A few final floats

Well, “final” might be putting it too strongly, but I think I’m all floated out for the year! Not that there’s much left of the year. (Call me crazy, but I don’t think anyone is too sad about that.)

So. Warp floats. Successful ones… In pink!

A black scarf with pink stripes made of different length floats.

It was a nice simple pattern and kind of restful to do after the pinwheels. Also the pink on the black was lovely to look at each day.

The scarf is a lighter one than I usually make, because I accidentally used 4ply black instead of 8ply – don’t even ask how I managed to not notice that! But it makes the floats pop even more, so I’m calling that one serendipity!

In reflecting on my float adventures I have to say I like the things you can do with floats. Possibly not my fave technique out of all the ones I’ve explored to date, but they have so much potential in a rigid heddle loom. You can change them up however you want and that’s the great advantage of a pick up stick pattern!

Well, where does the time go?

I’ve been weaving. I’ve been doing nail art. There’s been a new novel! But not so much blogging. Ahem.

Still, I do have a finished warp float scarf on the loom waiting for some hemstitching love to go it’s way. We’ll ignore exactly how long it’s been waiting. Yes. It’s been… a bit delayed.

Mostly I’m blaming a saw tendon in my elbow for that. It’s been rested and it’s my hemstitching arm. So that’s my excuse. Really.

But I expect to hemstitch “soon” and then there’ll be photos!

So it turns out I hate pinwheels!

Yep, I hate pinwheels. Passionately.

Why? Well, as I have mentioned before it’s a tiring pick up pattern to do. Now, I don’t mind doing the work when the result is stunning and every pic I’ve ever seen of pinwheels has been stunning.

Yeah… In fairness to my pinwheels, they look okay from a distance… particularly when looked at through the lens of a camera…

A woven scarf in blue and white with a pinwheel pattern

But in person, and up close, they look more like this…

Close up of a pinwheel pattern woven on a rigid heddle loom

Aaaaaaaaaghh! Okay, that’s out of my system.

In better news, I did have three lovely successes in a row prior to the above and that included the attractive window pane piece. Though I do also love these two threaded patterns!

Three scarfs woven with different patterns

Mmm… float-y goodness…

2020… year of the float apparently! So yes, off the back of my two weft-float projects I ventured first into ‘window panes’ and now – after many years of not getting around to it – I’m doing pinwheels!

And what have I learnt about floats so far? Well, they can be a bit tiring. Particularly the pinwheels. The window panes a bit less and, honestly I enjoyed the weft-float projects, but my key thing is they work best when a rhythm develops.  Then they can be quite meditative.

Pinwheels have the problem that the rhythm is long (and particularly the design I’m doing right now) so it’s easy for little ol’ not-great-concentration-me to mess up!

Pics will follow of both the window pane and the pinwheels (when it comes off the loom… eventually…).

I think the next project might be a warp-float one… because I’m a sucker for punishment…

Some wavy detail…

A while back, I posted about a wavy shuttle experiment and now – we won’t talk about how many months later – I finally did the tassels and ironed the poor thing. Upside of this flurry of tassel turning (I think I had about six outstanding scarfs!) is a better image of the curvy results in the weave… Enjoy.

It does give it a lovely texture, visually, and I’m happier with this than any other wavy shuttle work so far! Also, it is delicious yarn too…

Floating off and on again…

The purple weft-float project is complete! Finally.

Pretty happy with how it turned out too and excited to see how it looks after a bath. Most importantly, I’m liking the reverse as much as the front! Not all techniques give equally nice results both sides so I’m definitely seeing it as a plus.

The front of the scarf… I like how the zigzags highlight the angles caused by one of the yarns (a pale/dark twist used in the warp against the solid weft).

So, what’s next?

Well I thought I’d keep with the floats, but try a more traditional kind that’s been on my to-do list for a while. Good ol’ window panes. And after a few strong coloured projects, this time I’m going… oatmeal.

Though the yarn is made from recycled fibres so you get little hints of colour here and there (don’t know if you can see it in the pic).

In an ironic twist, this is also a fluffy yarn my allergies don’t love so I’ll be weaving wearing a mask…just as masks have been mandated where I live for all outdoor activities! Well, at least I have quite a few handy…

Today I even made a prototype mask for myself (most masks don’t sit well on my face)! So that’s a completely separate thing happening in the craft room currently…

My own weft-float pattern, in purple!

So I got pretty excited about this technique and right after I did the green scarf, I put another one on the loom… and then… well… I got distracted. You know, it happens.

That’s meant the poor project has been on the loom for weeks and weeks and I’ve only been picking at it. Right now it’s “almost done”…except it’s been like that for about two weeks. Yep.

To insult the project further I took a totally dodgy pic of it:

Not sure I could have taken a less complimentary pic if I’d tried to! Still, you get the idea: There are ziggy-zaggy boarders with occasional small diamonds.

In truth, I’m very excited to see what it’ll look like off the loom! The yarn is a bamboo mix so it’s silky and soft, which is nice in itself. Plus it’s purple and I personally think that makes most things beautiful (except bruises).

I promise a better pic once the scarf comes off the loom.

A weft float pattern for an isolation Easter

Happy chocolate egg day! Or whatever this particular day means to you and yours. I’m very excited to have just (literally) finished a new scarf in the most deliciously pale pistachio coloured yarn. With a weft float pattern…

You might have noticed over the years that I’m not big on the floats. I’ve sampled different ones and tried things out, but overall I’ve not found many float patterns that I like.

Until now.

Funny thing was I’d already decided I was going to do a float pattern, and that I was going to use my pistachio yarn. What I hadn’t decided was what kind of pattern. While doing a vaguely related search on the interwebs, I stumbled on a vid by a weaver and instantly fell in love with the weft float pattern she was doing! Pure serendipity.

So, here is the project hot off the loom (hemstitched this about an hour ago!)

So simple for such a lovely effect! Which makes me doubly happy, because you know I love the simple.

The exciting thing about this way of using floats is that the design possibilities are endless. One light colour, or two contrasting colours, or a darker shiny yarn… just start there and see the possibilities! I’m already planning my next weft float design (insert here maniacal laugh).

The other thing I like about this way of using floats? It gives an almost flat reverse. I realised in the making of this scarf that this is a strong deterrent for me with floats – I don’t like the reverse. This, however, I think is very attractive.

As always, I’ll be interested to see how it comes up after it’s fulled!

A fresh scarf!

After a four month no-weaving zone, I finally got bitten by the bug this weekend. I was finishing off my wavy shuttle experiment (more to come), but finally lost interest (this happens) and so cut it off and started something new!

What surprised me was that I did a scarf-in-a-day! It was very satisfying. As was the colour…

Pink fluffy yarn crossed with black yarn

It’s also soft and fluffy. Very soft.

This is why I like plain weave, because a lovely yarn is all you need to make a lovely bit of weaving! I can’t wait to see how it washes.

Curves and temples…

So my second wavy shuttle project got off to a pretty good start…

A blue and white web with curves of weft on a rigid heddle loom
A short way in I was feeling good…

Then it all went to hell. Why? Because I started getting the most uncontrollable draw-in! I was losing so much width I actually contemplated trying to make a tapering scarf all the way to the other end. Sadly I was losing width too fast.

It will take a bit of playing with the ol’ wavy shuttle to figure out why it was such a problem this time. I have theories. They may be wrong.

But, in the way of most weaving disasters, this has led to an exciting opportunity! I’m going to use a temple for the first time!!

Yes, a temple. Reviled by some as a cheat and considered just sensible by others, I’m going to deploy one here to defeat the draw-in. Hopefully.

Of course, I don’t own one and will, in fact, be making one. So I’m excited about that all on its own! (I know this will shock you, dear reader of bloggy.)

The first step in saving this wavy scarf was – sob, sob, wail – to undo all but the very start of the scarf. Yes. I undid about a quarter of a project. The loom, yarn, shuttle and I all in therapy now. But it had to be done and the second version of the scarf will hopefully be much more successful!