Sunday, February 24, 2008

Double Weave Happiness!

At the last weaving guild meeting, one of the members showed a beautiful piece of double weave/pickup work. Dark brown geometric patterns on a tan background. I was impressed! I was in awe! I wanted to do that!

A few days later as I thumbed through old weaving I came across a tutorial on ....Double Weave PickUp! I read it. I read it again. I back-pedaled and read Deb Chandler's section on double weave in "Learning to Weave". Then I re-read the article of interest.

And then I warped and started to weave. I love this sort of work! It's terribly slow...but oh, so satisfying to see the patterns emerge!!!

Thanks, Joan for showing your beautiful piece and sparking my interest in learning this technique!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

A few finished objects

My son turned 5 this week. Two of his gifts were "remade" favorite sweater cut down to a vest, his dad's old pants cut down to size...and while he opened them and just set them aside, the next day he asked to wear his new clothes! Hooray!

Remaking clothes has been one of my favorite types of sewing since my eldest was little. It's probably just as time consuming (if not more) than regular sewing, but it's so fun to see new life come to a old and well loved item. And I'm thrilled that my son liked the clothes too!

My other finished object is the purple hat to go with the zig-zag scarf. Is it perfect? Hmm. Nope. Am I going to redo it? Nope! It fits on my head, but isn't as long as I like a hat to be (too much ear poking out and getting cold!). Maybe it will be a new hat/scarf set for one of my little ones!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

The "Almost's" and the "Are's"

This purple hat has had a hard time deciding what it it going to be in life. A hat? Yes, definitely! A big enough for my head hat? Well, that required ripping out 2-4" of hat and casting on more stitches. A cool, zig-zag patterned hat to go with my new zig-zag scarf? Well, that required ripping out 1-2" of hat...and now I'm working in plain stockinette. A hat. Yes, I am knitting a hat!

Pretty yarn.

See pretty yarn. Think dark blue warp with light blue stripe. Wind warp. Dark blue yarn (both are singles) is not spun evenly enough to withstand simple tension of the warping board. Yarn pulls apart after three passes.

Pretty yarn.

See pretty yarn back in the yarn box awaiting either plying or a project that needs a pretty weft!

Finished project. After the pretty blue yarns failed the warping board test I pulled out an old yarn that was intended (how many Christmases ago?) to be spun and knit into a new hat and scarf for me. Hmm. The two ply on the cone said "~412 yds". Quick calculations: 60 ends at 10 ends per inch. A scarf needs about 2yds, add in one yard waste...3yds x 60 ends = 180 yds. That leaves more than half the yardage for weft. Should work!

And with that, I wound the warp, sleyed the reed, threaded the heddles, tied on and began to weave! This scarf is part of my handspun exploration series. This one is plain weave (and I like how it looks!). I spent my free time this morning sorting beads for the fringe, only to decide that I liked the plain and simple look better.

The fiber is a Cotswold, mohair, and ?silk? blend. I may try brushing it after it dries and see if I can get a halo effect on the scarf.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

A little bit Backwards

Typically when I put a warp on the loom I include extra yardage for sampling. With this dark purple handspun (Look, Dorothy! I'm using that handspun as a 2-ply! It's holding up great!) I did my sampling on day one. I didn't like the color choice (it was a bright white yarn), so on day two I un-wove the sampler and began weaving with this purple yarn left over from my daughter's sweater vest. The variegated purple weft looked so nice with the dark purple warp! I was thrilled! I was excited! I wove a 50" scarf in plain weave.

And then I sampled some other weave structures.

How backwards was that!?!

The plainweave was nice, but this 2/2 twill zigzag is so much better that on day three I un-wove the entire plainweave scarf and started over. This time I sampled the 2/2 twill, a block weave pattern and a few two shuttle color options, before deciding that I liked the twill best. Whew.

But the backwards saga doesn't end there. I am running out of yarn. I debated just weaving a short scarf, but that didn't fly. So, I ended up dyeing a new batch of roving in a similar colorway, spinning like a mad woman yesterday, so some of the yarn will be dry for use tomorrow!

The extra yarn gets to be used in a coordinating hat and mittens.

Roving to be spun.

The already spun and drying yarn.