When the craft daemon wants double weave…

I have a “craft daemon”. If you read my other blog, you’ll know he’s frenemies with my “writing daemon” and they time-share my attention. Sort of. (Why “daemon” is a common question? Well, let’s face it, this crafting thing is a compulsion, not a choice for many of us…)

So, the craft daemon got super excited the other day when a non-crafter friend of mine suggested/requested a project for her cat. As a rule I don’t make things for beings that can’t request something on their own behalf, but I know this cat well enough to maybe break the rule. (Besides, we all know who the item is really for, right?)

But the cause of the excitement wasn’t a commission… it was that this item will involve double weave. My daemon loves double weave! Why? I don’t know.

This interest has meant drawing of diagrams, refreshing ourselves on how to double weave (it’s been a while), squee-ful measuring and planning. Strangely though, I still haven’t gone to the loom. And he’s not bugging me about that.

This leaves me wondering if my craft daemon secretly enjoys the concept of double weave more than the execution. I could be wrong… it’s possible that he just thinks I should by a new threading hook – mine is missing – before we launch into trying to thread two heddles. He may have a point.

The ends! The ends!

Recent weaving adventures have left me with a few ends to deal with. Actually, a lot of ends. And I know that if I don’t deal with them pre-washing, then I might have a bigger job, so now I’m stuck with unfinished, unwashed scarfs!

Of course, this is totally normal and totally self-inflicted.

It’s possibly my least favourite chore with any yarn craft. Possibly because I’ve never found a technique I really like for doing it.

So, yes, I’m having a whinge. When I probably should be sewing in ends! Maybe I should go do that…

Droid food

I like droids (and Star Wars), so when the opportunity to get one for my kitchen arose, I jumped at it. Okay, it’s not really a droid… it’s a droid shaped convection oven, otherwise known as an “air fryer”.

Yes, I’ve joined the air fryer cult.

If you aren’t familiar with this type of kitchen appliance, it’s probably one of the least necessary appliances ever invented! Because it’s an oven and you probably already have one of those. Yep, it doesn’t actually fry anything – it convection bakes/roasts like any fan forced/convection oven. So why buy one…?

Well, they are fast. The super turbo fan forcing of them and the small volume space means things generally cook in about half the time of a normal convection oven. Also, if you have a crappy oven, they’re a lot cheaper than a new oven.

If you do like deep frying things, then they give an okay result just like a convection oven should. Of course, the fact it’s called an air fryer gets people baking/roasting things they’d normally not think to put in an oven! Clever marketing people…

Personally, I like the speed and I like the small size because I’m cooking just for me most of the time. I also like the non-stick basket you put things in, because it cleans so easily – unlike a lot of my non-stick oven trays.

So far, the only thing my droid has failed at is prawn crackers! Pappadams, frozen chips, frozen chicken, frozen fish fillets and lamb chops have all cooked quite well. I’m still to try chips made fresh (actually quite excited about them as I’ve never had much luck in the oven).

An airfryer from kmart
This is my little guy… a budget droid!

From a loom disaster comes joy…

Some warps are cursed. Seriously. And yes, I had one this past week. Bad yarn choice for the pattern, led to changing to a different pattern that used the same threading and then a tension issue showed up! Sheesh.

So off it came! But I learnt a good lesson on using flecked yarns for patterns and I ended up with a great result on the fresh warp.

teal and black patterned scarf draped over the loom

String heddle options

Something I did on my recent pattern that needed string heddles, was to try a different way of doing making the heddles. Didn’t like it as much as my usual way! I’m sure it could be refined though, so here is a comparison of the two methods…

A: As outlined in my older string heddle post, this involves using a continuous length of yarn/thread and pulling up loops with a hook, or finger tips. The dowel/shuttle/knitting needle – whatever you use as a backbone – is inserted through the loops. Finally, stick down with tape.diagram of method APros – I find this fast to set up, easy to adjust so all the loops are the same height (giving you even lift of warp threads) and your string heddles cannot come undone.

Cons – If you make a mistake you often have to undo all the heddles to that point to fix it and you have to start from scratch for each project.

B: You take a rigid heddle (or put two nails in a bit of wood a “heddle distance” apart) and you wrap your yarn/thread around to measure a loop, then tie the ends together to close the circle. Each loop you make is one heddle. You then squash the loop and put a twist in the middle. Feed one end under the warp thread you need to add to that shaft and slip both ends of the loop over your dowel/shuttle/knitting needle. Finally, stick down with tape.Diagram of method BPros – You can reuse the loops in future and the loops are easy to redo/adjust if you pick up the wrong warp thread.

Cons – I found the loop lengths varied making the lift a bit uneven, the knots occasionally came undone (I also broke one, but that might have been my thread choice) and they pulled sideways more, causing my tape to lift in places. Now that last point doesn’t matter too much, except it seemed to contribute to the knots coming undone.

In my very non-scientific single attempt with B heddles, I also thought it caused more abrasion of the warp threads…so overall, not a success for me. But, I did see a weaver online somewhere using this technique – cannot remember where – so others go okay with it!

Might need to try both methods side by side in a half and half to really test which works best…