Well, new books. Books are Serious so really shouldn’t be denoted toys no matter how many you have, right? I have just had the pleasure of adding these to my LibraryThing collection:
That’s volume 2 of Peggy Osterkamp’s New Guide to Weaving and Marg Coe’s new book Fit 2 Be Tied. I’m especially excited about the latter as I was disappointed that I couldn’t go to the Complex Weavers workshop which she taught at Handweaver’s Studio in early December (unlike Stacey who has blogged about it here). However, given my limited mobility in the context of All That Snow, it really wasn’t a good idea — I am still struggling just to get to the end of the road without falling over! Anyway, I have dived straight in to both books at once so no doubt there will be related posts to come.
In the meantime, what’s on the loom? In addition to the plain colours of silk which I used for the Serious Scarves, I bought a couple of variegated skeins: one in blue/violet and one in red/pink. I have matched the blue/violet one with some merino yarn from Chameleon Colorworks in a colour scheme called Midnight (yes, I admit it, another Convergence purchase). My plan is just to see whether I can make a soft crinkly scarf by shrinking stripes of merino between bands of huck lace in the silk.
My little sample piece looked like this.
There are two different shades of silk in the weft and two different options in the merino stripes. At the bottom I have woven huck in the merino as well as in the silk; at the top the merino is in plain weave.
I thought I should be gentle with the silk so I washed it by hand and had a go at fulling the stripes using a combination of bubble wrap and elbow grease. Hah. I ran out of elbow grease long before any shrinkage could be observed. There is nothing like impatience for increasing the presumed resilience of yarns. Silk, delicate? I threw it in the dryer with a towel. And lo:
As you can see, the plain weave areas didn’t shrink much at all, which was rather what I had suspected. However, in the huck areas, where there is more room for manoeuvre, the merino has shrunk just enough to give the silk a lively bubbliness. So I have proceeded accordingly and it is looking like this.
I made a complete muddle of winding the warp bouts and had to rearrange them on the loom to get a degree of symmetry in the colours, but I like the way it is working out.
For a seasonal finish, let me leave you with one of my favourite family photos from yesterday: Three Wise Men, making the most of those festive nibbles. On the far right, with the coffee, is my own Stuart, taking a well-earned day off from loom support.