Cowl on the post

I crocheted two close cowls (1, 2) last year, and they’ve been doing well and keeping me warm whilst dog walking. But, I wondered if I could weave something along those lines. They’re not that different to scarves right? Just need a different kind of finishing. So, I decided to give it a try. I aimed for 48” for the cowl itself. With a couple of inches of hem on both ends.

I decided to go for an old favourite colour scheme — blue and orange — and having recently studied the colour and weave sampler again I chose a 2 x blue, 1 x orange warp and weft pattern. This time using some Debbie Bliss Rialto in DK and the 10dpi reed.

After the warping of the shawl, this was quick and easy. Nothing too complicated though it still took me longer than my head told me it would. And, as with weaving project 44, the warping peg moved during the warping process so again I ended up with less warp length than I should have had. I’m going to try something different next time.

As I mentioned in weaving project 44 I wanted to try a tape measure this time. But, when I started weaving and had wound a few inches on to the cloth beam I tried to wind one on top of the cloth but it just wasn’t staying put and made me grumpy. So, I figured I’d try something else. The weaving calculator said I needed 58” under tension so I measured a piece of (non-stretchy) cotton and tied it to the warp just below the hemstitching and tried using that as a measure. This piece didn’t matter if it wasn’t exactly the right length, so I figured I could afford to experiment a bit. It proved to be a reasonably good solution, and one that I will try again.

The fabric I produced makes me happy. I love the colour and the pattern, and the softness of the yarn. When I took it off the loom I discovered a weaving error but in this case haven’t fixed it because I couldn’t think of a way to fix it that wouldn’t make it worse! Also, this is a project which will have a front and rear side and the mistake is more noticeable on one side than the other. So it has chosen the right/wrong side for me.

The selvedges turned out to be pretty neat, and consistent. So I didn’t block this at all. I just wet finished it and laid it flat (ish) to dry.

Cowl's join right side

To join it I hand sewed the front side of the edges together, joining at a consistent point across all the length - note to self: don’t try and do this with a complex pattern, or anything with variegated yarns as it won’t work so well — and whilst it is noticeable, it doesn’t scream JOIN at me. (see the photo above)

Cowl's join wrong side

I then, having waited for Richard to wake up, took it to the sewing machine and machine stitched a hem beyond the join to hold the fabric together. I’ve done 4 sets of running stitch and 2 sets of zig zag stitch so I’m hoping that’ll hold it together pretty well. I guess I’ll find out if not.

The cowl itself has ended up being about the size I’d planned for — 48” — so I guess the string method and weaving calculator have worked out this time.

Lessons learned:
* find a different, sturdier, method for holding the warping peg
* pay attention whilst weaving - errors are easier to fix on loom than off (at least with a Rigid Heddle loom they are)
* Rialto DK is a lovely yarn to work with and, at least so far as I sit with the cowl round my neck, to wear. I seem to be becoming a big fan of the Debbie Bliss yarns

Cowl on the table

Overall, I’m very happy with this project. I’m not sure if my neck has ever had so much choice of covering before. This scarf/cowl thing might be getting out of hand!