3rd Online Display – Mairghread “Molly” Huntley

Name: Mairghread “Molly” Huntley

Location: Riding of RavensBridge

Wiki: https://wiki.eastkingdom.org/wiki/Mairghread_Huntley

Taking a step away from knitting and tablet weaving, spinning has been my recent focus. While spinning a variety of different fibers I decided to gather up a bit of some small batches I’ve spun, do the math, and tablet weave a basic band to see how the wools would weave up. While it’s an interesting band, I learned much more about fibers and how they behave in different ways when used in different types of projects.

I thought to myself “So Merino wool isn’t a period fiber, it can’t be hard to tablet weave with, right?” Wrong! I created this tablet woven band using fibers I spun. The warp is white merino, orange long wool, and yellow blended wool. The weft is a hemp yarn spun while wet for smoothness.

As with every undertaking, you never know if it is going to be the most wonderful thing ever made, or a fantastic failure. This band is a bit of both. On a whim, I gathered up some spun singles, did the math, and set up a simple tablet woven band to see what would happen when I really put my singles to the test. Surprisingly, what happened is that the merino on the borders fell apart as I wove. This was due to merino having a short-staple and tablets causing wear and tear on the wool. The long wool part of the band (the orange) held together beautifully and helped support the white merino in the pattern, as well as the blended wool of the yellow. The wool in the border cards fell apart in my hands at times, but it pushed my weaving skills to the limit to see how long the band could be held together. It has pushed me to research sheep and wool further, setting up for my next spinning and weaving project!

The majority of extant bands woven of wool have a cellulose weft. Cellulose, being a plant fiber, is smoother than wool and keeps the band from felting together as it’s woven. As I had been spinning hemp, I decided it was perfect for this experimental band that took on a life of its own as I learned why certain wools are better for knitting and others are better for weaving.

Spinning in itself is a fantastic adventure but taking those spun singles and weaving them into a finished band taught me so much more than I thought possible. Further, it proved that I truly could take fiber from clean to a finished tablet woven band.  

10 thoughts on “3rd Online Display – Mairghread “Molly” Huntley

  1. Yay! Welcome to exploring fibers!
    Query – did you pay attention to your twist direction of your fiber + twist direction of your tablets?
    Your merino you had issues with, how tightly twisted was is?
    I have a tablet project with singles and I am being super paranoid watching how the twist of the tablets is affecting the twist of my yarns.
    I am a fellow fiber nerd, and so am super excited that you are exploring all of these things. “It’s just yarn” but there is sooooooo much to that. Yay sticks and strings!
    Thank you so much for sharing!

    1. I’ve been a fibers person most of my life, but have really ramped things up the past eight years or so.

      I am always paying attention to the twist of all fibers as I tablet weave, but this was such a simple four forward, four back that I didn’t run into any issues there. It was the border cards that had the most merino, and I was turning them forward to keep the borders smooth.

      This whole thing was a whim as I had a little bit of the orange, a tiny bit of the yellow, and miles of the white. Normally I’m bad about over-spinning as I know I can ply the twist to where it should be, or I can hang it out after when setting the yarn. That being said, the white merino didn’t have as much twist as the project needed.

      Normally I wouldn’t let a piece like this be seen by the outside world, but my laurel pushed me to put it into a display, and then to share here and I’m glad I did. Not every project is perfect and we need to show off the pieces we learn from as well as the pieces that work out perfectly.

      I love chatting with other fiber nerds. Friend request sent.

      Thanks for all your questions and support. If you have more, I’ll try to answer them. Also, here’s a link to my blog post about this piece.

  2. You did a great job, and it sounds like the project taught you many things to carry forward! Keep up the great work!

    1. Thanks!

      I learned so much from this piece. My laurel pushed me to put it in because of what I learned from it, not because it’s a successful or beautiful piece, but to remind others that the biggest messes are sometimes the best projects as we learn so much from them. I have to admit that most of my weaving/spinning/knitting/cord projects have worked out, so putting this piece in was hard for me. Hard to put it out there since it didn’t work, but if it pushes others to try things with learning as the focus, rather than a spectacular piece, I will feel that much more about putting this out there.

  3. Welcome to the addictive world of string! *glances over at two mugs full of drop spindles in sight* Or, maybe I should say welcome deeper into the woods of string things? I hope you had fun in the process!

  4. I don’t know enough about either spinning or weaving to make intelligent comments on the product. The work put into understanding the depth of the project is considerable. To think out the staple of the various yarns , how they’d work together and how the cards would affect them seems quite amazing. Good work!

Comments are closed.

Proudly powered by WordPress | Theme: Baskerville 2 by Anders Noren.

Up ↑