I’ve been out looking for a cotton scarf and it’s funny how all my friends have been looking a bit surprised by this. In their minds I would just weave myself one. I can understand this, but it I was surprised by their surprise.
My scarf hunt was very specifically for a certain size and weight and, sadly, a fineness I can’t achieve on my rigid heddle. I say ‘sadly’, but actually I’m kind of pleased that I had to shop for one. It meant not only could I look for something different to what I’d weave for myself, but I could also enjoy a spot of shopping!
Yarn pooling is kind of fascinating (this is where you use the colour repeat in a variegated yarn to make a pattern) and some months back I started looking at a few of the vari’s I had to see what their repeats were like. Interestingly, it turned out that all of them have been dyed deliberately to prevent pooling!
So, I might not be setting out to pool anything soon, but I do now have a clearer understanding of the yarns in my stash. Well, and a project brewing at the back of my head.
Well, that’s what you call a break, huh? I’ve decided to call this “getting noveled”, because it seems novel writing and weaving can only coexist up to a point; then the novel wins!
The great news is the story that had ambushed me late last year is now done and it’s entirely possible weaving will now rule, as these things do tend to balance out. I just have to wait for my hands to recover from writing (with paper and pen) 110K words!
About four years ago, I decided to knit myself a striped cotton scarf. Carrying the three colours up the sides was a lot of fun and I was loving how it was coming together. Then I put it down one day and noticed it had developed a curve!
Obviously this was something to do with carrying the colours and one side had developed a much tighter edge than the other. Incrementally this had caused my scarf to curve.
With great sadness I began to unpick it…
Jump to a recent tidy up where I found the half unpicked project languishing in a bag. It was a sad sight. Three balls of unravelled scarf and a big tangle of yarn leading to the considerable amount yet to be unpicked.
Unpicking three colours is not so much fun, but I’ve been quietly doing bits and I’m almost done now. Once finished I think I’m going to use those balls to warp my loom and see if I can’t do an enjoyably stripey scarf that way!!
I’ve mentioned before that my mum is a yarn-crafter, but the great thing about my family is that even where our hobbies don’t overlap, we still have an appreciation of others’ interests. Point in case being that, on a recent trip to Japan, my brother took care to photograph a traditional loom he came across at an exhibition.
As if pictures of the landscape weren’t amazing enough I got to loom-geek for a few minutes!
You might have noticed that my blogging efforts kind of fell apart this year… well, that’s a lot to do with the fact that my weaving slowed right down in the latter part of the year. Why? I think it’s called weaving fatigue.
I made something like 6 scarves in month and a half and that was clearly too much for my weaving brain.
The biggest problem with this weaving fatigue was that it hit while I had a project on the loom. This was terrible because, not only did that project stare at me accusingly from the loom each day, but it also meant I couldn’t get excited about anything new without finishing it.
It made me realise that I might need two looms to avoid this problem in future! Not that I’m rushing out to buy another one just yet, but I’m thinking about it.
Of course I should have anticipated this fatigue issue, because it happens with my fiction writing too! I love being a creature of predictable patterns…
Do you ever buy yourself a present that you know you don’t need, but you just really want? This was me the other day. I bought myself a ‘vari dent’ reed.
This allows you to mix-and-match different spacings across the width of the reed. Of course, I have a rigid heddle loom so the point of this isn’t predominantly to vary the spacing of the warp, but to weave different size yarns. That sounds like a lot of fun to me!
And this is what the Ashford’s vari dent reed looks like: