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!

Weaving fatigue strikes!

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…

What’s been on the loom…

You may have noticed I’ve talked about not-quite-as-expected projects recently, but I don’t want you to think that I’m having a bad run. It’s not all sad faces and mutant cloth! No, the number of slightly wrong outcomes is partly a reflection of my sheer productivity. I haz been a weaving. A lot.

Here is a selection of the (successful) produce…

A number of finished scarfsIt has been wonderful playing with new yarns and lots of different textures!

Disaster strikes down a scarf

I was in a bit of a weaving slump this past week. A scarf I’d had high hopes for turned into a bit of a disaster, and for the most unexpected reason too. See I had a warp of mixed yarns and was so focused on what I was doing with them that I somehow managed to take my eye off my selvedge tension. Result; one wobbly edge!

The yarn on that side of the scarf didn’t help things, but I can’t blame the warp tension, or the nature of the yarn. Nope. It was me. And I wouldn’t mind quite so much if I could make it a feature of the scarf… sadly not so.

On the positive side, this particular disaster did give me a chance to do some blocking. I haven’t really done any since I knitted with some unfortunate yarn a few years back, so it was good to re-familiarise myself. It significantly reduced the wobble! Just didn’t eliminate it.

Returning to the plain weave

Since I started in on the xmas presents at the end of last year, most of what I’ve woven have been fiddly things; 4 shaft patterns, double weave and loops.  Then tablet/card weaving came into the picture and, while not fiddly as such, it has certainly given the brain some exercise!

So, after reacquainting myself with my yarn stash, I decided it was time to do some good old plain weave.

You know, I’d actually forgotten how fast you can weave a scarf? Before I knew it I was at the hemstitching point! It was also very relaxing and my mind happily drifted as I wove.

Must make a note to myself to do a plain weave project in between double weave etc, so I can relax and enjoy the weaving. Not that double weave etc were too stressful, but you have to pay so much attention to what you’re doing. This was like knitting garter stitch (I’m sure you knitters know what I mean)!

The funny thing about this project was that it took me as long to finish as to weave. That was because I added some of that fringe-like, fluffy yarn that was all the rage a few years back for knitters and it took forever to free the fringe-like bits from the web. Still, it looks pretty much how I hoped it would. Now I just need to give it a bath.

And I’m going to predict that the next project will be plain weave too.

What not to do when ironing

The weirdest thing about being a weaver is that I find myself obsessed with the structure of fabrics. Okay, I’ve always stared at people’s clothes for the colour and drape of fabrics, but now I maneuver at the train station to go up the escalator behind certain fabrics so I can stare closely at them without seeming like a perv.

One time this is not a good idea is while ironing. More than once I’ve stopped swishing the iron back and forth over an item of clothing, distracted by the “oooh, I’ve not noticed this fabric before…look at that structure…” Thankfully nothing has burnt yet!

So if you find yourself with a hot iron in your hand, my suggestion is either to stare at the fabric before you put iron to cloth or you stop and put the iron back at rest while you investigate.

an iron