Sunday, November 27, 2011

A Year in the Planning

Okay, not really. I had it planned out and ready to go, way back when, but sometimes things just fall behind in the weaving queue, you know? So after making numerous showy towels and scarves and whatnot, throughout this whole year, I finally feel like this project's time has come. (I laughed when I read the bit in last year's post about "one more project before this one." A textbook example of the best laid plans, I think.) Perhaps the best impetus of all is that it's been a bit chilly of late, so why not prepare for the winter by weaving a toasty blanket?

I mentioned in that first post that I'm weaving it in two panels. This is the beginning of the first one, six repeats across and eighteen long. When I finish the second panel and attach them, the finished blanket will be twelve repeats by eighteen, which should be somewhere around 45 inches by 60 inches, the perfect size for napping on the sofa.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Pop Quiz, Hotshot

Does anyone want to hazard a guess regarding what this portends?

Monday, November 21, 2011

Revisiting the Kindergarten

The first pair of colours I matched up for the second series was some beautiful heathered Cascade 220, possibly my two favourites of all their many shades. There was a lovely sort of wheat yellow with green heathered throughout it, and a sort of greeny grey brown. They look lovely together, and have a bit more contrast to the naked eye than this photo would appear. What I love about this scarf, another version of Hopsack with a 2-colour warp, is that one side of the fabric has vertical stripes while the other side has horizontal stripes. I wish it was clearer in the photo, but nevertheless, it might give some little kid something to ponder.

The next pair of colours is also Cascade 220 -- I was planning to use the magenta with a dark wine red, but there wasn't enough contrast to show the pattern well, so I went in a very different direction and grabbed some more of the bright green. The two colours clash terrifically, which I think kids like, right? Anyway, I did a herringbone twill with some basketweave strips between. I saw a draft sort of like this one on Weavolution, and adapted it and cleaned it up a bit to use it for this scarf. I like how it turned out, and it certainly reminded me of how much I love a simple herringbone twill.

Lastly, I pulled bits of many of the colours I'd already used and wound a random little warp to weave in random stripes of plain weave. I decided to do plain weave instead of twill, because I wanted the various colours in warp and weft to intermingle and blend and create some interesting hues. I think it went pretty well, although I have to admit that I enjoyed this one the least, perhaps because I prefer having a bit of structure, rather than so much freedom. Is that weird? I also had to change the sett, to 8 ends per inch, which seemed maybe a bit loose on the loom, but fluffed up nicely once I soaked and washed and fulled it a bit.

A cute little stack of woolen scarves.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Kindergarten Scarves

One of the lovely ladies I knit with regularly is a kindergarten teacher. A purer heart you will never encounter. She mentioned a while ago that some of her kids can't really afford proper winter wear, which is obviously a must in Edmonton. I thought that the least I could do was contribute a few scarves from some random and/or leftover wool I had. Knitting makes great scarves, but so does weaving, and it's waaaay faster. So I paired up some colours and picked some drafts from my Handweaver's Pattern Directory, and started. Four days later, four cool scarves for kindergarteners.

Thursday: I started with a simple neutral zig zag in browns. This is some leftover Knit Picks Wool of the Andes, and when I took it off the loom and washed it, it fluffed up a lot and made a super air-filled scarf. It will be warm, for sure. This one set the standard for the rest, with 10 epi, and aiming for about 6" wide and 50" long.

Friday: I tied this warp onto the last one, since it used the same threading and the same number of ends. I just did a different treadling for this one, also out of Wool of the Andes, and it made kind of a cool polka-dot almost-stripe thing. In the photo, on the left and center panels, you are looking at the front of the fabric. On the right you are seeing the back of the fabric. Similar but different. When I finished this one, I put a little more effort into fulling it when I washed it, and it ended up a very nice cohesive fabric.

Saturday: For the third one, I put together two great shades of green Cascade 220 - a searing apple green and a mellow teal - and, after rejecting several design possibilities, decided that nothing would do but to revisit the zig zag. I love how it looks in these two colours. The whole time I was weaving it, I wished it was for me. It makes me grin every time I look at it. There is something Kermit the Froggish about it, I think.

Sunday: Lastly, I pulled out two more skeins of Cascade 220 and did a variation of Hopsack with a two-colour warp and weft. I don't know the name of this pattern, but I've been wanting to weave it for a while. It's sort of a minimalist houndstooth or something. Anyway, I love the effect of the two-colour warp and weft, and also love these two colours together. I bought them ages ago to make a pair of herringbone mittens, but just never got around to it.

So that's the end of my Four Scarves in Four Days series. Of course, after I finished the four I'd planned, I realized I still have enough leftover yarn for at least a couple more. So I pulled out the warping board and got back to work.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Woobu Scarf: Take Two

For the second iteration of the leftover Woobu scarves, I decided to revisit a fancy-looking twill design that I used for my very first ever weaving project. The Handweaver's Pattern Directory tells me that it's a variation on M & W threading. Me, I just did what it said to do, and hoped for the best.

If you compare this scarf to the original, you will see the similarities, as well as some differences. The original was done in a super-drapey bamboo yarn, which was quite fine. This yarn is of course a much fluffier wool and bamboo blend. After blocking, it does have a surprising amount of drape for a wooly scarf.

Unfortunately my indoor photo shoot washed out the colours a bit, due to the sheen of the yarn - the design does actually stand out quite a bit better than it appears to, in these photos.

Having finished that one, I am in a bit of a scarf-frenzy right now. More to show off, tomorrow!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Busy Bee

I've been AWOL for a bit because I caught a case of finish-itis. Unfortunately not also a case of taking-photos-itis.

Hallowe'en came and went and I'm particularly pleased with this year's costume: the adorable and beloved Bee Girl from Blind Melon's No Rain video.

Obviously I knit the armwarmers and the hat (from KnitPicks Palette), and just altered a yellow henley t-shirt for the top. Most of the effort went into sewing the tutu, which entailed me nearly drowning in 6 yards of black netting and yellow ribbon. Having never made a tutu before, it was a bit of a hack, but certainly good enough.

A lot of people didn't get the reference, and just thought I was a bumblebee, which was okay, because the people who do remember Bee Girl loved it and I made people giggle happily all day, and feel a warm golden glow of reminiscence.