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!"

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