It’s been a while since I wove something on the floor loom. Early in December I ordered some cotton yarn samples and that threw me into a turmoil, I was flip flopping between yarn choices and projects several times a day. When I look in the stash for something to weave my options are limited, but give me a sample chart where I have choices of colour and thickness and there’s too much choice for me to pick just one project to work on. I could think of dozens of things to weave but couldn’t narrow it down to the one thing to weave next. I’ve spent over a month looking at the sample cards and bought nothing so I’ve put them aside and gone back to the stash where there fewer choices and a big bag of leftovers that needs using up.
I gave the big loom a spring clean. I’ve been tying onto a dummy warp for some time, the big advantage to that is that there are no threading errors or sleying errors, all you are doing is using the end of the old warp to pull the new warp back through the reed and heddles. If you habitually make errors in threading or sleying this is a really good thing. I might have rethreaded once or twice but I always used the existing warp and the result is that the back of the loom is a mess of knots. It doesn’t matter to the weaving and you can rarely see then but I know they are there. On Saturday I pulled the loom out and unwound the yards of knots from the back. The original project was the mug rugs that I started last May. I made a single set of black and cream and then moved the remnants of that warp across, added a dummy warp on the other side and made two sets side by side in red and orange.
The back is all neat and unknotted now, the front is a warp of sock yarn oddments made just to get me moving again. I picked three balls of leftovers in similar colours and wound a warp twice the length that I wanted, holding all three yarns together. When one yarn ran out I continued with two and in the end I just had the one yarn left. I cut the warp in half and put it back together again so the more varied part is at the outsides. I didn’t think that I could see the difference between where there are three yarns together and where there is only one but I can see in the photo that the centre is darker than the edges. If it does go on to make an obvious stripe then one central planned one will please me more than two smaller stripes. I’m not winding another warp until I’ve finished the first scarf just in case I’ve got the length wrong but after that I’ll be thinning out the sock scrap bag. I have a bag of browns and a bag of pinks to go at before I need to start putting odd balls together.
When I’ve made scarves like this before they’ve been a mixture of superwash and normal wool and the ruffles form in a hot wash when one of the yarns shrinks. This one is different, it’s a mixture of leftover sock yarn and Cascade Fixation. The interesting thing about the Fixation is that it’s stretchy, it’s a cotton and elastic yarn. I warped the loom with the Fixation stretched tightly, once off the loom it relaxed and pulled the sock yarn into ruffles. Unlike the fulled wool version the ruffles aren’t permanent, if you hold it by one end you can bounce it up and down like a Slinky. A warp length of 130″ gave me a 60″ scarf, this used 36g of the 50g so it should be possible to get three scarves from two balls.
This is not the project I was hoping it would be. I’d imagined something where I could knit both halves of a baby jacket together on one needle using both ends of odd balls of sock yarn. That would mean that I could use up all those odd balls without having to think much about matching the two sides. What I’d failed to consider was that when I cast on to form the shoulder and complete the round I needed to start in the middle of a row. For a couple of inches the knitting is U shaped rather than straight and I had to work each part separately. I did consider ripping it at that point but I carried on because it’s a learning experience and will teach me to plan ahead. It’s all back on one needle again but the fun went out of it and I won’t be making a second one. The browns that would have gone into the second one will become a scarf warp instead.
One way or another I am going to make an impression on the bag of sock scraps this year.