Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Ready? Sett? No!
(or "What's on the Loom?)

I came across this Silk Bamboo on the shelf at Joann's and curiosity got the better of me. I've been intrigued with bamboo yarns since this scarf was finished. The idea of it being combined with 30% silk was irresistable.

Though packaged as a knitting yarn, the weaving possibilities were of greater interest to me. So, I wrapped to get an idea of ends per inch, then I went back to my notes on that scarf. The scarf was sett considerably more dense than I would have thought. Also, my warp plan was for a deflected double weave which calls for a close sett. So I started at 21 EPI and got this after washing and drying:

The finishing experience was much like the one described in the scarf post. The web is much stiffer than one would expect of the yarn before finishing. It becomes even stiffer when wet (think cardboard). Once completely dry, the yarn returns to a wonderfully fluid drape. This fabric is incredibly cushy and soft. It would make a wonderful, warm baby blanket (expensive, but wonderful). However, I was thinking more along the lines of a scarf....this sett would not do.

So I opened the sett to almost half the original, re-sleying to 12 EPI. However, when I sat down at the loom, I was a bit perturbed over a non-weaving situation and beat the weft almost as hard as the previous sample. The yarn is softly spun and packed right in, ending up like this:

The swatch on the left has been washed, the one on the right has not. As you can see, such a tight beat prevented the migration of the warp threads, so there are long weft floats showing.

Back to the loom with a lighter touch on the beater:

I think this should be about right. The first scarf is complete, I'll weave off the second one before wet finishing and will share the result. This shot gives you a glimpse of the luster that drew me to this yarn.

BTW...I've looked around the web for a bamboo-silk weaving yarn of finer grist (this is about a dk weight) and didn't find anything. There is a bamboo-silk sock yarn, but it has the requisite nylon included in sock yarn. If you know of a source for a weaving yarn, please leave it in the comments. Thanks!


  1. I always find that it takes a little bit of retraining when I weave a piece that I'm intending to full. The weaving always goes a little slower for me, since I'm trying to beat consistently and leave room between the picks.

    I love the colors you've chosen - can't wait to see the finished piece!

    Have you tried Habu for the bamboo/silk? They always have such interesting yarn...

  2. Wendy E9:44 AM

    How about Crystal Palace "Panda Silk"? Sock yarn without nylon, but has wool instead. 52% bamboo, and only 5% silk, and 43% superwash merino. Still, the sheen is beautiful. Pricey - I paid $9 for each 204 yds.

    Beautiful fabric! I can't wait to see the finished scarves. Every time I come here, I want to drag out my loom and start something gorgeous. One of these days...

  3. Bamboo-silk sounds like rayon when washed. It's stiff and inflexible, when when it comes out of the drier, it's completely soft and drapey. It's too hot today for me to process why that it - maybe I'll think about it tomorrow.


tie in the loose ends...