Tuesday, January 4, 2011

What Was Made

So. The loom. It calls me (but sadly I am busy with many things, and can only answer one call at a time).

I was thrilled to pull this almost-scarf off the loom as a first project. For warping willy-nilly and pulling design ideas out of the air, it looks pretty slick. It's just long enough to go around the back of my neck and fold over my chest, so I may actually use it as a scarf for a while. I do so hate a cold breeze down my neck.

I originally warped until I said to myself (albeit in harsher terms) "Oh, dear, I'm running out of yarn!" So then I wove until I really did run out of yarn and this is what was made. I will admit that even "willy-nilly" there was some thought put into it. I wanted the white stripe so I could see what I was doing with the dark brown yarn. I thought I didn't have a lot of the white, so I figured the off-center stripe would be nice (and it is!). It is deliberately placed. There are 20 ends of brown, 20 ends of white, and then 60 ends of brown (actually I just recounted and found I have 64 ends--doh!). In some schools of design "three makes a pattern". So I thought that making one side three times wider than the other would have a sense of proper weight. I did the same thing with the horizontal striping. There are three times as many picks of brown as there are of white. Right or wrong, I think it works and I'll do it again sometime.

My edges visibly improved with practice. I think they could use even more improvement--but that's me. And of course we're always harder on ourselves than other people are when looking at our work! Our weaving LYS-owner assured me I'm doing great. I believe her.

First Weaving - initial selvedge
Beginning Selvedge
First weaving - final selvedge
Ending Selvedge

But even after using up the last of both my white and brown yarn, there was still more warp! Rather than waste that effort, I dug into the stash and pulled out the final nugget of some LionBrand Wool-Ease I'd used in my first big knitting project (a baby sack we never used for the baby because it was too scratch.. and plain. And BOY was that a lot of stockinette to knit!).

At that point I "advanced the warp", which is to say I cranked the whole thing forward so there was a big gap. Then I set about trying a number of different techniques using the pink Wool-Ease. I started using a "pick up stick", which is a way to lift parts of the warp beyond what the loom does normally, so you can make more patterns. Then I tried the weaver's version of lace, "leno". I can't seem to stop myself from thinking of Jay every time I read or write that. Oh, well. I also did some "Brooks Bouquets" which I really liked.

First Weaving - weft float sampler
Warp Floats
First Weaving - Leno lace sampler
Leno Lace

After everything was done, I got out scissors and CUT THE WARP. Yes, I cut a lot of yarn. And I didn't even cry about it. And I dug out of my brain some old macrame skills (thanks, Mom!!) from when I was a Girl Scout. It made for a very finished-looking fringe.

It's a good first project. I've been thinking and planning and doing some math for project #2 in my head. I think I have it figured out. But I have a little something else in the works, first.

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