It seems every time I attempt to warp up the new loom, something interrupts me. Today I gave up and started a new project on the rigid heddle. Or rather, continued with it. When I took the woven roving off the other day I had half an hour to spare, so quickly warped up for the next project.
I’d decided it was going to be woven of leftover sock yarn, so I’d gathered together some scraps I thought would look good together:
Today I wound them onto bobbins.
The idea is, you throw the shuttle through the shed from right to left…
… hook it under another yarn (this doesn’t have to be on bobbins – leave it in a ball on the left)…
… and throw the shuttle back again. The two yarns are looped through each other. You can position where you want the change to be.
In this case, I’m trying to get a curvy wave. I’m also staggering the change of yarn/colour on either side.
You could change colours both sides at the same time. Then you could start the next centre line in a different place. You could stagger the position where the two yarns loop to get a ‘frayed’ line down the centre. I can think of a whole lot of variations.
But I have to say, getting the point where the two yarns loop around each other in exactly the position you want without the selvedges getting uneven is not as easy as it looks.
Still, it’s a lot of fun and a great use for leftover sock yarn!
(Couldn’t resist taking a pic with the loom, since the loom has green parts.)
Pattern: Froot Loop from Knitty
Yarn: Opal Solid
Modifications: I grew bored with the stitch pattern (not that it’s unpleasant, I was jut having one of those weeks) and changed to rib for the foot.
Summary: A lovely pair of socks that seem appropiately coloured for spring.
The winds of fate appears to be blowing in the direction of weaving suddenly. Turns out furniture trailers are booked out for the weekend, so I might have time to try out the new loom after all.
In the meantime, a bit of tidying up in my workroom and a wish to be decluttering motivated me to try something new on the AKL last night. I have a plastic tub of roving left from my spinning exploits and a few ideas how to use it up. Investigation on the internet confirmed I could, indeed, weave with roving. So, following these instructions (except I used a wool warp, not a cotton one) I ‘dressed’ the loom with Bendigo Classic 3ply:
Then I got out my trusty new bobbin winder. Funny, it looks like a drill, doesn’t it? Why spend $185 on a hand cranked bobbin winder when you can get a battery powered drill to do the job for $30?
The bobbin went into my lovely new boat shuttle. Oh, so much nicer to use than the old stick shuttles!
Then I pulled and separated undyed merino roving into lengths, adding a few whisps of burgundy roving.
I gave it a bit of a flip and twist and tucked it into the sett.
There are a few rows of the Bendy 3ply yarn to begin with, then alternating rows of two in roving, two in 3ply. The resulting fabric is SO soft. I could hardly stop patting it. And I tell you what, this is addictive. I can see myself, in the future, buying roving just to weave with.
What’s it destined to be? Well, it’s probably not robust enough to be a floor rug (and what a waste!) but I’m hoping a dip in hot and cold water and some massaging will full it a bit, and then perhaps I’ll make cushions. Perhaps even matching ones that are mostly burgundy with a whisp of white…
The pawls just arrived! In fact, they’ve sent rachets as well, probably just to be sure I have the whole mechanism. I am full of relief. And eagerness. But I have to resist the temptation to stop work and warp up the loom NOW.
There are challenges to working from home. Self-discipline is definitely not the least of them.
I think I can justify screwing the pawls on now, since it is just about time for my ‘lunch break’.
Well, I finished everything on my finishing list except the crochet project. And then after Sunday the urge to finish suddenly vanished and I had a bout of startitis, beginning a pair of Firestarters in what may be my new favourite sock yarn: The Knittery Chubby Sock, and a teapot cosy from Yarn #6.
But to be honest, nothing is thrilling me right now. Those two little pawls haven’t arrived yet, so I have a $800+ loom sitting on the workroom floor, unusable but taunting me with possibilities. The loom took ten days to arrive so I feel I need to allow ten days for the pawls before ringing the shop and seeing if anything has gone amiss. That means Friday.
If they do arrive Friday I’ll still have to wait to use the loom. This weekend we’ll be hiring a trailer so we can move some furniture. I’ll be too busy and exhausted to weave. The following weekend I’m off to a convention in Canberra. The depressing thought that I won’t get to play with my new loom until six weeks after ordering it had me feeling a bit down these last few days, so I started trawling the web for inspiration. In particular, clever things to do with an Ashford Knitters Loom in case those pawls have gone astray and I have yet more waiting to do.
I found this and this. Both use pick-up sticks. (I need to get/make me some of those.) There doesn’t seem to be a whole lot of information on using pick-up sticks on the web, but that may be because I hadn’t found the magic combination of words to search with on google.
I’ve also been dipping into my weaving books. My knowledge of weaving is so patchy. Sometimes what I read is almost annoyingly familiar and basic, sometimes it’s utter mumbo-jumbo. But when I went back to the general weaving book I bought a year or so, suddenly I was having little light bulb moments, thinking ‘I’ve heard of this!’ or ‘So that’s what it looks like!’ or ‘So that’s how you do that!’ and the inevitable ‘Hmm. I wonder if I could use that technique to make something a bit more attractive than the example project’.
Tabby (plain) weave is starting to look a bit boring. I want to try overshot and huck lace and double weave. And I keep looking at yarn intended for knitting and crochet projects and thinking ‘I wonder if I could weave something with that’.
Those pawls better arrive soon, or my poor head is going to explode.
Finished Friday night.
It fits. It’s warm and comfy as well as flattering and sexy. I love it.
Pattern: “Swizzle” from Domiknitrix
Yarn: Bendigo Woollen Mills Alpaca, three strands knit as one
Errata: There are plenty, so make sure you find and note them
Comments on the pattern: I’d forgotten how satisfyingly fast chunky knits are. I knit most of the back in one evening, and the fronts took an evening each. The shaping is clever, with neat touches added over the basic waist curves.
Changes to the pattern: I used a different method of casting on for the front that gave the same ‘tubular’ effect, which I found in an old knitting book. I also decided not to have pockets, and so knit the fronts without the opening.
Comments on the yarn: It sheds a little bit, and there are some scratchy guard hairs in it, but overall a nice yarn to knit with and wear.
There’s an extra bit of finishing achieved along with this vest. It is the last of my Knit From Your Books projects. Overall KFYB has not only lessened the guilt of having so many books that I’ve never knit anything from, but made me try things I hadn’t quite gathered the courage to knit. While the Swirled Pentagon Pullover was a bit of a disaster, the rest of the garments have become favourites.
The Simply Garter Vest is one of the few pieces of knitwear that the beau has expressed spontaneous admiration of. The Diagonal Stitch Cardigan has turned into one of those tops I put on when I can’t make up my mind what to wear. The Ribbed Wrap Jacket is comfy and flattering and I have to stop myself wearing it too much. I haven’t worn Tomato very often because the thick yarn and short sleeves mean there’s only a short window of suitability between it being too hot and too cold here, but I do love it. I can tell Swizzle is going to get heaps of wear, too.
The other benefit of KFYB was that when I couldn’t decide what to make next – because I want to make everything NOW – I could let it decide for me. That makes it tempting to start another challenge. Perhaps a crochet challenge. I don’t crochet anywhere near as much as I knit, and I’d like to change that. Or perhaps a weaving challenge to motivate me into working on the loom (since I can’t exactly do it in front of the tv, as I do knitting).
Or maybe I should leave off on the challenges for a while. After all, I have a book to write, a three plus year house move to finish and a house to get ready for sale. My hands are pretty full at the moment.
It’s done. It’s lovely. It’s soft, not too busy, and a good length. And this is my first twisted fringe. I like that it’s less fringy than the usual knotted fringe. If you know what I mean.
I’m on a bit of a finishing drive this week. One weaving, one knitting and one crochet project are my targets, as well as painting a wall and finishing proofing a work project. All to be done by Sunday night.
The knitting project is Swizzle. I just need to sew in that zip.
The crochet project is the Musical Baby Blanket. I have chosen a tune, and started making notes.
Looking at the pile of them the other night, they suddenly reminded me of something naughty but appropriate to a baby blanket. I’ll let you figure that one out for yourself.
I finished the first Froot Loop sock last night, but it’s not on my list of things to finish. No way would I get a second sock done by Sunday night!
I’m hoping to finish assembling the new loom, too. The missing parts haven’t arrived from Ashford yet, but they’re on their way. Funny how things can take two or three days to get here from some parts of the US, or from the UK, but take twice as long from New Zealand.
The first socks I’ve worn out.
I’m undecided. I don’t love these socks, but they get a lot of wear because the colours compliment a lot of my clothing. Hmm. Should I replace the heels, or not?
I found this in a second-hand bookshop recently:
The Golden Hands Encyclopedia of Knitting and Crochet. It’s full of wonderful examples of the fashions of yesteryear.
As always, the worst fashion crimes are inflicted on children:
And these jackets aren’t too awful. Really. It’s just the colour that’s so challenging. Imagine them in charcoal or black. But the trousers? Look at the cuffs. Cor.
Always wanted a housecoat gown with a loopy fringe to get caught in everything? Well here you go:
And just when you thought you’d seen every possible use for granny squares… cloaks. Yes, cloaks:
But you know what? I actually rather like this coat:
In fact, I’m a little worried at how many of these patterns are suddenly appeallingly retro rather than hilarious examples of a bygone fashion era. And when the tubular bind off method of casting on for the fronts of Swizzle proved too awkward for me, I found a much easier way to get the same result in this book.
Sometimes the old ones are good ones.
The beau and I picked up the loom on Friday afternoon. Here it is on my workroom floor:
And the package opened:
And the contents laid out:
But I didn’t assemble it until this morning, because I felt too tired and unwell on Friday and we had a very busy Saturday involving last-moment present shopping, a 1st birthday party and The Rocky Horror Show.
It was more complicated to assemble than Ikea furniture. A drill had to be employed when it turned out there were missing screw holes, then sandpaper when the ends of two pieces of wood weren’t rounded enough to fit and swivel in their positions. But it all eventually came together:
Except for one thing.
Missing parts. There are supposed to be ‘pawls’ here, to fit in the ratchet teeth and stop the rollers turning. I’ll ring the shop tomorrow and see if they can get Ashford to send me the missing pawls. Preferrably using some sort of express postage.
Because I’m bursting to warp up the loom and, well, those pawls are rather vital to the process.