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Archive for July 4th, 2012

Sparkly woven scarf

A few weeks ago, my shower, which had been playing up for a while, and dripping all the time, finally gave up the ghost (it refused to turn off, which was a little disconcerting just before I had to leave for work, not to mention being all wet etc – I eventually remembered that there was an isolating valve under the bath, so I got dressed, found it, and ran out the door). The upshot was that I had to order a new one, and my parents came over at very short notice so that Dad could fit it for me (it’s very useful having a handy father!)

This of course meant that I was running round desperately tiding up, and in the process I stumbled across a bag which turned out to contain my spoils from Wonderwool, still not unpacked. Oops. But amongst them were these – apologies for the dreadful photo, it’s cropped from the one I took of everything I bought.

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A twist of mixed sparkly pink fibres, and a skein of laceweight silk, both from Oliver Twists. Finding them inspired me to get my loom out again, as the plan for them was to make a scarf, with the pinks running lengthways. I undid the pink twist with some trepidation, and found that it was in fact 8m in length, with about 30 different yarns/threads. I cut it into four 2m-ish lengths, and started warping the loom. Which wasn’t easy – I had to choose pairs of yarns, then knot them twice, once at each side of the back beam, to keep them from slipping round. I had four groups of yarns, and did each set separately, but it was completely random within that. Some of the finer threads, especially the sparkly ones, I warped alongside a length of the silk I was using for the weft.

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It took over three hours in total, not least because once I’d tied all the warp threads on, I had to deal with this tangle on the floor in front of the loom, but eventually it was all sorted and tied on.

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There were a variety of yarns, some with slubs, some ribbon yarns, some silk-like (but I think they’re rayon or similar), and lots with sparkle. It’s very hard to photograph sparkle, this was my best attempt at it!

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The start of the weaving. I didn’t use waste thread at the beginning, the silk was slippy enough to tidy it up once I took it off the loom.

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And all done! It’s not a very long scarf, I lost at bit at the beginning when for some reason one warp thread was shorter than all the others, and I had to trim a few inches off, but it’s a nice length for a summer scarf to wear with my denim jacket. And it drapes beautifully.

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It’s a bit more weft-faced than I’d hoped for (ie the cream silk weft dominates the coloured warp) but it’s quite subtle. And you can see the colours in the fringe.

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Coincidently, just after I’d finished this, I went down to Wingham WoolWork with my friend Nadine, for a demonstration day by Ashford. There was weaving, spinning and drum-carding on offer, but I concentrated on weaving and I picked up loads of really useful tips – I just hope I still remember them by the time I get my loom out again. I’m busy watching tennis at the moment, and that’s not really a thing you can do whilst weaving.

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Of course, I now want a funky eight-shaft loom like the one at the front of this photo, so I can make pretty things like this –

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But they’re over £500, which I just don’t have to spend at the moment, and I’ve nowhere to put it anyway. I’ll just have to concentrate on getting the most out of my rigid heddle. I did learn how to use a pick up stick, and how to warp for doubleweave, so that’s a start…

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