The secret weaving project has been safely delivered, so now I can show you all what I’ve been up to. (It’s a good thing, too…not blogging about this project was killing me. I’m not sure I could have held out another week!)

Sometime this spring, Becky and I were at a knitting guild meeting, and one of the vendors had a very pretty laceweight yarn. It was a handpaint, with vibrant colors and abrupt color changes. It’s Schaefer Yarn Andrea, in colorway Jane Addams.

The colors were definitely Becky’s colors, but really, what kind of lace could you knit with that and manage to avoid pooling? And what but lace would you knit with a yarn that has 1100 yards in 3.5 ounces? Becky asked me “what would you do with this?” My immediate response was that I would weave with it.

That planted a thought. During the break, a small paper bag was carefully slipped into my backpack.  I was planning to weave it up for Christmas, but then I decided that it would make a good going-away gift, too. And so, I began some deadline crafting.

I had two cones of green yarn that would go with the laceweight. One was a shade or two darker than the darkest green in the yarn, and the other was a couple of shades lighter. (Sorry for the flash…I was in a hurry to get the skein wound into bobbins and couldn’t wait for daylight.)

As you know, I decided on the lighter color, thinking that it would help the colors to “pop.” Instead, it completely overwhelmed them:

So I took the light warp off the loom, and put on a dark one instead. Can you believe the difference?

I finished weaving the scarf on Wednesday, washed it Thursday, and gave it Friday. Again, the photos are a little dark because we took them at night, but I think you get the idea.

Even in weaving, the colors did pool quite a bit, but I really like how they interacted. I’ve found that this is consistently true for me; yarns that I would normally avoid knitting with because of pooling make excellent weaving yarns. The uniform width of the piece and the alignment of the color repeats makes the color changes much more acceptable to my eye, and usually makes a beautiful fabric. In this case, I had to be extra careful to line up the color repeats when I switched from one bobbin to the next so that the pattern didn’t shift, but that wasn’t very hard because it only took two and a half bobbins to finish the scarf. Because the width doesn’t change, I was able to keep the same color repeat all the way through the scarf, giving it an interesting zigzag look.

I wove the scarf in a 3/1 twill (the weaving yarn goes over three threads, then under one), so the front and the back look a little different. The laceweight weft is dominant on the front, and the warp is dominant on the back.

The warp is tencel and the weft is silk, so the piece has beautiful shine and drape. The fabric is quite light because the laceweight is so fine, and the twill pattern gives it a little extra texture, too. See all those little diagonal lines? That’s the twill pattern. (It’s in your jeans, too…they’re a 2/2 twill, where the weaving yarn goes over two threads and then under two threads all the way across the fabric.)

As it turned out, Becky wasn’t the only one getting surprised on Friday. She gave me this beautiful project bag:

…filled with Pygora fiber! I’ve never spun Pygora, but it is wonderfully soft, and very warm. I’m looking forward to spinning this one; it’s staple length is so short that it will be very different to spin than the longwools that I’ve been using. It will probably become a laceweight, just enough for a small and special project. Another experiment awaits!