A dishcloth report…

So, for those of you who have kept up with the whole “lunchbox project” thing, you may have been wondering what happened after I shrunk the dishcloths. Well, no you probably have far more interesting things to wonder about, but I’m going to assume you’d like the sense of closure that comes from hearing the end of a story.

The shrunken dishcloths were a lot denser than in their original form and that was both a good and a bad thing. Good because they felt more solid, which was somehow satisfying. Bad because they seemed to hold more gunk.

Really though, I don’t think it changed the use or drying either way. If they were being used at home, then I’m pretty sure drying might have been more of an issue with the higher density. In an office block with constant air conditioning running, they were going to dry overnight if not while I was present.

I quite like both pre and post shrinkage cloths.

They are nice to look at, massively cut my paper towel usage and they are easy to clean and dry in a big office building. My only gripe has been that I get a bit of fluff off them on my hands when I wring them out. Small gripe.

So, I might make some more… We shall see…

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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…

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!

Bloopers #1

So this post is all about mistakes. Weaving presents a great ability to make mistakes, simply because a lot of the different types of mistakes will only show on the other side of the fabric; the side you can’t see without turning the loom over!

You’ll notice that I’m so sure there’ll be more mistakes to show in future, that I’ve marked this post as just #1? Well, that’s partly because of the kind of mistakes I’ve made so far – most I didn’t see at all until the cloth was off the loom.

Here are three bloopers:

image of three scarfs showing errors

On the left you’ll see some super long floats. This is the “back” of the scarf and the floats were caused be me screwing up my treadling order (the order I was lifting “shafts” in).

In the middle is a straight pattern stuff up, which I probably should have seen as this is the front of the scarf!

On the right is another back-of-scarf problem. This time the pattern got messed up because my shed wasn’t clean. As I ran out of warp my shed got a little messy and I ended up using a pick-up stick to tidy it up.

So, I think that another benefit of a rigid heddle loom is that you can turn it on its side and take a peek at the underside of the web. Now I just need to remember to do it before I wind forward!

Another thing I learnt (though really it’s just common sense) is to not weave patterns when tired.