Having broken the warp stick of my rigid heddle loom, and having failed to find one of the correct size in the UK I was waiting for a delivery to arrive at the supplier from New Zealand. So what to do. My next planned project was a scarf using this lovely yarn as warp, and this (in red) as weft, and to do it all using a 2:2 leno (as I’d liked how this had looked in the Finger Controlled Weaves sampler). I wasn’t 100% sure whether it would be strong enough, or whether the variegated yarn as weft would look a bit too much.
So, I figured I might as well have a sample, so that’s what I did for weaving project 36. Using my old picture frame loom I reverted back to bookmark size pieces and did an almost exact miniaturised version of my scarf plans. The only deviation was that instead of doing 2:2 leno I did 1:1 leno as it made more sense at this scale. And I learned that it worked up really nicely, and held together well. But when I wet finished it the lovely yarn felted badly. So, I’d need to think carefully. Also, the patterned yarn and the leno did seem a bit much together. I’m glad I checked.
Room for more experimentation. So, this time I used the merino/silk yarn as both warp and weft. This looked better. Having removed it from the loom I attempted to do some yarn twisting — but didn’t knot the ends as I’m not a big fan of the knot. During the washing the twisting untwisted, and so again, the lovely yarn felted but not as much as when not twisted at all. More thought needed.
I’d originally thought about using some of the lovely Sirdar snuggly baby bamboo yarn for the leno project, as I like the shine and the softness that this yarn has. So I decided to buy some lime-green and warm-grey and give this a go as weaving project 38 using both colours for the warp, and just the grey for the weft. Success! I love how the colours, pattern and yarn work together. But I did wonder if it was lacking a bit of oomph.
So, for weaving project 39 I did the same as project 38 with the exception that I used a bright pink as the middle colour. Much better. This has made it into the planning stage for a proper sized item. With mainly green and grey but with highlights of the bright pink every 10 or so colour changes to give it that oomph!
Finally, for weaving project 40 I took the bits I liked from projects 36 and 37 - using the lovely merino/silk blend as weft and wandered around my local yarn shop with weaving project 37 in hand looking for something that looked like it might work. I ended up with another baby bamboo yarn — this time in a colour called Retro Russet — which I used as the warp. This complemented the weft nicely — it’s subtle so it doesn’t over power it and is a match against a part of the transitions. At scarf scale there won’t be the distinct stripes as the transitions really are quite short but I think that will be ok and will make a plain weave project look a bit more interesting.
This seems to have been a good use of the enforced down time whilst I waited for the replacement piece to arrive. It has also saved me the disappointment of a project that probably wouldn’t have worked out as well as I’d hoped (weaving project 36). Definitely worth doing deliberately again.