I’ve washed it more than seven times, and it’s still a bit greasy. Maybe this is because I use detergent for sensitive skins, which is gentle on the environment. Whatever the reason, the loom had been warped and waiting for some time, the yarn no longer smelled rancid, and I decided to get on with it. After all, I can wash it again after it’s woven.
I wound the yarn into balls:
And started weaving:
The fabric it’s forming is, well, not as drapey as I’d imagined. That vision in my head of a garment folding and hanging dramatically is starting to crumple. But I’m thinking that maybe if I felt the finished pieces, which surely would get rid of the last of the grease, I could use it as fabric and sew up a vest or something.
Which would be fine, if I actually liked sewing.