Saturday, February 28, 2009


Once there was a girl who had a little curl
Right in the middle of her forehead
And when she was good she was very, very good
But when she was bad she was horrid

Sorry folks - no blog post today! I'm as burnt as the orange in yesterday's warp. Hopefully my end of the month wrap up will happen tomorrow but it's going to be another busy day so I'm making no promises... Monday, though - Monday for sure!

Friday, February 27, 2009

It's the end of the month as we know it... [Scarf 20]

Well, folks, there it is: the 20th and final scarf of Scarfaday Month One. It's hard to believe that a whole month and yet only a month has gone by already! Truth be told, I'm not sure if it seems longer or shorter than a month... funny how that goes, eh wot?

I hope to post a wrap up of the month tomorrow so I'll just blog today's scarfa as usual. I do want to mention a couple of things first, though:

1) I'll be going back through old posts tomorrow see if there are questions in the comments that I never got around to answering. If you've got questions about anything you've seen in the blog so far, add a comment to this post and I'll answer as best I can.

2) Scarfaday is not over! Tomorrow I'll wrap up Month One and on Monday I'll be posting my revised rules of engagement for March and the months following. There will be some changes but I definitely plan to continue for as long as I can, so please keep coming back!

3) Be sure to check back Monday when I'll also be posting about my first free giveaway. I always get a big kick out of the giveaways I see on other blogs so I'm going to have one too - yay! Hopefully it will be the first of many. :D

And now for ... dum dum dum dum duuuuuuuummmmmm ... Scarfaday #20! My last Scarfaday v1.0 day was really busy, and most of the highlights had nothing to do with scarves! It went sort of like this:

10:30 am: Meet with a customer so she could choose her fave of the baby blankets I wove a month ago and decide which binding she likes best. I love it when customers love my fabrics as much as I do! :D

11:00 am: Stopped at a local sewing store that's going out of business, where I might be able to pick up a lot of notions for a song. How many zippers can one person really use? I aim to find out!

12:00 pm: Lunch with da galz. This was great for all the usual reasons but even more GRATE because a friend's daughter is finishing up the first year of a graphic design program and is looking for a month long work placement - a volunteer work placement, I might add - and asked if I'd be interested in hiring her. Ooooh, boy, I cannot tell you how excitin' that is! It really seems like everything is falling into place for me this year. Woooot, and again I say Woooot.

4:00ish pm: After more errands (and more fabric stores) I finally got started on today's scarfa with the lovely burnt orange:

Was a bit anxious before I started weaving that it wouldn't look as nice in the warp as it did in my mind but after just a few shots I was really happy with the results. :) As much as I liked the red and the black, I think I like this one the best so far - at least on this warp. The burnt orange is about halfway between the old gold and the rust in the warp, and it contrasts well with both the black and the off-white. Turned out really well, ifIdosaysomyself.

The weaving didn't take long since I made a point of beating this one even more gently than I have recent scarves. I was really happy with the drape of Scarf #4.5, you may recall, and that one I'd also beat more lightly than the others on its warp. I'll be really curious to see if this one's too sleezey or if I like the added drape.

I decided to weave this one and the one before it shorter than the others I've done lately because 1) I think it's fair to say that guys tend to wear shorter scarves (true? not true? opinions?) and 2) I've done so many long ones lately it seemed time for a change. Still, I'm tempted to go right back to the loom and weave another in the same colour but longer. Might do that over the weekend.

At any rate, today's scarf is 66" under tension (UT) and yesterday's was 60" UT. I'm usually a bit dodgy about keeping track of how long I weave my scarves since I'm not weaving them for anyone in particular - I aim for something between 60" and 84" which, as you may imagine, is a target that's not very difficult to hit. For reasons that I hope will become clear soon, it's now important to me to know just how much they take up and then shrink. I figure if I post it right here then I can't possibly lose the little slip of paper I made the note on...

There's still enough on the warp for at least one more scarf and, since I made these two a bit shorter I can make the next one longer than usual. Variety is the spice of life and all that!

So! Thus ends Scarfaday Month One. See you tomorrow for a wrap up and then Monday for the start of Month Two!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Penultimate! [Scarf 19]

Another quickie post at the end of another quickie scarf but this time for a much better reason: I've got a date! Dinner anna movie with my Sweetie Pie. :D So, since I promised to be done with S/D by 8:00 pee em, I gotta be quick here!

I was going to use the burnt orange, as you may recall, but changed my mind at the last minute and went with somber, serious black. Maybe it was because I've had a kind of bummer day - nothing in particular happened really, it's just One Of Those Days.1 Plus I spent part of the afternoon and evening struggling with business decisions for the shop and trying to convince myself and my partners that we need to spend some $$ on advertising, so was feeling pretty somber and serious for that reason, too.

Not that the scarf itself is a bummer, mind you - I quite like the black. It's a little more understated than the red but still just as striking.

Scarf #19 started....

...and ended...

...with my standard hemstitching. I've been hemstitching all of these and not twisting the fringes 'cause I think the twisted fringes would be Pretty Bulky in this heavy weight of cotton, plus the untwisted ends look really nice once they've loosened up a bit in the wet finishing. I make sure they're always secured before I wash them so that they don't unply - keeps the scarves from tangling around themselves in the washer, too. Takes a bit more effort up front but saves tons of times sorting out tangled fringes afterwards so it's well worth it.

Here's today's finished scarfa:

This one's #19 - can you believe it?! Only one more and I will have accomplished my original short-term goal of a scarf a day for the entire month. That feels Pretty Good, letmetellyou.

See you tomorrow for The Last Scarf woven by the original ground rules! Maybe I'll use that burnt orange yet...

1. Hence the cheer-me-up date - yay for sweetie pies!

Warp #4 in review

Here it is, the long awaited warp 4 in review!1 Long awaited by me anyway - for some reason I've had trouble getting this one done. I didn't love all the scarves on the warp and then I had a little uboo when wet finishing them - I think they're okay but it made me drag my feet a bit. Some of you might be thinking to yourselves, "hang on now, I don't remember warp 3 being reviewed," and you'd be right. Warp #3 was the black sad trombone shawl that's still waiting for its fringes to be twisted. When I get around to that, I'll post after-finishing pics of it, too. I'll warn you now, though, this might wind up waiting until my dear ol' Mum comes in May. ;)

So here is warp #4, which covers scarves 9, 10, 11, 12, and 13:

And finally, here are the vital statistics for the scarves that I've been promising:

Warp: 4/8 cotton set at 12 EPI, 90 ends = 7.5" in the reed.
Scarf #9: weft = 4/8 cotton, finished dimensions = 64" x 6"
Scarf #10: weft = 8/8 cotton, finished dimensions = 67" x 6"
Scarf #11: weft = 6/12 rayon slub, finished dimensions = 59" x 5.75"
Scarf #12: weft = cotton chenille mill ends ~1450 ypp, finished dimensions = 72" x 5.5"
Scarf #13: weft = cotton chenille mill ends ~1450 ypp, finished dimensions = 55" x 5.5"

The 4/8 cotton I used for warp 4 is finer than the 8/8 cotton I used in warp 1 but thicker than most of the threads in warp 2. Scarves 9 and 11-13 turned out well: 9 is super drapey and 11 is like water, whereas the chenilles are a bit thicker and very soft. Mmm, yummy!

Scarf #10 was an experiment that had mixed results. I used the 8/8 cotton on a 4/8 warp since I've been so happy with a 4/8 cotton on an 8/8 warp. Ha. What I didn't account for was the fact that in the 8/8 warps I'm beating in the 4/8 cotton at about 9 PPI, whereas this 4/8 warp was set at 12 EPI. As a result, Scarf #10 is Pretty Stiff. I've given it a good hard press and might try cold mangling it as well, except that I've only got the usual wooden rolling pin so I'm not sure how I'd get a hard enough press. If I make the experiment, I'll let you know what I used and how it turned out. If that doesn't soften the scarf up a bit I might wind up using it as yardage and sew some tiny little things out of it. Or I might just bung it in the shop this summer rather than list it online anywhere - that way if anyone buys it it'll be because they love it just the way it is.

So, the upshot is that, if I use an 8/8 on a 4/8 warp again, I'll have to beat it much lighter. I think I'll just avoid doing that, though, since the 4/8 weft and a similar weight of rayon made such nice, soft drapey scarves.

Oh, and if you're wondering about the finishing uboo, it's just that I left them in the dryer longer than I really should have, so the rayon weft got a little bit over cooked. It's okay to leave the cotton ones in until they're properly dry but I've learned that it's best to take the rayon ones out while still slightly damp. I did that with warp #5, which I wet finished today and which is now drying on a rack in the yarn room - really should have taken it straight to the ironing board and pressed it while it was damp but I was anxious to take my warp 4 pics while the light was still good.

By "pressed" I really mean ironed, though I did give Scarf #10 a good, hard press this time round. I still use the word "press" to mean anything I do with an iron but I know that, strictly speaking, it should be reserved for the really good, hard press - with lots of, yes, pressure - that you can do to really seat the fibres and flatten them out and help them to find their place in life. Laura, if you're reading, you'll be rather proud to learn that I promptly went out and bought a new extra wide ironing board with stronger legs after taking your Magic in the Water course (twice) -- because I bent all the legs on my old one trying to press things hard enough. ;) I'm afraid I've since fallen off the wagon a bit in this respect but I haven't forgotten what I learned, really I haven't! I'm just a lazy bugger at heart is all. :)

So there you have it: warp #4! Warp #5 is already wet finished, as I mentioned, so hopefully I can review that one pretty soon too. It's my peony warp that I'm still so enamoured of so I don't anticipate any foot dragging where it's concerned. :)

And now I'd best go weave scarf #19. Holy cow - only one scarf left this month after today!

1. I'm going to review warp by warp from now on rather than week by week since the warps and weeks aren't synched up anymore.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Red Hot Pokers [Scarf 18]

Oh man, I've done it again! Got the scarfa done nice and early and moseyed upstairs for dindin and a bit of the ol' boob tube, and here it is 11:00 pee em and I haven't blogged it yet. And I had so much to say today, too! How 'bout this: I'll give you the cliff notes version now, a preview of coming attractions, sorta thing. Then tomorrow I'll fill in the details. Maybe here, maybe on HFD 'cause most if it's pretty OT.1

Here's what I fit into my day today: Time Out registration for beginning sewing classes, another coffee bombing plus my first (but hopefully not last) virtual coffee bombing (tho' the bombee doesn't know it yet), knitting a couple of samples for an exchange with my spinning group, weaving my scarfa like mad in the afternoon 'cause Wednesday is TV bonanza night chez moi (Mmmm, Life on Mars! Mmmm, Life!), and then the bonanza itself.

As for the scarfa part, it went like this:

3:00 or so: Realized I'd better wind a warp PDQ and get 'er on the loom, so I wandered into the yarn room and perused the shelves for something Guyish. I wound up (ha!) with a black, a brown with a definite greenish tint, a rust, a gold and an ivory. Ron says yes, they're good guy colours. Huzzah!

4:58 pm: Got the loom dressed and ready to go:

I decided to go with the regular, balanced stripe this time and at first was kinda sorry. It looks SO stripey with SO much contrast!

Still, variety is the spice of life and all that, so I kept on keeping on to see what happened. I rummaged a bit further and came up with about half a dozen possible wefts, one of which was a burnt orange that I was sorely tempted by. In the end, though, I went with a brick red to tone down the brighter gold and rust in the warp a bit - still tryin' for something that Ron might conceivably wear. Not sure how well I succeeded in that respect, but I'm quite happy with the result anyway. :) And tomorrow I can try my burnt orange content in the knowledge that I stuck to the plan today.

Not that sticking to the plan is always desirable, no sirree. I'm not much of a planner really and like to make spur of the moment decisions about stuff. Still, every once in a while it's nice to stretch the ol' plan making muscles and then ever so satisfying when I stick to whatever plan I've come up with and it works out okay. :)

Anyhoo, this was the result, at a little while after 6:00:

I have to say, weaving this scarf was a bit surreal. For one thing, my eyes really didn't want to focus on the fabric while I was weaving. I kept zenning out and then realizing that, not only had my mind disengaged from the work at hand (literally), so had my eyes. I don't know if that was due to my frame of mind or some kind of colour interaction but it was Rather Funky. For another thing, I had the best weaving zen while weaving this one that I've had for a long time - had lots of ideas, inspiration for new projects and experiments... felt really great. My internal dialogue was going at such a constant rate that I didn't even notice for almost an hour that I wasn't listening to WeaveCast - today it would have been a distraction from mind games well played. All in all, a very good day! All days should start out with coffee bombing!

I'm not sure what to call this palette. Things like "forge", "lava", "flame", "volcano" and "Hephaestus" all occurred to me but the thing that kept bubbling up over and over was "red hot poker". Somehow that doesn't sound like a very catchy palette colour, though. ;) Will have to think on it further. Any suggestions?

See you tomorrow, possibly with ensuite burnt oranges!

1. OT = Off Topic, for those of you who don't speak internet. (Hi, Ma!)

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Bye bye Peony (for a little while) [Scarf 17]

There it is, that lovely shiny rayon slub again - so pretty! I particularly like the thick-and-thinness of it. Gives a bit of texture to the fabric even though it comes out soooo silky smooth. I know this for a fact since I finally got warp #4 wet finished today. Unfortunately I ran out of time to get all the scarves properly pressed and photographed, so the warp in review will have to wait another day, or two, or three...

I'm sorry that this Peony warp is done already - I still really love these colours. So fresh and springy! I think I'll repeat them again sometime fairly soon but with regular stripes instead so I can compare the results (at least, that's my excuse - mostly I just want to keep weaving this palette!). Even so, at this point I'm thinking my next warp will be more neutrals, perhaps a bit darker. Guy Colours - at least according to my guy, who no one could possibly accuse of being flamboyant where wardrobe is concerned. I was noticing how well the scarf he was wearing this evening matched his sweater and winter coat; I think I might do those colours again, even though I've done them twice already. That feels a bit cheaty but I haven't done them for Scarfaday yet so it's not breaking the rules!

Scarf #17's scarfa day went like this:

2:00ish pm: Start weaving with the little bit of rayon still left over on a pirn from scarf #11. This only gave me about 6" and then I realized I'd better get a move on with wet finishing warp #4. I tossed that into the washer, wound up another bobbin and got back to the loom... at least for a little while.

2:48 pm: Taking another break for wet finishing, snackies with Ron (who was home from work today) and The Petting of the Cats. Looks like I've got maybe 15" done?

I finished up the scarf in pretty short order after my little break, but then spent a while with warp #4, pressing the first couple of scarves and such like. Still didn't get them separated in time to capture the good natural light (what there was of it today - another snowy day here in the Great White North) so no pics yet, ho hum.

And then there was a mad dash into town to disrobe DesBarres, during which we nearly froze our fingers off, and a stop to drop off a friend's new knitting project that had somehow come home with me from the knit-a-thon by mistake, and an invite to a late dinner with said friend - how could we say no? We didn't even try, no sirree, so here I am bloggin' this scarfa quick quick quick so we can turn around and go back out and meet up with them after work. Mmmm, tasty!

Got home around 7:45 and I zipped downstairs to take my end-of-scarf shots:

And also my end-of-warp shots:

Pretty, light pastels. They look a bit like sherbet. They look much too springy and sherbet sounds much too cold for a snowy day like today, but they'll be perfect in a couple of months!

And now: yam fries, here I come!

Monday, February 23, 2009

The calm after the storm [Scarf 16]

Hello and welcome to week four of Scarfaday! Week FOUR! Can you believe it? I can't! I'm definitely not ready for this whole business to be over so I'm working on revised ground rules that'll let me keep going but still restore some balance to my weaving diet. Details will be forthcoming.

We got up really early this morning and drove through rain and sleet and snow for an appointment with a specialist that we've been waiting almost a year to see. Add that to still being a bit worn out from the excitement over the weekend and today turned out to be a really lazy day once I got home. I started my scarfa around noon and got the first 40" done but then I ate a bunch of blogs for lunch and snacked on a really good book all afternoon. By the time Ron came home from work I was almost done with the book, almost done with the scarf, and almost late for my make-up yoga class. Happily, almost was plenty in all cases: I went to yoga, came home and finished the scarfa and will shortly trundle upstairs and finish my book before collapsing in bed. A good day well spent!

The scarf part of my scarfa day went like this:

12:20 pm: Start weaving scarf #16, using the anticipated yellow weft. Incidentally, this warp is 8/8 and the yellow weft in question is a 4/8, both unmercerized cottons. They'll make a really soft, cozy fabric for chilly spring days - just the ticket for the unsuspecting cruise visitors that will arrive in May dressed for Florida weather and feeling like someone has played a very cruel trick on them indeed. ;)

12:24 pm: I stopped to hemstitch the first end...

... and got totally distracted by blogs and stuff when going upstairs to get Bella (the camera) and Lulu (the laptop) to take pics and listen to WeaveCast while weaving.

2:11 pm: Got a phone call from a friend so took the phone downstairs and wove while chatting. Gives one a crick in the neck from clutching the phone on your shoulder, but does get you back the loom and away from the tasty bloggy goodness on the computer! By this time I'd been back at the loom long enough to get the first 40" done...

...but then I wandered back upstairs to get Lulu (still hadn't managed to get her downstairs) and got distracted by Nation, the new book by Terry Pratchett that Ron got me for Christmas that I just started reading last night. I picked it up on page 55 around 2:30 and by the time Ron got home at 5:30 I was near the end - of the book, if not the scarf!

Then there was the aforementioned yoga class, followed by a lovely date with Ron at Tim Horton's, and then finally I got back home and down to the loom. AND I got to listen to the WeaveCast episode finally.

10:25 pm: Scarfadone!

Looks like there's one more scarf on this warp and I'm thinking I might try more of that lovely rayon slub tomorrow. Will also review week three and the last couple of warps. Guess that means I ought to wet finish them, eh wot? I've been awfully lax in that department.

Tomorrow's a busy day - I'll see you then!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Doctor, I need a consult! [Scarf 15]

Gooood mornin' all, and a big hello to anyone who's visiting for the first time after reading my letter to's weaving list yesterday. For those of you who aren't members of the listserv, I heartily recommend it: it's a wonderful resource for weavers of all stripes, skill levels and interests. My letter was a plea for guest scarves in order to keep Scarfaday going past the end of the month; I'll be posting more completely about my plans in that regard next weekend. In the meantime, if anyone out there would like to contribute a guest scarfa complete with pics and a write up, please get in touch!

Phew, so that's the paperwork out of the way. Now back to scarves!

Today's post is gonna be a quickie 'cause I'm due at the library in a couple hours for our usual Fibre Friday and then set-up for tomorrow's knit-a-thon afterwards. Because of that, I trotted downstairs bright and early this morning to get started on the scarfa. I got distracted for a bit by email and Twitter and my usual breakfast of weaving blogs. There were also a few trips up and down the stairs (the only exercise I get in a day so I try not to mind when I forget things in one place or another) during which I stopped by the living room for a consult.

I imagine all weavers call for a consult from time to time. Ron, being a long time fibre-husband, is completely used to them by now. I'll throw some apparently random question his way with two or three options presented totally out of context, and expect him to come up with an answer. Today it was "yellow or peach?" to which he promptly replied "peach!" - no questions asked and no details required, bless his pointy little head. :)

Granted, I'm not quite so laissez-faire about these little consults if I'm really in a quandry and don't know what to do. This was a no brainer sort of thing where either answer was correct and I knew I'd spend more time than was required deciding between two equally good options. I'm sure by now he can read my tone of voice and realize when this is the case; in other situations I'll give him lots more details and he'll ask very knowledgable questions in order to give an informed response. How great is that? I have said it before and I'll say it again: I am the luckiest thing!

So today was a peach chenille day. Turns out Bella's got some issues with peach - I tried to balance the whites a few times and no matter what I did the peach came out more yellow than it really is. It's actually a pretty pink peach. I fiddled the colours in Picasa with varying degrees of success but, as you'll see, the peach looks a bit different in each shot. Oh well, I guess it doesn't matter all that much anyway since it's just going to show up differently on every monitor on the planet anyway. Ahhh, colour - ain't it grand?

Anyhoo, I wound my first bobbin, fired up WeaveCast Episode 2.0 which I downloaded last night, and sat down to weave scarfa #15 - the end of Week 3 already, can you believe it!? It took a little bit longer to weave than the others have done, partly because I was listening so intently to the podcast and partly because I'd finally tightened up a nut on one leg of the beater that's been loose for far too long and now Joe's a bit stiffer to beat. No doubt he'll loosen up again before long - he's definitely one loosey goosey kinda guy no matter how often I tighten up his nuts and bolts.

At any rate, this is how it went:

8:33 am: Bobbin's wound, podcast's on and scarf's underway! Just about to do the hemstitching on the first end here:

9:25 am: The first pirn ran out at a bit more than 40". I know it's all just basic maths but I'm still surprised at how much sooner lengthwise the pirns run out when the warp's just one inch wider.

For anyone who's keeping track, I used a 1-5-3 tension for this scarf and the other chenille wefts I used on the last warp.

10:15ish am: (Why won't Twitter tell me the exact time of my tweets for 24 hours? Argh!) My second pirn ran out at 67". I'd planned to weave a little more than 70" so I'd aimed for about that much on the pirn when winding the second one, but obviously I miscalculated. Now I had to decide whether 67" was an okay length or try to wind just the right amount again. My usual MO would have been to call 67" done but now that there are People Watching, I felt obliged to stick to the original plan and weave a bit more. That's peer pressure in action, that is!

10:30 am: Overwound the next pirn by a very little bit but decided to stop at 77" even though there was still a bit of weft left on the pirn. If I'd made this scarf longer and then wind up with a stubby at the end of the warp, I'll be Very Sad Indeed. I don't like being sad, so I broke off the weft and hemstitched right where I was:

At this point the phone rang - someone from ACOA asking if I want to participate in a Product Tours mission to NH, VT and MA at the end of March aimed at "artisans/craftspeople considering how to make their production process into a tourism experience." They're going to be touring through the studios of artists and artisans "that have capitalized on the experiential tourism trend and have created experiences involving production processes and facilities." Sounds like a lot of the usual government and marketing mumbo-jumbo and yet I find myself mildly curious about it. Maybe that's just because they called me specifically rather than just sending out the email (that I ignored), but I can't help but wonder if there might be something useful in it for my Studio 649 idea... Still, it's expensive, and it's a five day trip at a time when I really ought to be making stuff for the shop. Sounds like I need another consult!

10:43 am: Peach scarfadone!

Now I'm off to lunch and the library, and then the knit-a-thon this weekend! Have a lovely weekend everyone. See you Monday, when I suspect it'll be a yellow cotton kind of day.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Introducing 'Peony' [Scarf 14]

Remember this from yesterday?

Let me just say right off the bat that I love this new palette! I can really see myself weaving a lot of it for the shop this year. It's so bright and fresh and springy! Just the thing for a day like today, when we've got a winter storm warning and the snow and wind is most definitely on its way. I really love snow and storms are fun when you don't have any place to go but it was really nice to spend my day weaving something cheery and bright. :D

This palette is one I picked out last year when I'd been looking through some home dec mags - I'm a sucker for home dec mags at this time of year and I often pick out new palettes for the coming summer by paying attention to what I see. I can't remember now if it was House & Home or Style At Home but whichever it was, there was a picture of a dining room with a huge bouquet of peonies on the table. Yeah, sure, the furniture and the fabrics on the chair seats were nice and all, but those peonies were beeeooootiful! Big ol' pink ones with about ten zillion shades of pink and green leaves and even bits of yellow - don't remember if those were other colours in the room or if they were in the bouquet somehow. So out came the sample cards and in went the order and home came the yarn... and then somehow I never got around to actually winding a warp with it. A shame, since it's such a pretty palette! Happily, its time has now arrived. I'm sure I'll be weaving some blankets in this palette (my original plan for the yarn) and maybe also baby blankets and pillows and bags and, and, and... And scarves, evidently.

I warped up the loom this morning and took tons of pictures of the process with the idea of turning them into some kind of photo montage/tutorial of how I dress my loom. Will see about doing that some time in the future; for now I'll share a couple of the highlights since I don't have too many WIP shots of the scarf itself.

My scarfamorning went like this:

9:53 am: Start with this lovely warp chain...

... and begin to dress the loom. That is, put the raddle in the beater and lease sticks through the cross:

...followed by rough sleying, getting the rod through the bouts of warp and onto the back beam and then the obligatory winding on, of course. Took pics of all of those for the tute!

This is one of my faves from the winding pics:

It shows one of the best things about warping your loom from back to front: that's all the loom waste I had. That's not my main reason for choosing to warp B2F now (I'm a convert from F2B) but it sure is a nice perk!

10:47 am: All wound on and ready to start threading. You can clearly see my half-inch bouts in this pic - I rough sleyed in those same half-inch bouts.

This warp is 8" wide rather than the 7" I've been doing just for a change of pace - I tend to weave my scarves narrower than other weavers, I think, and wanted to see how the other half live. ;) I'll be very curious to see how wide these are once they're washed and dried.

10:55 am: Threading and sleying - the first time!

Yes, that's right. I threaded and sleyed a time and a half each. Which is to say: I threaded the whole warp, taking a few snaps as I went, and then started sleying the reed. Somewhere in the middle I thought, "Hey, I should take a video!" and, once I'd done that, I was awfully sorry I hadn't taken a vid of the threading too. THEN I thought, "what the heck? It only takes a couple minutes to thread and sley - far less than putting on a whole new warp and taking all these pictures again!" So I unsleyed the works and unthreaded half the warp and took a vid of threading them back up again. Am I conscientious or what? ;) Too bad the vid of the threading didn't work out very well - my right hand is obscuring the heddles most of the time. Must try to figure out a better camera angle and try again.

Noon o'clock: Time to head upstairs, get cleaned up and go out to lunch with my sweetie. I fear I made him wait and then made him late 'cause I dashed around trying to find some new yarn to cast on a new hat for the knit-a-thon, and then spent all of lunch knitting away. Some lunch date I am! I'm sure the Tim Hortons crowd loved me. I was hoping someone might ask what I was up to so I could plug the knit-a-thon but no such luck. Oh well!

2:52 pm: Back home, back to the loom, back to my pretty peonies! I had a hard time choosing between a peach chenille, a yellow cotton or a green cotton to start with but finally settled on the green. It's not exactly the same shade of green that's in the warp but it's pretty close - this one leans toward blue and the other's more yellow. I like using them together.

3:51 pm: Scarf's done!1

I'd planned to weave it longer, more like 72", but I'd left a knot in the warp while I was winding 'cause it was almost to the end of my 9+ yard warp and I didn't want to unwind all five colours to deal with it. I thought I'd hit it somewhere in the middle of the scarf but it didn't show up until I had 66" done, right at the same point that bobbin ran out. 66" seems like a fine length for a short scarf, so I let the knot and the bobbin dictate the length of the scarf.

That's the thing about weaving scarves for the shop - there's always someone who'll want the scarf Just That Length. There's always someone who'll want it longer or shorter, too, of course - but eventually someone will come along for whom the length is perfect and that's the person it's meant to go home with. :)

See you tomorrow, with either that yellow or that peach... hmmm...

1. Does that sound like the human peons from Warcraft to anyone else? "Job's done!"

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Er....whoops? [Scarf 13]

Okay, true confession time: I was so excited about finishing this warp and getting to put on the next one AND so distracted by listening to Episode 1.5 of WeaveCast that I totally forgot to take pics of Scarf #13 when it was done. Ahem! So much for lucky 13, eh wot? Fortunately I took a picture just inches from the end. I tried to fake an on the loom close up, but it's not very good so I may as well admit my transgression and have done. :)

I got up ridiculously early this morning and was all fired up to work on today's scarfa - a nice feeling after yesterday's lazing about. I didn't sit down to weave right away, though: instead I wound the first new scarf warp I've wound since November. This using up old warps and pirns has been great, don't get me wrong, but I'm really itching to do something that hasn't got baggage attached. Good news is, I lurve this new warp!

Still, I needed to weave the current warp off first. I wanted to do two things with what turned out to be the last scarf on it: 1) I wanted to use chenille again, since I was so pleased with yesterday's scarf; and 2) I wanted to use a tan or beige or taupe weft - something to bring out the flax coloured warp threads that I felt were getting lost in the others. Happily, I have some tan chenille that was just the ticket.

I was a bit angsty about running out of warp too soon but I managed to get a little more than 62" woven, so I'm content with calling this today's scarfa. It's long enough for many women and most men and the colours ought to appeal to both. Having said that, I'm still tempted to deem this one too short and plow on ahead to the new warp Right Now - I'm really looking forward to it! Still, I'd better be a good girl and work on the blankets I'm putting on Mabes, at least for a while. If I make good progress there and have free time later, I might start dressing Joey with the new one.

My scarfa morning went like this:

6:15 am: Get up. Yeaargh! Who actually chooses to get up this early!? How can that person be me? Some days I just don't recognize myself...

8:20 am: Mull over various options for a new scarf warp. Decide to go with the colours I picked last Thursday, which are actually colours I ordered for another purpose last spring. More on this tomorrow.

8:45 am: Warp's wound! Isn't it purty? Doesn't it just scream spring? Who could use a bit of spring right now? I could!

I'm including this picture so you can see some of the stacks of yarn in the library that I alluded to in my stash post on HFD. The only reason I don't feel more guilty about the amount of yarn that lives in the library is the amount of books that live in the library - the bookshelves are overflowing every bit as much as the yarnshelves are in the yarn room. And, like the yarn, most of the books will never be read.

After winding Warp #5 I took a break for such basic and necessary things as breakfast and smoochin' my sweetie goodbye as he left for work. Then it was back to the loom and Warp #4!

This time I got clever and downloaded the next episode of WeaveCast (am slowly working my way through the archives) to listen to while I wove, which made the weaving go soooo much faster. It was just exactly like Judith MacKenzie McCuin said to Syne in the interview: you start weaving and time fades away. When you stop, it's a different time - and, in this case, my scarf was done! It was done and I was done and so SNIP went the scissors.... and then I realized I hadn't taken a picture.

Well, it was almost like that. In actual fact, I stopped at

11:06 am: [to] Get angsty and twittery and photo-opy about rapidly running out warp. Would there be enough to count this scarf as a Scarfaday Scarf(tm)? Or would I get to cut this warp off and put on my pretty new springy warp?

11:28 am: Relief! Or disppointment - I'm still not sure. In either case, all done with warp #4.

And here is your faux on-loom close-up, taken on the weaving bench if not technically the loom:

See you ....later? with warp #5! (Will it be later today? Tomorrow? Who can say?)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Down to the wire [Scarf 12]

Okay, so here I am bloggin' at the very end of the day again. Didn't I just say this morning that I wanted to avoid that this week? Turns today was a day for simply lazin' about, though, and I decided not to fight it. Instead, I kicked back, finished a hat I was working on for the knit-a-thon, started a new one, read some blogs, watched some daytime t.v. for the first time in yonks (and recalled why I don't watch it more often), etc. etc. Didn't even peek at the loom until after supper and some additional lame prime time tv... and you know what? I don't regret it a bit! I had a great, lazy day. Chalk it up as a reward for a job well done yesterday. :)

I did eventually wander down to the loom, though, and had a look at Mr. Warp. I'd meant to cut off the first three scarves and rethread today but, seeing as how it was already 9:00 pm, I didn't think I had the time. In fact, I shaved a couple more minutes off by deciding to use up yet another pirn that I'd wound ages ago and hadn't used - I've been wanting to get that pirn back into circulation and it just so happened that the colour looked like a good fit for today's warp.

Boy, am I happy I tried it! I really, really like this scarf. :) It's put a whole new face on this warp for me, which is most welcome as I haven't been loving it quite as much as the others I've done this month. Now I'm quite happy to keep weaving away - good news, since it looks like I'll probably get another scarf or two from the warp.

Today's scarfa day went like this:

9:30 am: Discover I was on the front page of the paper and experience total adrenaline rush. Call my partners in crime, blog a bit, send and receive a bunch of email and generally feel very pleased with myself indeed.

11:30 am: Realize I was going to post a Week 2/Warp 2 in review, so head outside in the rather nippy morning and take some scarfashots in the perfect overcast day bright light.

1:00 pm: Send my sweetie back to work after lunch and then settle in for a long, lazy afternoon of surfin', knittin' and watching the tube.

6:00 pm: Head to Tim Hortons with aforementioned sweetie for detox after his rough afternoon at work. Discover while sitting at Tim Horton's that I'm actually knitting a mobius strip rather than a hat. Darn you, twisted circular knitting! Darn you!

7:30 pm: Home again, then supper courtesy of Himself. Tres yummy leftovers from Valentine's dinner. Huzzah! Sit down to eat back in front of the tube and get sucked into silly crime drama on t.v.

You will note: no sign of any scarfing anywhere so far! Gack!

9:00 pm: Realize that the clock is ticking and today's scarfa is not going to weave itself. Head downstairs, find serendipitous old pirn looking for new scarf home.

9:55 pm: 30" or 40" done by this point as well as 15 minute chat with my dear ol' mum via gtalk. Ahhh, the wonders of the interwebs! Time for a photo op and to wind pirn #2.

10:30ish pm: On to third partial pirn, scarf's nearly done but for some wild reason I decide it's a good time to move Lulu and all her various attachments downstairs, dig out the old spare laptop speakers, and download Episode 0 of WeaveCast so I can listen to it while finishing the scarfa. This is no doubt related to the fact that I've recently started following Syne and WeaveZine on Twitter.

Of course, it takes longer to move the computer and download the podcast than it would have done to simply finish the scarf. In fact, I nearly finished it just while the podcast was downloading. The episode started playing when I had about two inches left to go. Still, I quite enjoyed listening to it while finishing up and hemstitching, though I had to put Syne on pause while blogging 'cause it was too distracting to listen and write at the same time. I'll finish listening to her fear of warping once I'm done.

10:58 pm: Scarfadone! I couldn't decide which of these pics I liked best so you get them all. :)

Isn't it pretty? I'm quite happy with this one, I must say. I'm also really happy to have gone back to my usual, lighter weight chenille. It takes a bit longer to weave, yes, but it produces such a nice, soft fabric. Will be really curious to see how this one washes up.

So that's scarf #12. See you tomorrow for lucky 13!