Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Weaving with 100% British Wool - handspun

With the latest YarnMaker at the printers (due to be published next week) I had time for some weaving last weekend.

This year we adopted a third cat, Jasper, who has been a neighbour and friend of our Annie and Pheobe for several years (see this post from the past). Jasper has been sleeping on the sofa on one of my best Stows of Sowerby blankets, and I rather wanted it back to snuggle in on cold summer evenings. So, it was about time he had his own snug cat bed and blanket.

This is the blanket woven by Stows of Sowerby, who had a modern Italian power loom in a barn on a farm in Yorkshire, and retired a few years ago.


Jasper did have a basket and blanket before, for a while, but Pheobe claimed it, so I had to start again. She's top cat and no-one argues with Pheobe.



I have a huge stash of handspun yarns. Most of these were spun in 2006.  The wools that went into the blanket include Black Welsh Mountain, Grey Welsh Mountain, Manx Loaghtan, Shetland, Jacob. Some were spun fairly thick like an aran weight yarn, others like a fine sock wool.  There was a good mix of colour, yarn weights and texture.



This photo shows the warp yarns ready to wind onto the cloth beam of my Ashford Knitters Loom, with a 10 dpi reed.


I found that I like using the Glimakra rug shuttle as it passes through the shed without friction.




Here is the new blanket when cut off the loom, before washing in hot and cold water to full the fabric, after which the loose ends and the tassels were trimmed.



When Jasper found his new bed, to my surprise he climbed in confidently and greeted it with loud purring. He seems very pleased indeed.



From this place of his own he can watch what crazy little Annie is up to. 



Annie has a Plague Rat, from Sally Pointer. 







3 comments:

Meg in Nelson said...

For some reason I had imagined Jasper to be big, old and not cute, but he's lovely! Welcome back to weaving, Dot!!

Trapunto said...

Sweet! I can't tell you how much I love this idea. And how well it turned out! Perfect size for a small project, but also (barring a layer of shed cat hair, but who sees cat hair anymore) a natural context for display. Cat blanket sampling could be a new trend...

Unfortunately my cat needs a new wool sleeping-chair blanket sooner than I can weave one, so unlike lucky Jasper, he's going to have to put up with some old coatweight wool from my granny that the moths got to.

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