Adventure in 2/26s wool

Some time ago I bought several cones of 2/26s wool mill ends, not really realizing what a thin yarn it is.  With so much of it on hand, the only thing to go for was a shawl.  Originally, I thought to do a flattish waffle weave to give it some texture, and I started warping based on that idea, alternating 6 ends of each color (dark green and tan).  Somewhere in the middle of the warping process I tested the yarn for strength, and it broke very easily.  Oops – maybe not the best for waffle weave with its longer floats (although I later considered that this yarn is used in mills on commercial looms, so must have some durability).  I did a search and found that someone had used this yarn for 2/2 twill at 34 epi, and said it was very easy to work with.   I found a nice 2/2 twill structure (Dixon p. 216), and continued warping for that, alternating the colors one to one for a shadow weave.  This all took a while because there were a total of 796 ends.

Here’s how the warp looked with  the change of structure in the middle.


I was pretty sure I could still thread alternating the colors one to one, creating slightly crossed threads behind the heddles, and that turned out not to be a problem.  The biggest issue was that the wool yarn was a little sticky, so the weaving was slow, with a lot of warp strumming between picks.


Off the loom, there were some skipped threads to fix, but not too many.  The fringe is about 4 inches, and I just left it loose – it sticks to itself, but it adds some interest.  I hand washed in very hot water with medium agitation, and let sit until the water cooled.  Dried flat.  It softened up a bit, and the shrinkage was only about 4%.  Finished dimensions 76″ x 21.25″.  There didn’t seem to be significant fulling, but the cloth definitely holds together.



I’m very pleased with it.