Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Way Overdue

Finishes from more than a month ago. Nothing like being ahead of the power curve, eh?

I put a warp on my little table loom for the first time. It was just a small warp, 1 yard total, so I could test an overshot pattern. The shed is tiny, and changing the harnesses using top-mounted levers made my shoulder ache, so I doubt I could ever do a full-scale project on this loom. But for what I got it for, to do test pieces on, it worked quite well. I think Little Loom will be well-used as time goes on.
Not to worry - that garish orange is just my "trash yarn" for spreading the warp threads. 

The pattern I was testing is an old overshot pattern called "The Cross of Tennessee." This particular version came from a copy of Original Miniature Patterns for Hand Weaving,  which tells me that the pattern gets its name because it's a cross and tab pattern that was a favorite of weavers in Tennessee. It really doesn't pay to put a lot of weight on these patterns' names. If I've learned anything from perusing Helen Bress' Coverlet Book (a massive 2 volume set that I figure can help weigh the house down if we ever get another hurricane) and my more recently acquired Brown Book of Weaving Drafts (Miller & Schillo), it's that these overshot weaving patterns' names are far less consistent than even quilt pattern names, which certainly win no awards for standardization. Perhaps it's because they've been around a lot longer, or because individual weavers can vary them so much by their choice of threads and treadling, or by moving the blocks around. But here is a photo of my test swatch of "Cross."
"Cross of Tennessee" in 10/2 off-white warp, 5/2(?) purple weft.
 Among other things I learned that a repeat of 56 threads sounds intimidating, but is quite do-able if you just take your time with it. I'm planning to weave a table runner in this pattern with the colors below - light tan for the warp, dark brown for the weft. It will be 5 pattern repeats across with  twill borders. The warp is wound and chained, so now I'm in for a long round of threading. I am not looking forward to it. While I understand there are weavers whose favorite part of the process is dressing the loom. Not only am I not in their number, I believe the right therapy would do wonders for them.
3/5 perle cotton dark brown for the weft, 10/2 perle cotton light tan for the warp.
In other realms, I finished the "Easy Lace Scarf." It looked great when it came off the needles. However, I read in the Yarn Harlot's blog that you absolutely should block all your knitted goods. Even though I doubted it needed it, I blocked the thing. Turned out it was a Very Good Idea. The scarf came out looking even better than before. The yarn is King Cole superwash. Looking at the label, I can't tell if the entire line or just the colorway is called "ZigZag." It took me a while to find a pattern for this yarn where the colors didn't pool, but once I did, it was off to the races! This was a great traveling knit; it took about 3 repeats to have it memorized. It was just the ticket for long waits in the doctors' offices.

Completed "Easy Lace Scarf."

And the Blue Heron Yarn has found a project.

This is the current state of the Age of Brass and Steam Kerchief, a Ravelry download. I'm having to vary the pattern a bit because the yarn is about half the weight called for, but I was looking for something that would show off the variegation of the yarn. This is succeeding nicely. The photo does not show that there is a silver metallic thread running through it that adds a great sparkle. I was concerned about what it would feel like when it knitted up, but it turns out the whole thing is surprisingly soft. You just have to love it when things break your way.
Prickly pear cactus - and no, this was not photo-shopped in any way.
Thanks for stopping by and remember - follow your heart and the rest will follow, right? 
Of course right!


  1. You and Marti need to get together on the knitting thing. She's learning how. I never could. My mother could knit all sorts of stuff, but never taught me. She really wasn't much of a teacher, anyway. I look forward to seeing the table runner.

  2. Oh I remember dressing the loom. Never my favorite part either. You swatch looks great though. Hope the weaving on the big piece goes well. Love your knitting projects too.

  3. Love the kerchief, I've had my eye on that one. I'm halfway through my first Christmas project set, Jen's cowl is next. Little Loom looks to be a handy sort of fellow!