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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 –
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…