RMan and I went through to Swellendam for our weekly shop yesterday, so that we could toddle over the mountain to Barrydale this morning. There was a particular place I wanted to visit there.
Actually, it all started two weeks ago when we had the alpaca's sheared - more about the shearing in a later posting.
The result of that shearing was three dustbin bags full of fibre. When you add that fibre to last years bags that made 6 bags - of saddle (back and sides) fibre. So, no excuses - now it is seriously time to do something with it all :)
Thus - the trip to Barrydale. I discovered that there is a placce there that weaves by hand, and I was seriously considering weaving the yarn once it has been for processing.
|Barrydale Hand Weavers|
Arriving in Barrydale, we took the right hand turn (towards Oudtshoorn) and the Barrydale Hand Weavers shop is the last one on the left hand side.
Entering the shop all you see are looms - and I mean looms everywhere.
|Weaving looks so simple...|
|...But I think that is because Janine was doing the|
work. Me - I'm hopeless LOL
(Note the large roll of warp threads on the very
right hand side of the loom beind the "wheel")
Janine, one of the loom operators offered me a go - I leapt at it because I had been researching carders, spinning machines and looms online for the past few weeks.
Ho, boy - am I ever glad that I tried it. Weaving is not easy - your right hand is constantly busy with the shuttle cord - to them right, then to the left, then to the right... and your right and left legs are both doing their independent thing opening up the two warps, and your left hand has it's own chore too - beating the weave tight after each run.
I managed to create some loose weave (which Janine had to correct LOL) but the exercise taught me that I may just be too old to try and learn something new - at least trying to learn hand weaving LOL
|This is the apparatus which they use to spin the|
warp for the weaving machine
Barrydale Weavers even spin / prepare their warp threads. The machine that Janine was using had 67 bats of 12 threads each - that is a seriously fine weave.
What a lovely bunch of friendly, helpful people - from Janine the weaver, to Tivane Mavuma, the gentleman who started the hand weaving business in Swaziland years ago, and finally to Carol - the owner. No question was too much trouble, everything was clearly explained, and the staff all seemed content with their work.
|Temptation abounds in the shop. I restricted|
myself to purchasing a cotton scarf only... :)
We, naturally, visited the shop whilst we were there and left with a beautiful woven cotton scarf - it'll be perfect for keeping the draft off my neck next winter.
A floor loom - too much dexterity and (foot) pressure required - perhaps a rigid table loom would be more appropriate?
So - apart from the table loom, I reckon the next thing I'm going to investigate is felting. All I will need to buy is a carding machine - to align all the fibres in one direction. That way I will be able to use every scrap of fibre - even the short hairs from the legs and necks.
RMan and I had a lovely morning - and one befitting celebrating our 34 years. Now, I'm off the get our special dinner of garlic prawns prepped, make a savoury rice, and a large bowl of lemon garlic butter in which to dunk the prawns...