Sunday, October 24, 2010

Weaving Drama

I recently started a new project on my rigid heddle loom. Actually, I warped it several weeks ago, then drama and procrastination ensued.

The photo above gives a serviceable view of the warp colors, which is a hand dyed sock yarn (50% Merino wool, 50% Tencel) from Spinning Bunny. I've had this a while, I'm not sure what the colorway was or if she still makes it, but it is pretty close at least to the description of butterfly bush. Also I tossed in a few stands of some blue leftover from a lace project. Working very carefully, I direct warped the loom across my living room pulling and tugging mercilessly on the yarn to keep the color changes relatively even to form a 'painted warp' look.

This photo was thrown in because of a recent discussion about using folded paper, paper towels or toilet paper instead of waste yarn to even out the warp and get the project started. Paper products are easier to get out later than scrap yarn, and they don't tend to leave presents behind (waste yarn likes to leave things like bright red acrylic fuzz). Paper products => better house-trained.

Anyway, back to the drama. The loom was warped through a 10-dent heddle and I began weaving with a dark blue Merino/Nylon yarn from Knit Picks. I wanted it to be dark and mysterious looking with glossy color changes. Instead I discovered the warp was spaced too far apart and it was totally dominated by the weft. I backed up the weaving and removed all the dark blue weft, then untied the warp and switched the heddle to 12-dent and retied the warp. Then I was grouchy, so there it sat for several weeks.

In the mean time, though I got several small shawls knit. Details on those after I actually wash and block them.

Finally today I came back to it and decided I spent all that time warping, I had to do something. Plus, its backing up my progress with my weaving plans, and sadly, being disillusioned with a particular project doesn't justify buying a new loom.

So, I dug out a skein of fingerling weight Merino/Silk (70%/20%, Knit Picks) and got moving. I had time to get about a foot woven, and I think it will work out ok. It does of course lighten the overall impression of the colors, but it will be a nice Spring shade scarf when its done, and I'm sure to find someone who will love it.

Interestingly, I realized while taking pictures that the colors of this are quite close to an orchid in my collection that recently bloomed.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Overheard at the festival...

Someone commented to me that they considered knitting from their stash as "free knitting". After thinking a moment, I realized I pretty much think of it that way too. Just consider that sense of unique accomplishment you get when you knit with a yarn you purchased over a year ago. You consider yourself frugal, efficient, etc. You didn't buy anything for this project! You "used up" something you already had. The fact that this means you bought the yarn purely for the sake of buying yarn never enters into the equation. Nope. That fact just doesn't exist.

And that is what a multifaceted hobby is all about.

Aren't you glad I explained that to you?
You're welcome.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Bound Weaving at the Fall Fiber Festival

This past Saturday, Sister II and I enjoyed the lovely weather by visiting the Fall Fiber Festival & Montpelier Sheep Dog Trials in Montpelier Station, VA. As usual at any fiber festival, there was lots of lovely things to pet and drool over.

This year, we met the wonderful ladies from Fox Mountain Weaving Studio of Free Union, VA, who had on display some interesting items created in the bound weaving technique. As a shiny new weaver myself, I was very intrigued. They were quite happy to chat with me about technique, looms, and reference books, and were very lively and informative. I'm filled with new ideas and schemes now.

The following are photos of their weaving, though the last image is not of the bound weaving technique.