You may recall that when Mom came to visit1 last May, I stashed her in my yarn room for a month. Some people might object to being stuck in a storage room rather than a guest room but, being a weaver, Mom is quite content with the arrangement.2 For one thing it's the only room in the house besides our bedroom, office and bathroom that actually has a door (for some reason she objects to cats climbing into bed with her).3 For another, it's filled with yarn:
The door's nice but it's really the yarn she likes, even though she says it makes it hard to sleep sometimes. It overstimulates her and gives her all kinds of ideas for things to weave, apparently, and I don't doubt it. In years past when she visited I'd stick my head in and find her lying on the bed, staring thoughtfully up at the walls and worrying her lip or tapping her cheek as she combined the yarn on the walls in her mind. "I'd love to use that one and that one together," she'd say, pointing at the walls and looking at me hopefully.
I had my stash sort of organized, though - at least in theory. Production yarns were on one wall, knitting yarns on another, yarns I collected before starting the business on a third, etc - and I tried not to mix them up too much since some were business supplies and some weren't. And we were always so busy... and I never wove many scarves... There was always some reason I put her off, poor thing.
This year, though - This was The Year of the Scarf! I swear, she literally clapped her hands with glee when I didn't just allow her to go crazy in there but asked her, pretty please with sugar and cherries and all the trimmings, to wind me up some stash scarf warps. She was like a kid in a candy store mixed with a kid whose favourite toys were all in her room - she'd disappear for ages and when I finally tracked her down she'd be sitting on her bed with piles of yarn all around her and a big excited smile on her face: "Look at these, honey! Ooo, and what about this!? And you could use this or this... ooo, or that for weft!"
The end result was seventeen (17!!) warps she wound for three or four scarves apiece. The first couple of combos she just made a single warp out of but by the third one she was making two warps from each so that she could take one home and weave it too - the idea being that we could then compare to see how our respective scarves turned out. Here's the lot, aren't they gorgeous?
We thought they were so cool (and the pictures so neat) that we sent them off to Handwoven to see if they'd be interested in them for an Endnotes but I guess they already had stash warps articles planned for an upcoming issue or something so they didn't bite. Their loss, I think!
Anyhoo, we were both really excited about this back in May and each of us put on a warp right away. Mom actually wove three of them in quick succession, and they all turned out GRATE. See for yourself:
Aren't those pictures FAB? I particularly like the ones that show the finished scarves all swirled up with their own wefts.
Unfortunately, I hit my Weaving Funk and stalled during the first stash warp I put on. Truth be told, I think the two are related to some extent. I don't mean to say that the stash scarves caused my funk, no sirree! They are BEEOOOTIFUL and I love them, and I love that my Dear Ol Mum (who I also love) wound them for me. But Mom's scarves were soooo pretty and her pics soooo cleverly composed that I, in my funkiness, thought to myself: "how can I compete with that? How can I improve on that??" As if competing or improving on was important somehow! Pfff! Ridiculous! But there it is: my darkest, dirtiest secret is that I'm a competitive little bi...er, thing, even where my Dear Ol Mum is concerned. I'm working on it, really I am. :P
I did manage to finish that first stash warp, though. And then, since those three scarves and three similar stashy scarves Mom had woven before she left sold like hot cakes in the shop, I managed to squeeze out a second one over the summer in spite of my weaving dry-spell. As it turns out, the two warps I chose were two of the ones Mom had also woven and we both wound up picking similar weft colours, too. Great minds think alike and all that:
Sadly, I didn't take any finished shots of the pastel warp, or if I did I can't find them. I still have one of those left - the only stash warp scarf that hasn't sold yet, I think because it's very springy colours and I didn't get them woven until fall - so maybe I'll get one taken yet. Or maybe I'll unearth the pics I thought I took but can't locate.
Those two warps were the only scarves I wove between June and September, actually. I've been weaving like crazy this month, though - and, now that my funk is over, these stash warps are calling to me! I wove one last week and am hoping to get several more done before the market next month. I'm sure they'll be as popular there as they were in the shop.
Here's the one I've done so far:
As I wove the first one I thought I was beating the weft in too hard and that it would cover up the lovely warp too much, so I beat the next two very lightly. In retrospect, I like the hand of the first one best even though the warp does show better in the other two. The third one, #46, was a particular experiment: I couldn't find the exact shade of grey I wanted on my production wall so I used a fine silk that my friend Barbara (hi, Barbara!) gave me years ago. The colour wasn't quite as blue as I wanted but hit the mark pretty closely. It must've been a good choice 'cause that's the scarf that the peanut gallery of weavers I showed these to on Thursday liked best. All three of these are sooo drapey and soft and the colours look reeeally great with a chocolate brown vest that I have, so I'm hoping they'll go quickly at the sale.
I still have four more warps from October to share with you but I'll save those for future posts. Right now, it's back to der loom for me!
1. Read: "work like a slave"
2. Good thing, 'cause I haven't got a guest room!
3. Hmm. Maybe I'm adopted?