Thursday, March 12, 2009

Midnight Madness [Scarf 24]

Ever have one of those nights when you just can't seem to go to bed, never mind to sleep? When you stay up so late that you get too tired to go to sleep, and then you wind up doing really improbable things? That was me last night, which is why at 3:00 aye em I was suddenly inspired to do something I've thought about vaguely from time to time, mostly in the context of "Yeah, that's possible but I'm sure never going to do it..."

The "it" in question was taking two commercial yarns and plying them together to make a heavier one. Actually, I started first with four strands of 2/8, two cotton and two acrylic, and plied those together into an 8/8. I only did a little bit but it worked okay, so then I took two strands of 2/8, each of which was a colour that I thought would work well on Warp 7, and plied them into the ball of "4/8" you see above. I didn't want to overspin them too much so they're not plied together very tightly; even at that they still kink back on themselves. I'm hoping the overtwist might do something funky when the scarf is washed. :)

Turns out I didn't wind very much of it - I just decided around 4:00 that I was done for the night, thankyouverymuch, and skeined the little bit that I had. When I wound my miniskein into a ball this morning, it weight 19 grams. Not really enough for a scarf but I figured I'd just see how long it turned out. Answer is: 50" exactly. Too short for a scarf but kinda long for a scarflette, so now I'm thinking I might cut a piece off one end to make a little knot/wrapper out of and turn the rest into a scarflette of some description.

The length might've been shorter than I'd hoped for but I was pretty happy with the colour and even with the amount of twist in the weft once it was woven. :) It's just possible I might try this plying business again - but hopefully not in the middle of the night!

Here are the pics of my hand plied mini-scarf:

The plied yarn wound onto a pirn and the first bit of weaving. Can you see the two tone weft?

A close up of the two tone weft. Click the pic to see it Size Big.

The finished mini-scarf.

See you tomorrow for Guest Scarfa #2 by Margaret Thorson of Waldron Island, Washington!


jackie said...

I've had the same sort of thought before followed by the same "not in my lifetime" response! I'm glad that it worked out so well for you!
I have been reading a bunch about weaving with overspun yarn in various mags lately and I wonder if it could be overspun by hand. Hmmmmmmm.
Thanks for sharing your 3 am doings.

karin roepel said...

Why is it our best ideas come in the pre-dawn hours or a shower moment. I stayed up way past bedtime the other night analyzing your pattern to use with some natural hand-spuns that I thought would look great. Would that be "Scarf-lifing"? As soon as I get the coverlet squares off and the Huck lace workshop warped a scarf is next.


Peg in South Carolina said...

Pretty neat! Can be done with fine yarns too! Also, instead of doubling, you can use the same concept in creating a warp (though that might take more time than your plying concept).

Anonymous said...

I've loved following your scarfa blog over the last couple of weeks, and I absolutely *devoured* the archive posts. It's probably a good thing that there weren't any more of them, for the sake of my day job.

I've played a bit with plying commercial yarns, so this is where I thought I'd jump in. If you want a final yarn that is balanced, the trick is first to run each component yarn through your wheel, tightening the existing final plying twist. Then ply your yarns together. I've done this with three strands of 2-ply embroidery wool, to give me a cabled six-ply yarn. which I still ahven't knit with (see here). It's a very quick, easy thing to do requiring minimal concentration. Great for watching telly/talking on the phone etc.

Oh - and some folks on a weaving group on Ravelry have been making moebius cowls from too-short scarves, by twisting the scarf once then sewing the ends together (the fringe can remain if you like it - usually, I do). I don't know if that idea would work for you, but I thought I'd mention it anyway.

Janet said...

Woooot! Thanks so much for the tip re: plying yarns - I thought that would be the solution but really I'm not much of a spinner so I wasn't sure if my sleep addled brain was giving me good advice.

There's a weaving group on Ravelry!? I just joined a week or so ago but haven't really hunted for groups yet - just joined the Planet Janet group 'cause I got an invite (a group formed entirely of Janets - how great is that??). I am off Right Now to hunt down this weaving group of which you speak!

Anonymous said...

There are *loads* of weaving groups. I particularly like Shuttle Moves - and I think you would, too, the idea being to do a little every day. ;) Heck, there's a brewers group, and greyhound-lovers groups and more spinning groups than I can shake a stick at. I figure I have half a chance of getting on well with someone I have a hobby in common with - but a far better chance if it's two hobbies, unrelated to one another. ;)

Janet said...

You're not kidding! 237 groups, in point of fact - gaaah! I've joined the Warped Weavers and the WeaveZine Fans but will definitely hunt down the Shuttle Moves too. :)