Wednesday, January 16, 2008

And the weave goes on...

Lets just get this out of the way first:

Those are the finished pillows, all sewn up and in their rightful place on the couch. They look nice and I'm very happy with them. If I had it to do over, I'd be much more cautious of how many rows were thrown in each color, so both sides would turn out exactly even. But what can I say, it was a first project and a learning experience.

Project two has begun. Here is the cast of characters:

From left to right, we have very fine two-ply Shetland wool (bought this when I first started knitting to make a sweater for the man. It was on a cone), Madil KidSeta in variegated orange (so beautiful, so soft!), and the warp which is a super ridiculously strong linen I got on a cone from School Products.

When you knit, its easy to pick up yarn and needles and knit a few rows into a little swatch and see if you are happy with the results. While you can swatch in weaving by making a small warp, warping is still enough work that if you know how wide you want a project its best just to add extra length and experiment for a few inches before deciding how to make your cloth. So thats what we did. I pulled out every brown yarn from my stash and we played around before deciding we really liked the fabric that the Shetland made with tiny bits of the orange here and there. Here is the fabric so far:

and here's another view:

This project is intended for covers for cushions for the rocking chair we found, and I had it all planned out so that all the pieces we'd need could be cut from the one cloth. But this linen (paired with the Shetland) takes in way more than the wool did for the pillows, so I think I will have to repeat this again, although much smaller, to make the side panels for the cushions.

The weaving is going well so far, although I have to confess I haven't done too much of it since Sunday. Monday and Tuesday I was sort of bogged down with knitting, between projects and trying to keep something going to work on the train. The man has been doing a bit though, and I don't think we have much left. That said, I wove nearly all Sunday afternoon.

When this cloth comes off the loom, I am going to zigzag around a small piece and soak it in the bathtub. I am hoping that the Shetland will bloom and fill in the spaces better. I washed two strands of the Shetland and it was so much softer and fluffier. The question is, what might soaking do to the linen? Someone on Ravelry said that linen often "falls out of line" and gets squiggly. She said this is usually the desired effect, but I'm not sure its my desired effect! I am really eager to finish the cloth and see what happens with the washing experiment. In the meantime, the man struggles over whether or not he wants to do a light refinishing on the chair.

Of course, knitting has been happening too - its just been sorta boring. I finished the monkeys a few days after Christmas and gave them to my friend for her January birthday. Then I started a hat for the man, finished it. Ripped it. Started socks for the man in On Your Toes boot sock yarn. Finished them super quickly and he loves them and never takes them off and now they're in a dreadful state and not even photographable until they go through the washer. Then I started the man's hat again and finished it yesterday. Nothing too interesting, just a sort of improvised plain winter stocking cap. Then I tried to make something for myself out of this beautiful orange loop mohair I bought at Rhinebeck, but I didn't like my swatch. So I settled on another pair of socks for the man, these in Austermann Step, but I'm not loving it. He complains about hand knit socks being "quitters", and the Step is so soft and silky, there is very little body there to make them stand up on their own. I barely have a reason to finish them when I know he'll complain about them not staying up like store boughts. But, hey, the yarn was right there and I didn't have to open the stash trunk to get it. Which is why I'm working on them.

After looking at the very few loop mohair projects on Ravelry, I'm thinking of a Moebius scarf out of it. On big needles in a simple garter stitch. Its actually fairly difficult to find something that shows off loop mohair as much as it deserves.

And to all the knitters who hated knitting with loop mohair, go on and send it to me. I love it!

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