Inspiration and Alpacas

Posted on 22 May 2012

A bit of weaving has been done lately, although not as much as I would like. Other projects keep getting in the way and I sprained my foot by falling off the sofa (only I can do such things) which had me laid up for a few days.
However, I have had a chance to visit the amazing labcraft exhibition at the Barony in West Kilbride.
This exhibition is of a range of crafts that used digital technology to help produce the final pieces. There were some textile pieces and some were woven which were really impressive.

Paper folded woven material

Paper folded woven material

This was my favourite piece in the exhibition. It’s 2 large pieces of woven fabric that have been folded to create the 3D texture. The way these pieces are hung in the main window area of the gallery is stunning.
I also really liked these twill etched wooden blocks.
Wooden Twill

Wooden Twill

It’s a nice twist on a simple twill structure and make a great wall hanging.
The fact that the Barony Gallery is now open in the village and bringing in such great exhibitions is brilliant as there is nothing better than to easily go and see some inspiring work in beautiful surroundings.
Feeling spurred on by the exhibition I’ve started a new collection of summer scarves using a lace weight alpaca yarn.
The first one was done on my Knitters Loom, which I think I’ll start calling Kitty.
It’s a spaced warp, my first ever and here’s a picture of it when it first went on the loom.
Alpaca spaced warp

Alpaca spaced warp

I left 2 dents empty between each block when sleying. and then left about 1 inch between each weft block when weaving.
It ended up looking like this before washing.
Alpaca scarf

Alpaca scarf

Then after washing it turned into this.
Blue alpaca scarf

Blue alpaca scarf

You can see that there aren’t really any defined gaps now and it’s all floated into a gently resting place. I like how the squares of plain weave have also formed and gathered together.
The scarf itself is wonderfully lightweight and soft and is definitely one for all the year round.
I’m now going to develop a collection of similar scarves in differing patterns and colour ways and try and get them done for the end of June.
Here’s the warp for the next one ready to go.
Warp Cross

Warp Cross

The alpaca thing hasn’t quite finished as I went and met 82 of them at Gilmour Bank Alpaca farm near Dumfries with the Clyde Coast Guild on Sunday.
It was a brilliant day as the sun came out and the alpacas and Margot and Cathy at the farm were so lovely and inviting. I’d already bought some fleece from them in November, but I couldn’t help getting some of the black fleece from Zeb who is wearing the green jacket below.
Zeb the alpaca

Zeb the alpaca

He is a rescue alpaca that has come to the farm to live and they’re not sure what happened to him but he has lost a lot of his fleece. They did manage to shear what they could from him and he’s now got bald patches, hence the coat. His fleece is a deep dark brown/black colour, and so soft and squishy I had to have some. After learning that the way to spin alpaca is to flick card the tips and spin straight from the tip end I’ve now gotten over my alpaca spinning fear and loving it.
A lot has been going on here and the next couple of weeks are proving as busy, but fingers crossed I can get 9 scarves woven before I head to Woolfest.

 

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