Sunday, May 31, 2009

The Path Less Travelled

I think I know why I suddenly wanted to learn how to weave. I think I wasn't pushing myself enough with my knitting. While my current knitting projects are very wearable, they aren't exactly challenging. Zen knitting I told myself. I've got projects on the needles with minimal shaping, neutral colours and simple stitches. Blech! They will be lovely when they're done but it's like a stroll down a suburban sidewalk versus a hike through the wilderness. I'll take the wilderness anytime.

When I got the Baby Wolf loom; I chose a project that called for the equipment I had. Six shafts, 12 dent reed etc. Sure the warp was multicoloured but how hard could it be? I fell in love with this scarf from a Nov/Dec 2004 issue of Handwoven. I started winding the warp at the guild and another older member took pity on me and helped me. She wouldn't let me quit and when it was finally on the loom she said "That's the most complicated warp I've ever done in 30 years of weaving". Figures I choose it for my first project.

I carefully threaded the heddles. Of course, I ran out of heddles on two of the shafts and had to perform a midterm "heddle transplant". I took about six weeks to get the warp all set up and then last night, I was finally ready to weave. A quick check of the peddles lifted the threads highlighting two crossed threads so I was able to fix that quickly. I gingerly started down the pattern and after an hour of weaving - I had this!! It's always so cool when it looks like the pattern. Once the scarf is washed, the chenille threads will shift as will the others and the rounded curves will be revealed.
The thrill of learning something new has reminded me that I need to choose challenging knitting projects. No Zen here!

Remind me of this next time I get in over my head and start whining.


Cheryl from Creemore said...

That is no beginner project -- love the weave structure! I agree, Michelle, there's a lot to be said for the excitement of new challenges. Bravo for pushing yourself!

Your scarf will be gorgeous -- can't wait to see it.

Diane in Oregon said...

Wow, that's really beautiful! Not really a starter project, either :-).

Denise said...

Oh, Michelle, your weaving is lovely!
Weaving has been on my list of things I want to learn for quite awhile and this is a wonderful inspiration to get moving towards that.

vanessa said...

very very very cool michelle!