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woven spring scarf

Today was uneventful.  I didn’t get much weaving done, just a few rows while the kids played this morning.  I did some swatching for a new pattern, but it’s still in the early drafting stages, and I’m playing around with it in Excel until I get it right.

Since I’ve got nothing else to show you, here’s my aunt’s scarf all finished up.

I mailed it to her as a surprise, and she was supposed to receive it last Monday, which is why I haven’t been posting finished pics (even though I don’t think she knows about, or reads my blog).  I’ve come to find out that she’s out of town, and didn’t actually receive it yet.  Oh well- here it is.

It’s an infinity scarf with a twist, and can be worn straight or wrapped twice around the neck.

This shows the seam.  You can barely see it because it was done by machine, and it really doesn’t have much bulk at all.

It’s hard to photograph something with a twist- you don’t know how to lay it down!

This shows the crochet edging, and how tight the fabric ended up after it was washed and dried.

Today ended a bit depressingly.  I was starting to feel a bit better, and looking forwards to getting back to work next week.  Kind of my own Spring renewal.  And then…before bed I noticed the boys were acting a big sluggish.  I’d thought Henri felt a bit warm last night but since he was staying home today I didn’t take his temperature.  I took it tonight- 102.  😦  Then I took Jakob’s, because a sign that he’s sick is when he’s extremely cuddly and affectionate, and he’d been coming up to me and stroking my cheek before giving me a little kiss all afternoon- 100.8.  😦  Looks like I might not be back at work so soon…


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good neighbors

They say that fences make good neighbors…but in my case I really lucked out in the neighbor category.  Not only does Maaike live around the corner, but there are lots of awesome people on my street, especially C who helped me out not once, not twice, but three (!!) times today, even though we initially had to cancel our plans because she’s sick.

Her huge amount of (last minute) help meant that my secret project was able to be finished, as in all end woven in, finishing touches applied, and ready to be mailed.  I just need to finalize the written pattern first to make sure there are no measurements/etc to be taken, and it will be done!

The resulting unexpected free time (I’d only scheduled to be finished later in the week)  meant that I could finally finish up the project that has been on my loom since January.

It’s going to be a surprise present for my aunt, but I think it’s ok to talk about here ‘cus I’m pretty sure she doesn’t read/know about my blog.  I wove until it ws 60″ long.  There are only 59″ showing in the photo, but the point of the photo was to show the lack of too much loom waste.  My mom’s scarf was cut off the loom at the proper length, but I’d overestimated how much warp I’d need.  Here you can see that my warp is completely unwound with just the loops remaining on the back beam.  (Technical term?  Not sure).

A quick hemstitch was the only finishing done to the edges.  My aunt had commented on liking the “infinity”-style scarves she’d been seeing everywhere, the ones you can wear long as a scarf or wrapped twice around your neck as a cowl.  My plan had always been to join the two short ends after twisting the scarf once, but I hadn’t really thought through how the join would work.

I debated tying knots to join the two sides and having a short fringe running down, but quickly decided that would look kinda awful.  I consulted with Maaike and had decided to hem the two edges by hand and then join them, but at the last minute called up C and asked if she could sew them together for me with her machine (that was the 3rd help of the day) and she graciously obliged.

I’ll show the resulting seam after I soak and dry it later tonight.  For now I leave you with my easy answer on how to straighten the beginner weaver’s problem of uneven selvedges- single crochet!  Because the scarf had a twist in it, it effectively became a moebius….a word my spell check doesn’t seem to believe exists.  Anyhoo, that let me start at one point, single crochet in every 2nd hole at the edge, and end up exactly right back where I started from.  The sc edge done in the working yarn gave a cute rainbow look around the scarf, and ensured that no matter which end/edge is up, the edges will always look “finished”.

Now I’m going to let it soak in a Eucalan bath for an hour or so, towel out most of the water then pop it in the dryer to really soften & full the fabric.


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maaike would be so proud

Yesterday was a good day (except for the fact that my kids and hubby are all sick, and my strep throat, which should be gone ‘cus I’m on my last day of meds, started hurting again).

First I took the boys for haircuts- no pic ‘cus I forgot.

Then I got a hair cut:

You like?

Then, in the evening, in a shock to even me, I finished my mom’s scarf!  I still need to twist the fringe and wash it, but SERIOUSLY?  After only about 6 hours, the scarf is off the loom!

I still can’t show it to you though, but pics will come once I give it to her.

My aunt was in town yesterday and was admiring one of the yarns I had out, and mentioned that she likes those twisted cowl scarves that you can loop around your neck a few times.  She also mentioned that her coats are black and brown, and that people are always telling her to add color.  So I decided I’m going to make her a woven cowl scarf.  I’m not quite sure yet how I’ll join the two ends later, but I’ll figure it out at the end.  (I hope, heh).

I chose the hank of Sweet Surrender Spark Sock Yarn from my stash.  I think I’d got it during one of the Robyn’s Nest sock  clubs.  The colorway is “Flower Power”, which is a variegated yarn, with repeating 6-7″ lengths of orange, blue, green, yellow and magenta.

Kinda like this.  They don’t repeat around, but they repeat in the way the skein was dyed.  So I decided to try and keep this pattern in both the warp and the weave.  I tried to make the warp around about 70″ long which went right from the middle of the blue, down 2 repeats or so, and ended at the middle of the pink.  So the blue and pink would overlay in the same spots, but the orange, yellow and green would make solid areas.

Kinda like this.

It was awkward to find a place to warp, because the boys were downstairs so I was trying to do it upstairs where they wouldn’t get all tangled up in it, and I forgot to anchor the loom with a book or something heavy so it kept inching backwards.  Most of it is properly wound, but occasionally I hit a tighter or looser strand where my colors wouldn’t line up.  The tension evened out when I wound it, but my color blocking isn’t as perfect as I’d like.  Oh well.

The yarn surprised me by being divided into 2 hanks.  I wound them each into their individual cakes, and used about 6/8ths of one half for the warping.  The amount of yarn left over feels like at least enough to knit a short row heel or toe, so the leftovers will probably wind up as socks for me.

Once enough warp threads had been placed with 2 threads in every slot I wound it up and sat down to place all the hole strands.  Here it is, ready for weaving (after I throw a bit of waste yarn in there to even out the spacing).

And finally, this shows how I plan to weave it.  I picked the width of the scarf hoping to match up the length of each color, and my goal is to get each row to be its own color, by starting at the proper spot and making sure to keep it going every time finish a shuttle.

Unfortunately that’s all the crafting, weaving or otherwise, I can get done for now.  On New Year’s Day Yannick and I will be swapping houses with my inlaws as per the usual ‘weekend-before-exam” custom, and I need to get 36 Word pages of questions and answers from our school stuff organized and arranged into manageable bits to print out and tape onto index cards so we have flash cards to run through together.  The previous 2 years’ exams were easier, in a sense, because they were mostly math-based.  So while it was frustrating to learn all the formulas, once you knew how they worked, the exam was only as hard as the time spent working them out.  This year we’re learning all the biology and anatomy and physiology of the eye, and our exam will test us on the muscles, nerves, bones, parts of the eye, which nerve brings blood to which muscles, which muscles control which movements, which diseases cause which ocular symptoms…blargh.