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Handspun for Backstrap weaving

Kristina's picture

 Hi, 

Lately, we have discussed at the  thread Respinning commercial  yarn for backstrap already over handspun . As always, the thread is already so long that I do want to put more questions on hand spinning for Backstrap at this new thread.

 i started yesterday with spinning Llamawool.

 

I tried to spin very hard. now I´m not sure about what to do next.

I`ve read in  one book about the weaving traditions of highland bolivia, that there were three steps in producing yarn for backstrap:

1. Spinning a strong single ,

2. Make a Two- Ply yarn,

and 3. after dying give the yarn a third spinning to produce a crepe twist, a spin so tight, that the yarn when it is not under tension twists back on itself.

 I want to trie this, but I will try to weave with singles too.

 What do you think?

 

 Greetings from the cloudy autumnal Germany!

Kristina

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bolivian warmi's picture
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I have never tried singles,

I have never tried singles, Kristina. All the weavers I have studied with here have plied. They have also dyed after plying and not respun after that so that is what I do. So you are going to show us all what is possible!

Thank you for starting this new topic.

Laverne

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Aunt Janet's picture
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Kristina,    I like your

Kristina,

   I like your experiment.  Thanks also for the three step description for Bolivian traditional spinning for backstrap weaving.  I am weaving with some handspun now, myself.  I spun my singles very tightly, then made a three ply.  I won't do that again.  It was very difficult to ply the highly twisted stuff, but two ply would have been much easier.  My next yarn is two ply alpaca.  I'm just putting in a lot of twist in the singles.  I haven't tried the re-spinning part, yet.  It really seems that the twist in the three ply is sufficient without retwisting.  I am wondering why the re-twist.  Traditional, but what is the reason. 

I took my backstrap with double weave and handspun to my guild meeting last night.  The warp slipped off the far stick, and I now have a mess.  I havent' had time to weave in the past couple of days.  Busy at work.  Now it will take me half an hour to untangle the mess.  Won't let that happen again.  I'm glad it is narrow.

Aunt Janet

 

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Kristina's picture
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Oje,you poor. I have already

Oje,you poor.

I have already considered the experiment with the single yarn on inkleloom  , so I can make sure that the threads are always under tension and will not messed up. 

Kristina

 

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francorios's picture
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Joined: 06/08/2009
Janet, Thank you for the

Janet,

Thank you for the reminder to tie a safety string on every part of the backstrap loom. I hate when I lean to the side, usually to pick up my glass of diet cola, and the warp rolls left or right and something falls off or falls out.

Have a good day!

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Kristina's picture
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  Ok, here a just two

  Ok, here a just two pictures about the progress. It`s early dark  now in Germany so  i have to take tomorrow better onces with daylight.

But just for showing. I took the warp today on inkle, because, the singles were twinsting and flexible- that it was an unexspected hard job. But now they are fixed!!

 I started weaving late in the evening, the yarn  is very sticky and  a very elastic. 

But more tomorrow.

Kristina

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bolivian warmi's picture
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Oh boy I love the colors. It

Oh boy I love the colors.

It looks quite hairy.I am sure it is hard work opening the sheds. Are you hearing the ugly tearing sound as you open the shed? You are doing double weave, right? I can see two wefts. The sheds are that much harder to open in double weave because you have twice the number of warps in there.

Here is a double woven band I did with my handspun llama. It doesn't look as hairy as your yarn.  

The elasticity of the yarn was a problem for me too. You end up with some warps stretched out more than the others and you have to be constantly adjusting for that.

Anyway, it is looking great. I know it is hard work but keep going!!

Laverne

 

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Kristina's picture
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   Yes it is hairy, and

   Yes it is hairy, and really hard to handle!! 

 

My fingers hurt already.  This morning I  decided to make a new warp. The two Llamacolors were not  contrasting enough for the doubleweave .

 

Now you can see my second trial.  I had spun some red sheep yarn for contrast. This worked better, but singles are really unkomfortable to work with. Next thing is I will spin thinner and make a two-plyed yarn.

Laverne, I´m very impressed about your selfspun band!! What about the colors in your selfspun? They doesn`t look like plant colors.

 I think dying must wait till spring - it`s to unpleasant to work in the garage. 

Kristina

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bolivian warmi's picture
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Well that's a nice contrast

Well that's a nice contrast and looks like it must be easier to work with-less hairy from what I can tell in the picture. I thought the black would have contrasted nicely with the tan you wrere using originally but I guess not.

My band has all natural dyes. The very outside tan color is the natural llama color. The pink is cochineal with alum mordant. The green is coca leaves and yerba leaves with iron mordant and the strange gray/mauve color is cochineal with copper sulphate mordant.

I am very ''bad'' and dye everything in my kitchen with enamel pots but take good care with the copper sulphate and other nasty mordants.

I spin very fine and ply just because that's the way I was taught here. I don't think I could spin thick even if I wanted to!

Laverne

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Kristina's picture
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In the kitchen ... does not

In the kitchen ... does not work for me. My husband is very sensitive as far as odors. I once dyed with Alkanna in the kitchen - smells terrible in the whole house. Since then I have to do stinking things in the garage .

 But that`s no problem.

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Kristina's picture
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  Just to show to the

 

Just to show to the progress. In recent days I have tried to spin quite thin. The first strang is plyed and  to see in the photo-as compared to the single, that I have used for the last weaving. I have to change much because I usually had spun wool for knitting. So thin is hard for me ( except cotton). But helpfull was the last photo of Lavernes selfspun band to get an idea.

Kristina

 

 

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Aunt Janet's picture
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You're welcome, Franco.  I

You're welcome, Franco.  I got it under control and finished the band. I will tie safty strings on everything in the future. The patterning on it could be better.  I had difficulties with scroll patterns, so I made hexagons, diamonds, arrows, diagonal stripes, and the word SAMPLE.  Even though it looks comical with the mismatched patterns I really love this band.  The feel is wonderful.  DH wraped it around his head and wore it for the evening.  I guess he also liked how it feels.  I twisted a nice long fringe.  If it were longer I would just wear it as a belt, but it is a little short for that.  I'm going to weave a bag to go with it.  Yes, I will get photos up soon.

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Caroline's picture
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Yes, it is quite different

Yes, it is quite different from spinning for knitting. I'm using my charkha-spun sari silk singles as weft to weave mug rugs, and its hard to handle as a single. Its quite energetic, hehe, and because its also quite hairy and textured, when it twists back on itself on the shuttle I have to stop and untangle it - next time I shall spin thinner yet again and ply it to over come this.

I usually use a spindle to spin fine yarn, so its a case of making friends with the Babe again to get the result I want.

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bolivian warmi's picture
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I have been spinning alpaca

I have been spinning alpaca fiber for a backstrap project...

This fiber was given to me by my friend Janet in the US. I have spun and woven with llama fiber until now. The fiber that I buy here is coarse, dry and filthy...a lot of work. I overspin it as the weavers here do with their llama fiber and wool so that it will stand up to the abrasion of string heddles and warp-faced weaving on the backstrap loom. While the pieces that I have made with this poor quality llama fiber look fine, they don't feel nice...they are very harsh.

I was determined not to have this happen with the alpaca and wanted to see if all that overtwist was really necessary when one is working with good quality well prepared fiber. So I spun the alpaca with only the slightest amount of overtwist and made this pouch for my passport...

It feels soft, was easy to handle on the loom as it didn't go curling up on itself all the time with excessive overtwist and stood up well to the abrasion of the heddles...no broken or shredded warps. Now I wnat to see if I can improve the feel of future llama fiber projects.

BTW the design on the pouch is from a belt woven by the Tarahumara people of Mexico. The edging is a nawi awapa tubular band which is woven here in Bolivia and Peru.

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bolivian warmi's picture
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I finished my first sample

I finished my first sample batch of handspun alpaca with this little project. I had wanted to see if the fiber really needed to be heavily overtwisted in order to be suitable for backstrap weaving as most handspun yarn in Bolivia is.

I overtwisted it ever so slightly. You can see that it doesn't kink up on itself.

Clearing the sheds was not easy but the softness of the woven result was worth it, I think

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Claudia Segal's picture
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It looks as soft as only

It looks as soft as only alpaca can feel! Oh, for feel-o-vision!

Did you ply the yarn or use singles?  Very nicely done,  very nice.  Thanks for adding it to the projects.  I have a feeling the FB gremlins may find it!

Claudia

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Alison's picture
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The pattern is very pretty

The pattern is very pretty too.  The entire structure is designed to be stiff starting with a coarser fiber, overtwist and then the warp-faced, dense-packed weaving.  Who needs starch?!

It will be interesting to see how your experiments progress.

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