A couple of weeks ago, I warped up the loom with some cotton yarn, somewhat heavier than I'd used before. The aim was to make a durable, washable baby blanket for a friend. The grist of this yarn is way to heavy for the project. I'd chosen non-girly colours so the blanket could be tossed on the ground without fear of dirt showing. It turns out that I have learned an awful lot from this project.
First - the yarn is too thick for a baby blanket. I knew that from the first sample rows I did..
Second - I dislike weaving with fat yarns - not sure why as this project should have flown by in speed. The thick yarns weave quickly, even though I'm using stick shuttles instead of a boat shuttle. It is taking me days to weave the darned thing off.
Third - My son likes function as well as aesthetics. I was going to cut the darned project off the loom and he suggested that the new function of the project - rug vs baby blanket was decent and that he valued function as well... of course that might have been a way to get a spiffy new bedside rug.
Forth - allow some extra warp if you can. I always have so far, even with handspun. It is good for samples which alleviate unexpected project pain in the first place. It allows for things like being able to adjust the size of this project, by not weaving off the sample, but continuing it so I could easily add extra length, without having to struggle with too short a warp at the end.
I wove off the sample, into the rug. I was going to cut it off after 8 inches but have forced myself to finish it. It is taking way too long for a small project like this.. It is only 27 inches wide. I was going to have a 40 inch lenghth, but since I wove on from my sample, it will have a finished length of 54 inches or so.. plus fringes at each end. Only 8 more inches to go.
It isn't ugly when I look at it rationally. It isn't even a failed project by any means, as it was a bit of an experiment in the first place. However it failed to meet MY initial expectations, which is probably the biggest let down.
Then the possibilities open... black shawl... black shetland warp, with either black or blue weft
shoulder bag - multiple options - tan warp - weft - any of blue, red, tan, mint green or pink
brown warp - lighter brown weft - purple warp - red weft.. ( all bag yarns would be cotton)
I've some wonderful linen singles, but I don't think I have enough for a full weft on the bag - just part of a cone
I'm spinning some superwash, blue merino right now. It is yummy soft. The roving has a bit of depth in the blues, but the spun yarn is pretty much just flat slate blue. Nice enough though, just not spectacular. Since superwash wool has had the scales either removed or resined, it is a slippery fibre to spin. I tried to convince my husband that warming cold feet in the winter was part of our wedding vows. His response was that I should get more wool socks.. so I'm spinning the superwash to make more wool socks. Knowing how long it takes me to knit a pair, please look for these sometime next winter! :)
Pet Peeve of the day - looking for specific weaving yarns and finding them at 20% - 50% less at U.S stores than in Canadian stores.