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:
Having had long hair pretty much my whole life, I’ve done my fair share of plaiting / braiding. So, when it came to exploring different ways of finishing the edges on my weaving, I was pleased to discover how many of the edging techniques are just plaits.
Of course you still have to do something with the ends so, unlike plaiting hair or friendship bands, it isn’t the whole process. Which is why most plaited edges belong to rug weaving. Aside from wanting an edge that will protect the cloth of the rug and help keep it in place, you have a definite ‘wrong side’ for all those ends to sew into!
From my experiments so far, I can see definite uses for some of the edging techniques, but the time investment will also be a part of choosing to apply them.
Due to my long history as a knitter, I’m always checking out what people are doing with their needles. One knitted item that’s been showing up a lot is the “shawlette” and I think they’re a great idea because you can use it as a shawl or as a scarf and – as a knitter – you can do all manner of patterns and stitches!
But I’m not knitting right now. I’m weaving. So could I make a shawlette on the loom? I figured I could.
Here is the unwashed, cotton “proof of concept” shawlette. It certainly proved the the concept worked!
Super-cute yarn animals might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I have to say I love making amigurumi! A couple of years ago I learnt some basic crochet stitches, and bought a bag of stuffing, so I could create these little guys and it was so much fun.
The best ones went under the charity tree at my office in the hope they’d brighten up the holiday season for a child somewhere, but I quickly had a surplus and had to stop. Here are some yarn friends that didn’t make it to the tree…
Probably the funniest thing about my amigurumi exploits is that you make them in many sections, so I have a leftover box of tiny ears, arms and legs. Gruesome and cute!