A new washing machine means new fulling potential!

This past week the existing washing machine (good bye, old friend) was put on the kerb for collection. Thankfully it was snaffled within 24 hrs, so it will live on in parts, if not intact.

Of course a shiny new machine arrived. A shiny new machine that I can stop the wash and open the door – something my old one couldn’t do. You realise what that means, right? Well, I kind of gave it away in the heading… I can now do machine fulling!

Not sure when I’ll try it. The scarf I began weeeeeeekkkkks ago is still on the loom due to various distractions. But maybe I’ll do some swatches and play with settings? You never know.

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I be weaving again!!

So, finally the craft room has its new windows and a new coat of paint AND has been rearranged (bit weird; everything seems backwards). About 10 seconds after the last decorative touch was hung, the loom was liberated from its bag and some yarn selected from yarn storage!

Decided to keep it simple (resisted my brain’s urge to do double weave right out of the blocks) and am enjoying a nice, plain weave in contrasting colours. Aaaaaah…

The only downside to all of this was discovering that my threading hook is missing. I mean it can’t have gone far, but I have no idea where little thing is.

Thankfully my yarn choice was incidentally conducive to hand threading!

The shrinking dishcloths

I’m happy to report that my two woven dishcloths have been in service at work and doing just fine! Sadly though, I brought them home for a wash and accidentally threw them in a hot wash. Oops.

Not that they’re ruined. They’re just… well… a lot smaller! Like maybe half the size and twice the density they were previously.

Once I’m back at work in the New Year (where did 2018 go, huh?) I’ll report on their cleaning efficiency now they’ve been miniaturised…

Olive green and kind of plaid

So this is fresh off the loom! An olive green scarf with grey and blue stripes so it has a bit of plaid action going on. I like it.

A section of an olive green scarf with blue and grey fine stripes

The blue is actually more subtle in real life than in this pic, but I’ve had a cold and it was too much energy to mess around with the camera! The image gives most of the idea.

One aspect of this scarf that I’m very pleased with, is that I deliberately avoided symmetry by changing up the colour order for each stripe and I not spacing the stripes across the width too evenly.  The result works well.

I think I can say the first “not my colours” scarf is successful!

Colours not my own

This week on the loom I am trying to weave a scarf in colours that I am never drawn to and never work with or wear. It’s been a challenge!

I’ve tried with my weaving not to spend all my time in the colours I’m most comfortable with. Tried and thought I’d done well. Then I found myself looking at some muted “winter” coloured yarn and realised I’d never gone far enough outside my colour comfort zone. These were colours I’d never even think to buy!

So I bought one – a dark olive green – and I’m adding a little blue and grey as stripes.

The funny part is that normally I have a great sense of how colours will go together. Not this time! I stared at the colours and twisted the yarn this way and that for ages before feeling confident it’d work.

Now it’s on the loom it seems to be going fine and I’m liking the subtlety. Pictures will follow once I’ve woven more!

Cheats/hacks… uses of a metal knitting needle

There are quite a lot of uses for a thin metal knitting needle when rigid heddle weaving, I think. From clearing a sticky shed to counting picks and even (I know I shouldn’t) poking my fell line, I’m always glad to have one on-hand.

Of course for those uses it doesn’t have to be metal, but I like a metal needle because it has a certain weight to it. Also, I tend to use it to provide lift-assistance to my string heddles and a metal needle never feels like it’ll snap under tension!

As with most such tools though, I probably find more uses for it simply because it is right there to be used!

Can yarn be cursed?

Some time ago I did a post on the “bendy scarf”. It was not the yarn’s fault the scarf had failed – totally knitter’s error – but I’m beginning to suspect this yarn has been cursed by an evil yarn fairy.

Why? I just finished it weaving it and… somehow my yarn calculations went screwy. Sigh. Now the result of this wasn’t fatal and the scarf was only for me. Still…

So what happened? Well, I’d always wanted to do a striped scarf with this cotton, so I warped with lovely stripes:

Blue, green and purple uneven striped warp on the loom
Here is the purple yarn as weft, crossing the stripes

The warp only took half the yarn I had left, so I decided I’d use the cotton for weft as well. Because I didn’t have enough of any one colour to do the whole thing, I contemplated a plaid, but I’m not a huge plaid fan. Finally I decided on blocks (roughly 3rds) of each colour.

The different weft colours are so subtle which I love.

The finished scarf folded to show the three different weft colours
If you look closely you’ll see green weft at the front, blue in the middle and purple at the back

But 3rds did not happen! I’d already transitioned from the 1st colour to the 2nd when I realised I had gone wrong… which means I was too far in to start over.

What I do love about this project though, is it’s a great experiment in colour. Not only are the colours much duller than most yarns I use but they are so close in value that the weft really does blend beautifully.

I also got to play with gradually transitioning the colours. Sadly this was also a casualty of my messed up calculations, so I’m not in love with how they came out, but the upside is that I’ve now tried the technique and know what not to do!

And where did my calc’s go wrong? No idea. I suspect I flipped some numbers around when I weighed the yarn originally… Ah well. I still have a new stripey scarf!