Friday, December 28, 2012

The Project

It's been a quiet few days.  Bruce is pretty much down and out with a nasty cold.  While he's been alternating between sleeping and coughing, I've been busy at my loom. 

There's a project scarf on it that's been sitting and gathering dust since last June.  It's the most complex twill weave I've ever attempted -- 246 ends threaded through eight harnesses and tied to ten treadles.  With that many threads going in that many different places, there were more than the usual number of mistakes and mis-threadings to correct.  Once I got those sorted out, I got to actually weaving without too much difficulty.  Until a warp thread broke.  I added in a new thread and continued weaving.  Several inches later, another warp snapped.  I repaired it, but almost immediately another two broke.  I couldn't figure out why they were breaking, but knew something was wrong.  And then I left for Germany for two weeks.  When I got back, I eyed the project with it's dangling warp threads caused by an unknown problem...and promptly found other things to do.  For the next eight months. 

Twisting the fringe (Scrabble board and soup pot weighting everything down)
Finally, with a baby blanket project waiting in the wings for our new grandson and a new year looming days away, I decided that it was time.  It didn't take long to realize that the broken warp threads were being caused by my allowing the sides to draw in as I wove -- this caused the edge warps to stretch and finally give out entirely.  I gave up the first scarf as a lost cause, practiced my new technique on a bit on a small stretch of warp, and then commenced to weaving and finishing off the entire scarf in two days (plus eight months, of course).

The finished scarf was as satisfyingly beautiful as anything I've ever made.  After a quick washing and drying, the weave "bloomed" into a fascinating mix of patterns.  The drape and feel of the scarf was incredibly soft and a delight to the skin.  I fell in love with it.

So I pressed it, wrapped it up and drove down to Stockton to give to daughter Liz for a Christmas/Engagement gift.  I was very happy to have something so pretty to give to her...

...however, I'm eying the remaining cones of yarn and wondering if I have time to weave a similar scarf for myself before the yarn for the baby blanket project arrives in the mail.

Hmmm...I figure that if I can shave eight months off my weaving time, I should have another finished in about two days.  Could happen!

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