Having fun with the loom

I’ve had a bit over a week off work and there was a list of errands and chores as long as my arm to keep me busy. But then came the weather. I’m no one’s friend when it’s either humid or over 33C so, as I said in my scarf in a day post, I was hiding and weaving.

What I didn’t expect was that I’d weave quite this much!

Finished scarf on the table
The first hot day weaving project…
A black scarf with a stripe of varying shades of pink and mauve
Having some leftover of the variegated so I decided to use it for a stripe, so here is the second hot day scarf…

I did a yarn audit in the middle of the week, so I have an excuse to buy more yarn… okay, technically it was to refresh my memory of what’s there, but the shopping part of my brain had an eye on whether the yarn store had space to grow (it does… squeeeeeeeee!). The other result of the audit was finding balls of colours that I don’t normally use.

Lemon and white scarf
A pale lemon scarf with white stripes was the result!

I did a subtle pattern of stripes on the lemon scarf and it has turned out beautifully. It also got me thinking about patterns. I haven’t done one for a while…

Black and brown warp on the loom
I love colour-and-weave patterns and I think this two-tone chestnut will look great with the black

So I’ve warped a colour pattern and, for something different, I threaded before winding on the warp (that’s the back beam in the foreground there).

The pattern will slow the weaving down some – not as much as being back at work though!

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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!

And then there was yarn

I think it was inevitable. The moment I decided to re-acquaint myself with all the weaving info I accrued in the first crazy months of my passion (obsession?), I fell head-first into what a weaver friend of mine calls wanting to weave ALL THE THINGS.

This is true: About 5 minutes into remembering why I have separate folders for ‘patterns’, ‘drafts’, ‘ideas’ and ‘techniques’ I was already planning about seven scarves. Then, of course it’s xmas and everything is on sale, so I bought yarn.

I have cupboards full of yarn. I did not need any more yarn. But… I didn’t feel I had the right yarn for the first thing I believe I’m going to weave just as soon as I give the craftroom a really, really thorough vacuuming. Yes well.

Good thing was (aside from getting 20% off) that I only bought two skeins and that’ll do for this new project. Of course it does mean that I now absolutely have to weave this project first, to justify buying the new yarn. Hmm… Have to love the way the brain works, don’t you?

Anyway, the yarn is Manos del Uruguay, Clasica 12 ply in a lovely blue and mauve vari and a natural cream/white.

Two skeins of wool, one blue and one whiteAnd what will be the fate of this lovely yarn? You’ll have to wait and see. It’s a bit of an experiment, so it could all go very badly, but I suspect it’ll be an attractive ruin even if it does!

A final note for this post… when I went back through the stack of documents I collected (mostly from the internet) about weaving back at the start, I found a post I’d saved which at the time meant nothing to me. I liked the example cloth in the pics but it might have well been written in Venusian. This time I opened it, read it and at the end when ‘aaah, that’s how you do that’  *grin*

Exploring pooling #1

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.

A knitter’s love of chunky yarns

A few weeks back my mum was talking about making herself a sort of ‘knee-warmer’ to keep her problem knee warm and I suggested she might use some chunky yarn I unearthed recently. It seemed like a good idea because it’ll knit up fast and be warm.

The funny thing was that she has many a set of needles, but none intended for 14ply. In contrast, when I went hunting through my needles I found no less than 5 sets!

So some of my needles are on agistment at her place (well not really but I do love that word) while she designs her knee warmer.

Why do I love the big yarns? Partly because they are quick to knit and that’s great for scarfs, but also they often have such a pluffy, lush texture.

Now that I’m weaving they aren’t featuring as often, though I did put one on the loom recently. It was something like good-planning that could do this because, in anticipation of my continued love of large yarns, I got a large dent reed when I bought extras last year!

Should have trusted my yarn-senses

Sometimes you just know a yarn will be trouble. It might be lovely in colour and texture, but there’s that little tug in your yarn-senses telling you it’s no good. Then later you wonder why you didn’t listen to it!  🙂

Of course I do listen to it most of the time and I regret every time I don’t.

In this case it was entirely my fault that I ended up with broken warp threads left, right and centre. And now I have a lot of relatively useless thrums. Sigh.

Well, it was pretty and fluffy and brightly coloured. Note the word ‘fluffy’ in that sentence. That was my downfall, because it abraded in the heddles rather severely.

Afterwards, when I was enjoying a post breakage coffee, my yarn-senses tut-tut-ed at me. I promise I will listen to them in future.