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News about My Fine Weaving Yarn - new products, manufacturer news, and what we are up to!
  • Weaving With Linen

    We have just added some lovely linen to the web shop.

    Linen can have a reputation for being difficult to work with although lots of weavers use it without any difficulties I was a bit apprehensive about starting my first project with it.

    I'm pleased to say that it wasn't anything like as difficult as I had thought it might be and behaved far better than it's reputation suggests.

    I warped in small bouts using a sectional beam. I use an AVL warping wheel so transferring each bout to the loom was relatively straightforward and I was able to ensure the tension was even. Firm, even tension is very important. If you are warping on to a plain beam and have a helper available, take advantage and use them! The singles linen in definitely more lively than the plied yarn, so you might prefer to start with  plied yarn for your first project. This liveliness also means you ned to take extra care winding bobbins. Wind them firmly and evenly and try not to have areas where there is more build up, I found the yarn could loosen here and then jump off and get caught on the spindle of the shuttle, usually the quickest way to rectify this was to rewind the bobbin, but the best way was to wind the bobbin so it didn't happen!

    Firm, perfectly even tension is the single most important factor is setting up your loom to weave with linen. Most of the literature suggests tying on using  a strong smooth cord to lash small bouts to the apron rod on the front beam. Once all of the bouts are secured, it is possible to even out the tension by adjusting the cord. If you haven't tried this method of tying on there is an excellent tutorial on the Ashford website. As well as helping with tension, this method wastes less yarn.

    https://www.ashford.co.nz/tutorials/weaving-tutorials

    It doesn't have to be tensioned so tightly that producing a shed becomes impossible, (the  lack elasticity means it needs to be able to move enough to make the shed.) For me it soon became apparent what the optimum tension needed to be each time I advanced and re-tensioned the warp. Too loose and the shuttle took a nose dive to the floor, just right made a lovely wide shed. Advance the warp frequently. I found every inch or so gave the best results. It's good weaving  practice  to wind on frequently but it's all to easy to get in the zone and  find your fell line and beater are nearly at the heddles and your shed has shrunk if you don't!  Beat evenly, remember that other than take up linen doesn't shrink much once off the loom so is less forgiving of an uneven beat than other fibres.

    Linen is inelastic and not very forgiving you if you poke or catch a warp thread on the way through with a stick shuttle or the nose of a boat shuttle.  I found a quick thrum over  the warp would return a thread that has had a tiny little bump but  a real bash as is possible with a stick shuttle, made the  thread baggy and had to be dealt with. I am not a lover of stick shuttles generally but appreciate that boat shuttles and the necessary winder are an additional expense, and that many weavers never use anything else. If you are using stick shuttles  be aware of the potential for them catching and be sure to pass them close up next to the beater and wind on regularly to keep the shed at an optimum size.

    After fighting with what I thought were just loose threads I finally checked and found a big threading mistake and a twist in the reed threading.  Well we all know what thought did don't we?  Had I  checked the threading first  I would have been weaving happy a lot sooner! Once the threading mistake and twist in the reed threading was sorted I just had a few  loose threads to deal with. I found that the best way to deal with the really loose ones was to cut them and treat them as a broken thread; splicing in a a new length of yarn weighted at the back. Once the original warp had caught up I could pin it back in and continue weaving. Where there was just a little bit of slack I pulled it forward, wrapped it around a pin with the intention to ease it out to the ends when the cloth is of the loom.

    The suppliers  weave runners, curtains, towels etc in their factory in Sweden on old jacquard looms. They keep the factory at 72% humidity and lots of the literature suggest finding ways to keep the yarn damp. Vaxbolin suggest keeping  a bowl of water under the loom to increase the humidity around the loom. We have 2 young, busy and very  'helpful' whippets, and a bowl of water wasn't going to stay in the bowl for long! This meant  I tried out some different ways to humidify the warp in progress. I tried leaving a dampened towel across the back of the loom or spritzing the warp with a plant sprayer every time I rolled on. I also tried winding the bobbins with the thread running through a damp cloth. I also tried weaving with everything as it was, i.e no additional humidity and didn't find there was any difference in how things went. However weaving in the winter with the central heating cranked up might need some additional moisture  in the atmosphere  to help the weaving go well. As linen is stronger when wet dampening the yarn may well be beneficial when weaving with finer counts or if you are having problems with broken threads.

    I tried hard not to fuss about my edges. Easier said than done I know but if I made sure that the yarn was just snugged up against the edge and  laid in at around 30 degree angle so there was enough yarn for the take so up my edges were straight and tidy. You will need to experiment to find the best angle. Not paying attention did lead to loops at the edge and as I know these wouldn't disappear so I did redo the row as long as I spotted it in time. However if I didn't I have left them as they don't show that much! I had read that if you make a mistake that involves unpicking more than a few rows, the best way to unpick it is to snip the yarn out rather than unweaving. I would concur with this, as well as increasing the chances if messing up your tension, it can abrade the yarn  making it fluffy, this won't disappear  when the cloth is finished. it. A lot of the literature recommends using a temple or stretcher if you have one. As I couldn't find one the right size I cobbled together a temporary affair using tarp clips and some weights which did help  but in future I intend to use (my now found)  stretcher. This will help with the draw in and so keep the edges neat and the width consistent.

    Coming next finishing the cloth once off the loom, possibly the most important part of the process!

  • UKI SALE AND CHRISTMAS OPENING

    UPDATE ON UKI November 2017

     

    THE REMAINING UKI WILL IS NOW AVAILABLE FOR SALE ONLINE

    We are processing orders in the order they are received and will get them posted as soon as we possibly can. We will keep you updated on the My Fine Weaving Yarn Facebook page and for those of you who don’t use Facebook, updates will appear in the blog section of the website and the information banner on the website will also be updated

    Last posting date for Christmas is the 20th December!

    It seems a little early to be telling you this but it might help you plan your holiday weaving!

    We will be closed for Christmas from 21st December 2017 - January 2nd 2018

    Where will MFWY be in 2018?

    We haven’t applied for space at any of the major fibre shows in 2018 but have several Guild visits with our pop up shop already planned. Details will be posted soon in the blog section of the website and on Facebook. If you would like us to visit your Guild please get in touch to discuss our availability. Our whereabouts and details of opening times are detailed below. If you are near enough to any of these Guild events but aren’t a member rest assured visitors are always made very welcome. Get in touch if you want more details or want us to bring anything special for you, there will be no obligation to buy. Details of events or when we when we will be closed (you can still shop, but delivery will be delayed) will be also be posted in the Blog section of the website or a banner at the top of the screen will advise you that we are closed and when your order will be processed.

  • UKI UPDATE

    UKI UPDATE

    We will be ready to make the remaining stock of UKI Mercerised Cotton available for sale online on Saturday 25th November at 8pm.  We hope that by giving you plenty of notice and launching the sale on a Saturday it will make the sale accessible to as many customers as possible.  I appreciate some customers have not been able to access the website until after I had removed the stock from sale because of the demand. I promise that this time it will remain on sale until it is all sold. If demand is high orders will be processed in the order they are received and as before customers placing orders for non sale items will be given priority as I am sure you would all expect. The discount remains at 50% and there will be no further changes to the price regardless of the size of order or time scale.

     

  • PLANNED VISITS TO GUILDS. NEWS ON UKI COTTON HALF PRICE SALE

    We will be visiting the Cambridge and Cornwall Guilds in the next couple of weeks. Do come along if you are able you will be made very welcome.  Please note that we have a very short turnaround between these visits as we will be be setting off to Cornwall on Tuesday 14th November. Any orders placed whilst we are away will be processed on our return and posted on 20th November.

    Saturday 11th November 10 am. Cambridge Guild meet at Comberton Village Hall Green End  Comberton, Cambs, CB23 7DY

    Friday 17th November 10am. Cornwall Guild meet at Probus Village Hall  Amelia Court Fore Street Probus TR2 4NB

    UKI NEWS

    We will be ready to make the remaining stock of UKI Mercerised Cotton available for sale online on Saturday 25th November at 8pm.  We hope that by giving you plenty of notice and launching the sale on a Saturday it will make the sale accessible to as many customers as possible.  I appreciate some customers have not been able to access the website until after I had removed the stock from sale because of the demand. I promise that this time it will remain on sale until it is all sold. If demand is high orders will be processed in the order they are received and as before customers placing orders for non sale items will be given priority as I am sure you would all expect. The discount remains at 50% and there will be no further changes to the price regardless of the size of order or time scale.

     

  • UKI NEWS

    Once again we have been overwhelmed by orders for the half price UKI. Despite John's best efforts to catch up there is still a huge amount of winding to do which with one single head cone winder will take a long time. So we will process those orders placed during the past 24 hours as quickly as we can but it is likely to be early next week before they are all despatched. As before once your order is ready you will receive a despatch email.
    In the interim the remaining stock will again be removed from sale and this time we plan to manage the situation differently. The sale will be relaunched when all of the stock is wound. Given the commitments we have in the next few weeks and the fact that we still need to process orders for customers who don't want UKI this is going to take us a few weeks.
    We will keep you posted on progress and once again we thank you for your support and understanding.

     

  • UKI News

    Dear Customers and Friends,

    This week we received sudden and unexpected news from UKI.

    They have made significant changes to their terms of trading and they will no longer supply yarns in small quantities. We are unable to trade with them on this basis and there is no other supplier of UKI cotton.

    We are busy looking for another supplier of premium mercerised cotton in these counts.  We will keep you informed via the website and the usual social media channels.

    Our offer has been built on supplying repeatable yarns. Because  we are unable to restock UKI cotton, we have decided to offer all our remaining UKI stock at half price.

    The website has been updated with current availability. As colours become out of stock they will be removed from web shop. When ordering please make sure that you purchase sufficient for your project. We are trying to keep the numbers accurate but at present have to prioritise getting orders  processed.

    We have four planned outings in the next few weeks, where we will also be bringing our normal stock.We will bring any remaining UKI stock with us these events. If you would like to pre-order on the website we can bring your order rather than posting it. Please place your order on the website in the in the usual way. At the checkout select “collect from our office” as your delivery option and add a note to say which Guild visit you will be attending.

    UKI UPDATE.

    Orders that need winding can take up to an hour to prepare and demand is high. Orders are being packaged in the order that they are received and once you receive a delivery email your yarn will be in the post by the next working day at the latest meaning you will know that it will be with you soon. Most orders will be sent via Royal Mail although this may mean more than one parcel and some orders will need to be signed for. This gives us a longer window for posting and everything can be delivered to the sorting office. Your delivery email will tell you if a signature will be required. Most customers are opting for 2nd class post; Royal Mail's delivery standard on this service is 3 working days.

    I am sure that you will understand that customers placing full price orders will be prioritised and can expect the usual fast service MFWY normally provides. I will continue to keep you updated here and once again thank you for your support and patience.
  • UPDATED VISITS AND NEW YARNS

    We are still taking bookings from Guilds around the country for both this year and 2018. I update the 'Where will MFWY be" blog post as these are added. A banner at the top of each page of the website will tell you when we are closed  and when orders will be processed on our return and will direct you to the blog if further information is available.  We are trying to plan breaks and holidays so that we can give you advance warning too.

    Some new yarn made it's way into the shop this week. It's some lovely variegated 8/2 cotton in 10 colour ways and will work well with the Venne 8/2 cotton and Venne Cottoline. I plan to try some on the RH in the new 15dpi reed as soon as I get the current sample of Bamboo Boucle woven off. In the meantime Valerie is busy warping up some tea towels using all 10 shades, once they're finished I will get some photos on the website and Facebook.

    Here are some inspirational pictures of a fabulous blind woven by Sally using double weave pick up in the Venne 20/2 Cotton. It was a labour of love but I think you will agree worth it!

  • Harrisville Hooks back in stock!

    I have restocked with these lovely hooks from Harrisville. I know a lot of you have waited a long time for these, thanks for your patience. They are in the equipment section of the web shop. Look out for new equipment being added to the web shop soon. We will be supplying Ashford weaving equipment and will also have some lovely hand crafted beaters made by a local craftsman.

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    A long cotton and cottoline warp turned into more towels for a wedding present.

    On the loom, on the line and on the plane!

    img_0731 img_0732 img_0282

  • The New Website

    At last the new website is live! We hope you like it. It has taken a long time and a huge amount of work, help and support from my brilliant web hosts Ince Web Services.

    For the first post I would like to introduce you to the site and some of its features and also advise you of some important changes to our prices, payment gateway and postage methods.

    I think you will agree that the new site looks very different to the old one, rest assured all of your old favourite products are there with a few new ones and some more newbies in the pipeline.

    I am really pleased and excited to be able to offer you Laura's Loom Yarns. Laura sources her fleeces from farms in Cumbria, the Yorkshire Dales and Scotland, making her yarns not only 100% British but of 100% UK provenance. Not only are the sheep and alpacas British, living and growing their fibre in the UK; all of the processing is done here as well. Please take a look; because they are so special they have their own section in the web shop.

    At the bottom of the Home Page you will see links to Terms and Conditions, Postage, How to Shop and News and Events. Please take a minute or two to read through these sections; lots of the information is the same as before but there are also some changes to the way we work and especially to important things like postage and payments that you need to be aware of.

    There are price increases on some lines. The majority of our prices have not increased since we started trading over 4 years ago. Unfortunately the recent uncertainty in the markets and weakness of the pound is likely to impact further on prices, particularly on yarns sourced from the US. Hopefully thing will settle down quickly but in any event we will endeavour to continue to bring you the repeatable yarns you love at competitive prices, reasonable postage costs and most importantly offer friendly help, advice and excellent service which remains free of charge and without obligation to make a purchase!

    We are now able to offer you the option of choosing your postage preferences as well as being able to offer a single price option for heavier deliveries to the UK mainland. Unfortunately we are unable to offer this service to some areas of the Highlands and Islands, who will continue to receive deliveries from Royal Mail or Parcel Force. Your postcode will determine what services are available and you will be given options to choose from at the check out. We will continue to apply reasonable postage charges and will always work to find the best value option for our customers. Because of this there have been some changes to the way we need to deal with sending parcels and we need to get packages ready by 2pm to get them on their way, this means that orders placed after 12 noon may not be despatched until the following working day.

    We have changed the company who process your payments to us to Paymentsense and have decided to withdraw the option to pay by Paypal. I appreciate that this may be disappointing and annoying for some customers but in order to continue to be able to keep our prices competitive we needed to make this decision. Paymentsense offer exactly the same secure payment system you have been used to with Worldpay and I have to comply with the same strict security compliances, so the only change for the customer will be the name and processing email they send you. We still welcome payments by cheque and bank transfer, the details needed for bank transfers are at the checkout if you prefer this option. You can also ring to place and pay for an order by phone.

    The website isn't currently set up for orders outside of the UK. This may become an option in time but if you want to order from Europe or other international destinations please get in touch by email. We will then send you an invoice with payment options. Unfortunately we are unable to send to the USA.

    The 'How to Shop' section will give you an idea of how to navigate the new site but if you get stuck or can't find something please give me a ring or drop me an email.

    The News and Events section will tell you where we are going and what we are doing. It will in time also have details of workshops on offer here in Leicestershire as well as other events of interest to textile enthusiasts. If you would like us to come to your Guild with a Pop Up Shop please get in touch. We are already taking bookings for 2017 so don't leave it too late. If your Guild has an event or workshop that you would like to publicise in the Events section of our web shop then please do get in touch with the details.

    Over the coming months I plan to bring you some more new yarns, ideas for weaving, special offers and more. Please continue to send me pictures of your work for our new improved Gallery that will be accessible to all, as I know not everyone uses Facebook. Never underestimate how inspirational generously sharing your work with others can be, as well as giving me vicarious pleasure in seeing what you are weaving when I find so little time to get to the loom myself!

    So that's it for the first post, I hope you like the new website and please get in touch if you have any questions, comments and especially if you find any bloopers!!

     

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