Thursday, September 19, 2013

Everyone gets a scarf for Christmas

OK, so I've been using a wee app on my iPod to keep a list of things to do this year and "weave something" had been on the list for a while before it slowly climbed to the top. Nick had bought a couple of old Ashford table top looms a few years ago and I'd use one to support some card weaving but still hadn't done any standard weaving.

The Ashford Book of Weaving
Coincidentally on checking out the new Smiths Bookshop at the Woolston Tannery mall I bought a copy of the Ashford Book of Weaving, not contemporary with my looms but also not for the very modern looms. It assumes that you are just beginning and starts with a sampler and small project so that was just perfect. Doing the sampler / project as written would have meant buying materials so i adapted it a bit so that the finished item would be a woolen scarf, not place mats - also because we don't use placemats.

Warp on the loom
Warp on the loom
I did the whole thing over four weekends - did the warping on the first weekend. Had a three day weekend following that and made loads of process, getting right through the bits of the sampler that I chose to do (didn't do the fancy weaves, just the plain and twills) and then into the actual scarf. Then I finished the weaving the following weekend and did the finishing the one after that.

I LOVED IT.

I really got into that focused zone where time disappeared which I love in projects. I only made a couple of mistakes and all but one I fixed (in the sampler). My ganglion cyst on my right hand all but vanished (its since come back but is still smaller). The finished scarf looks really good, I was beating a bit hard, a hang over from my tapestry weaving I think, but that's pretty minor - its pretty even width and not too loopy at the selvedges.

 I gave the scarf to my sister Lu for her birthday. There's a tradition about giving away your first finished item that someone told me long ago. I don't always do so, but sometimes it seems right.

Vital Statistics

The full length of weaving before cutting it off the loom.
The full length of weaving
before cutting it off the loom.
Warp: 110 ends 330mm long of charcoal grey 2/20 wool sett at 10 per 2.5cm
Weft of scarf: grey marl 2/20 wool. Goal width was 25cm.
All the images are over on my flickr.

Sampler section

  1. plain weave using scarf weft.
  2. 2/2 twill using scarft weft.
  3. 1/3 twill using a pink single 'carpet' wool.
  4. 3/1 twill.
  5. "Swiss" twill.
  6. Zig-zag twill in brick red single 'carpet' wool.
  7. 2/2 twill in grey 2 ply 'carpet' wool with binder weft in same as warp.
Finished scarf
Finished Scarf

Scarf

Finished length 152.5 cm not including fringe, width between 25.5 - 26 cm.
After washing - 147cm long, width 23-24 cm wide, 114gm.

So now of course I am busy planning my next project which isn't actually going to be another scarf so you're safe. I'm thinking that I will make two cushion covers, using twills probably and carpet wool as I have quite a lot of that. They should be robust enough to be used outside and at events etc.

Although actually next on my todo list is new shoes so they will have to come first. Its my way of making sure that I do the things that I need as well as the projects that I want to do, by alternating between something I need, something I want, and fixing things I already have.

Interesting sites: