Random thoughts of a fiber enthusiast - mostly fiber related, sometimes coherent

Month: January 2013


The warp I used for the vest fabric is Cotton Ice. Cotton Ice is a cabled yarn, which means that it is plied twice.

In this particular case, the yarn was initially spun in the S direction, one each of cotton and rayon. Then the 2 singles were plied together in the Z direction. Last step, which makes this a cabled yarn, multiple strands (3 in this case) of the plied yarn were then plied again in the opposite direction, S. As with all spun yarn, the starting spin direction can be either S or Z.

What’s important to my little story here is that the last direction this particular yarn was twisted in was S. (My typical 2 ply yarn ends with a Z twist.)

Now let me show you a couple of pictures of my selvedges…

CottonIceLeft CottonIceRight

The photo on the left is my left selvedge thread along with a warp thread a bit further in the web. The photo on the right shows my right selvedge thread along with a warp thread in the web.

I don’t know if you can see it but the left selvedge thread has become untwisted during the weaving process. Looking to the right, the right selvedge thread has become more twisted.

I once had a chenille baby blanket “fall apart” on the left selvedge. The yarn was untwisting and the fluff was falling out. All I was left was the bare threads that was to hold the fibers in. In looking at this, the chenille must have ended with an S twist.

My theory is that in throwing my shuttle from left to right, I am, ever so slightly, putting in a Z twist to the yarn, thereby, removing twist from the yarn. On the right side of the warp, I am doing the opposite — putting an S twist to the yarn, thereby adding twist to the yarn.

This is going to require a few more warps and paying close attention to what is happening to my selvedges with plain old 2 ply yarn. But it also creates some avenues of thought and experiments.

Stay tuned.

Stash Busting Yardage




I had so much fun making my jacket, I signed up for another sewing class with Daryl Lancaster in February. This time the workshop is the Jumpstart Vest.

With only two weeks to figure out a fabric, I decided to work from stash. I came up with some Newton’s Country Yarns Cotton Ice (50/50 cotton/rayon) in blue/green/purple (*). I couldn’t figure out what weft to pair with it so I went to my stash and came up with tube of lilac Cottolin (60/40 cotton/linen). Perfect! I knew there was a reason to all that yarn in the garage! (**)



Finished Fabric

  • Finishing Technique: front load washer on “Quick Wash” cycle, warm/cold; dryer for 15 minutes with jeans; pressed while damp
  • Length: 4.2 yards
  • Width: 19.5″

Now, I just need to figure out my lining. I think I have some white silk fabric and purple dye in the stash.

* By the way, Newton’s Country website says Cotton Ice is 2100 ypp. When I measured it on my McMorran Yarn Balance, I came up with 1500 ypp.

** It’s scary how much weaving yarn I accumulated in such short order. I’d better get weaving!

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