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!

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Fooling with pooling…

The pooling project came hot off the loom this morning and I’m happy. Very happy. The pooled colours have come up a treat and, while I can’t seem to take a pic that is colour accurate (!), it looks amazing.

Here is a photo journey from skein to scarf:

Skein of yarn
The skein which you have seen in a previous post…
A big ball of yarn for the pooling project
Became a big ball of yarn…
A variegated warp aligned so the colours pool creating bands
The strands were then aligned in the warp so the colour bands appeared
Yarn for the pooling project threaded on the loom
The loom was dressed…
The pooling project web in progress
And some black weft used… please ignore the wobbly web (tension issues!)
The cloth fresh off the loom hanging from a coathanger
It all led to this! A very nicely banded scarf with lovely spiky colour changes.

Aligning the colours did take a bit of time and, truth-be-told, more than one go. Though, once I’d figured out how to best handle the skein’s anti-pooling measures it was a doddle!

Some tension problems occurred; partly because I was tweaked the alignment as I tied-on and partly because the sticky yarn wanted to clump. I should probably have untied the whole thing and re-done it, but I – of course – wanted to get on with the weaving.

Still, I don’t think it’s harmed the scarf.

I enjoyed doing this so much that I’m already planning another one! Though there are a few other things I might do before then… hmm…

Kind of like a charcoal rubbing…

So this is the new scarf and supplementary warp project…

Supplementary warp project on the loom

I lurve it! On the loom it was looking so much like a pencil or charcoal rubbing of some highly textured surface that I almost stopped weaving to get out some charcoal and paper; such was the inspiration! Thankfully, I kept weaving and am very happy with the result.

Of all the colours of that Noro Silk Garden comes in, you might think me mad to have picked the “Solo” and in brown (!!!!), but this was a yarn that just spoke to me. I’m not much of a browns person, but I do like the colour and particularly¬† flecked like this.

Being me though I’d forgotten that you can’t warp with this yarn! (I know, I know…) Thankfully, my stash had an appropriately matching 4ply in it. I could have put grabbed the appropriate reed and used the 4ply as 4ply, but I didn’t think the sup’ warp Noro would survive that much abrasion. So I threaded it double using a 30/10 reed.

Suplememtary warp project off the loom

So happy with the result. Such is the serendipity of my approach to weaving!

Scarf in a day

As it has been a bit hot (40C/140F) the past days, I hid in the aircon with my loom watching movies. Wonderful thing about having a rigid heddle loom… you only need a table and your lap anywhere in the house!

I’d actually measured and wound the warp onto the back beam earlier, but something was niggling at the back of my mind… I’d glimpsed a broken thread somewhere… note to self: don’t listen to extremely interesting podcasts while dressing the loom!

Anyway, I unwound and discovered:

Broken yarn in the heddles of the loom
My phone wouldn’t focus on the yarn… but you get the idea

The yarn gods were smiling though, because I had one more warp end than I needed so I could just pull this end out.

Despite the broken bit, it is gorgeous wool. I’ve not woven a vari that is a ply of multiple colours and then crossed it with itself. But this was the yarn I sampled last year. I’d thought it’d look good with purple – which it did – but against itself it was stunning.

What fascinates me, is the interplay of the colours… the long change of the variegation gives strong warp strips and these don’t blur or get muddied by a weft that’s going through the same changes.

The variegated yarn in the warp showing strong stripes

Here is the scarf, just waiting for a wash, with the stripes still strong:

Finished scarf on the table

The colour twist gives it such a lively surface too. Up close it almost looks busy.

A close up of the unwashed cloth

I’m looking forward to seeing if it changes at all when fulled!

When ‘lazy weaver’ wars with ‘get it right weaver’…

Inside of me there are two distinct weavers… the lazy one… and the one who wants to do it right. Sometimes they get into a bit of a brawl about how a project should be handled and this weekend was one of those times!

You see, there’s this lovely yarn and it’s been begging to be a scarf for ages. Problem is that it runs through a range of purple-blue-green-orange tones which make it interesting to cross with another yarn. What had been intriguing me was, in fact, what would happen if I cross it with itself, but that could end up a busy mess, so what to do?

Well sample, of course.

Except lazy-weaver was saying (imagine this in a very annoying, whiny voice) “I don’t want to waste yarn on a sample! I just want to get weaving.” and that didn’t sit at all well with the other weaver.

They did, to their credit, almost compromise on crossing the coloured yarn with a purple that was guaranteed to work. Or even black if worst came to worst.¬† In the end though, get-it-right-weaver snuck in when lazy wasn’t looking and made sure we sampled with black, purple and the yarn crossing itself! Well done to the get-it-right-weaver, I say.

So now I know which yarn will be used and I’ve washed it, so I know how it’ll finish up. All while ignoring the quiet grumbling in the background of lazy-weaver.

A little weaving project to get back into the swing of things

I decided that, seeing as I haven’t woven anything too much in recent months, I should ease back into the weaving thing with a small project. But what to do?

Well, as it happens, I have a satchel which until a few months ago had a beautiful image on it. Then the image decided to fall apart, one flake of PVC at a time! So, I picked apart the sewing holding the image panel and measured it for a new woven panel…

This is the panel freshly washed and dried:

spot pattern woven panel

Trust me that the colours are a lot brighter than this photo indicates!

Now I just have to sew it into the existing seems of the bag (guaranteed that won’t be as simple as I just made it sound) and then I can flaunt my new wearable woven around town!

I should add that I was moderately proud of my edges considering it’s been a while… and I was very pleased that I remembered to make the right adjustment for draw-in.

Ah hem

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!