Hi all. I still have skeins of handspun wool yarn, waiting patiently to be used to create somethin lovely. Do the different wool breeds (romney, bfl, corriedale, shetland, etc.) have different shrinkage? Logic tells me that wool is wool as far as shrinkage, but I think the way it spins will make a difference. I have a bit of CVM that I spun that is very springy, so even if that doesn't shrink differently it will react differently as warp or weft and may cause puckers or ripples. Right? I mostly have small skeins (mostly 4, some 8 ounces) and would like to weave a blanket using a mixture of these yarns. Or would it be safer to use my little frame looms to weave squares and triangles and piece them together?
I recently saw a shawl tigereye (dang--we don't have the ability to magic-link/ping people on Weav) wove in a class taught by Robin Lynde and she used some of her different "art" handspuns in it. IIRC, she spaced the handspun out amongst the warps, so each strand of different handspun was surrounded by more stable warps. The handspun added pretty vertical stripes, and she didn't say anything about differential shrinkage.
I was using handspun warp from different wools in broad stripes (about 2" width) and when I started weaving they were stretching at different rates giving me very wiggly stripes, so I had to abandon that idea. I think it might have worked OK with narrow stripes, or else weighting the stretchy bits differently by hanging bottles of water or something off the back beam. But even then the shrinkage would probably have been different. Even with weft yarns I've had to be careful what I mix. My 1st attempt was mainly wool with a few bands of mohair and this didn't shrink at all while the wool did. (It was OK but only just). Another time I found the bands of wensleydale shrank much less than the other higher crimp wools. So I think it must relate to wool type and particularly to crimp. Again, if I'd mixed the yarns more (as you suggest) I'd have had better results. But next time I'm going for (mostly) alpaca with contrast stripes of recycled silk (handspun and quite bobbly) so that'll be interesting!
Thought I'd post in my experience with both using handspun yarns and differential shrinkage.
Many years ago, by accident, I found out about collapse weave and energized yarns. I have used this experience and
pursued this effect by purposely using merino wool yarns and less shrinking yarns such as, alpaca, mohair, and lustrous types of wool like Finn, Whelch, ect...
I like to use silk yarn for weft, because it will stabilize the shrinkage from the warp and leave a nice hand to the fabric.
I also favour different denting, depending on the yarns. More space between sticky yarns, and closer with finer yarns.
For me, differential shrinkage is still an adventure and a most interesting subject to experiment.