Wed 2 Jan 2013
It turns out I did find time to craft on our long weekend. No surprise there, I suppose.
I posted a while ago about the latest scarf that I was sampling on the loom. I had just finished the sample, and started weaving on the body of the piece. But the more I wove, the more I hesitated. It wasn’t turning out quite the way I wanted. I used a variegated yarn in both the warp and weft, and the two colorways were fighting each other, and fighting the pattern.
I started to think that maybe I really should have stuck with the solid pattern weft yarn from the sample.
The woven pattern shows up better here, but it made for a very pale overall fabric, and I’m not a pale colors person.
And then I started thinking. I liked the warp best when I switched to using a dark gray and the variegated yarns as weft colors. What if I used the dark gray and a light yarn as weft instead? That produced this:
The two cones are the pattern weft colors, and the small skein is what’s in the warp. The pattern looks muuuch better, though. Here’s a side-by-side:
The bottom sample on the left looks very washed out to me, and the sample on top looks too busy. The one on the right is perfect, though. It’s always worth it to try that one extra thing.
Of course, I have just now noticed a mistake in the weaving in the photo above. Can you see it there, right at the top of the photo? Ah well…too late to change it now. I can’t count how many times I unwove to fix that very mistake, too. I guess it’s no surprise that one of them slipped by eventually.
The overshot pattern that I was using for this piece takes quite a lot of concentration to weave. I don’t have many no-talk projects, but this was definitely one of them. Once I got into the rhythm, it was quick to weave, but it did take quite a while to get there.
I finished up the weaving on Saturday, and immediately sat down to find something else to put on the loom. Weaving projects go best if the loom isn’t left idle; I find that even a few days can be enough to lose momentum between projects, and I’d like to keep it busy this year. As soon as I cut the scarf from the loom, I went rummaging in the stash and these popped out at me.
Those are two skeins of sock weight and one of lace that I dyed in a natural dyeing class in Madison. I love the colors, and they’ve been wanting to become something for quite some time, but I could never put my finger on just what that would be. On Sunday, I sat down and wound a warp from the two sock weight yarns, being careful to line up the color repeats as I went. Branden helped me to thread it onto the loom, where I immediately fell in love.
This is a simple project after the last one, something where the weaving is pretty mindless and the color does all the work. I did end up choosing a different color for the weft, since the pink was too prominent in the fabric using the laceweight as weft. Choosing the right weft color is still just short of black magic as far as I’m concerned…there’s no telling what will work until you try, and it’s usually the one you think will clash terribly that works best. It got instantly better when I switched to a dark purple instead, and I am so excited about how it’s coming out.
Those colors were taken well after dark, but they actually look pretty true to life thanks to my new Ott lights that Branden got me for Christmas.
I’ve often wondered if the hype was worth it. I’m still not sure that I’d pay full price (we got them on a great clearance sale at Joann’s…yes, we often end up Christmas shopping together for one another), but they really do a marvelous job with color. Maybe this is just what we needed to capture the colors of fiber from the dye studio?
And, lest you think that weaving has gotten all the attention, I also have evidence of knitting time. More than 11 hours, in fact. I know, because I listened to the entire audiobook of The Hobbit this weekend while knitting away (guess who also gave me an Audible account this year?).
Unfortunately, the sweater is still in the stage where it looks like a shapeless blob, but I am pleased to say that it is a shapeless blob that’s been split for the armholes, at least. Here’s hoping I can keep up the momentum as the semester starts back up! Methinks I need a new audiobook…
That just about sums up my weekend. Once I stopped wandering around aimlessly trying to figure out what I was supposed to be doing, I managed to fit quite a lot of crafting time in there, as well as a few good books and some time with Branden. We got our first snowfall of the year, ate lots of cookies and drank a lot of tea, and generally enjoyed doing a whole lot of nothing around the house. Not a bad way to start the new year, I think.