oh my ears and whiskers

I’m continuing to feel like the beleaguered white rabbit, as term time marches on and the undergraduates start turning in their assignments… This year I am part of the teaching team on a course which is new to me but which I have already discovered to be (a) pointless and (b) badly organised. These characteristics do not make for an enjoyable experience. Goodness only knows what the undergrads are thinking.

So, weaving, yes. Erm…. well, I have finished the green-and-purple scarf. I was hoping to photograph it in daylight, but the day got away from me, so here it is by the light of the loom room (wherein it does not shimmer quite as much).

In real life it does shimmer, but in real life it is also possible to see a large flawed area at one end. As I was weaving along I noticed occasional problems with one of the dobby hooks sticking to its neighbour, but what I hadn’t realised was that it had done this consistently in the first few inches of weaving: at that stage I had assumed that the effect I was getting was part of the pattern! It was also — of course — completely invisible to me when I cut the scarf off the loom, but glaringly obvious after wet finishing.

The question is: does it matter? I asked this at my Guild yesterday, where I had taken the scarf in order to do the fringe-twisting in a congenial atmosphere, and my advisors suggested that “it wasn’t anything a blind man running for a bus would notice” so I needn’t worry. Very reassuring. I did think about unweaving that end and re-hemming it a few inches shorter, but to be honest I think weaving another one would be simpler! Hmmmmm.

In other scarf news, some recent creations are off on a trip. If you read Pat’s blog you’ll know that she has been busy organising a Guild show at the National Needlework Archive in Newbury. Although I’m not in the same Guild, I’ve been allowed to sneak some of my work into the show and here’s the proof.

I haven’t even managed to make a start on my double cloth project yet: for one thing I am still counting heddles. I could do with another 50 on each of shafts 1 and 2, and can’t decide whether to order some more or rearrange the ones I have. Except that I have decided really. I am going to order some more, I just haven’t actually done it. And until I have done it, the possibility of not ordering them but rearranging instead is still live. That’s the kind of knife-edge I’m living on, folks. Every moment alive and buzzing with opportunity. I could wish for more moments and a bit less buzzing, frankly.

oh my ears and whiskers” was posted by Cally on 6 Nov 2011 at http://callybooker.co.uk

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9 Responses

  1. Laura
    | Reply

    All too familiar with those ‘flaws’ that leap out at one after wet finishing – and not until. Such a disappointment! I agree – probably easier to just weave another one. Well, perhaps not easier, but certainly more enjoyable????

  2. Trapunto
    | Reply

    Gorgeous!! I can believe the shimmer.

    Reasonable response: it’s not at all a glaring error, and how often do you get a look at the corner of a worn scarf? Realistic response: I know how much a mistake like that stings. All I can say is that if it’s my own work the pain reduces by about seventy-five percent if I don’t look at it for half a year. And if someone else made it, there is no pain at all in an error in what is otherwise a clearly thoughtful and craftswomanly piece–only a sense of the maker being a real person, which is something that makes me even happier than perfection. It gives the same complex feelings as those intentional asymmetries and missed link-ups in an oriental rug. (I’ve been staring at the soumak rug in my living room lately and thinking how it is a good lesson for my soul.)

    How do you like the presentation of your scarves! On my monitor at least, they look awesome against that color of wall.

    “Blind man running for a bus”–I’m definitely filing that one away.

  3. Sandra Rude
    | Reply

    The scarf is beautiful! Nice drape, and of course it’s perfect with that jumper…

    As for flaws, we all have ’em, and somebody loves us in spite of ’em, so don’t worry about it. If you want to weave a perfect piece of cloth, keep in mind the saying “Only Allah is perfect,” which is why the carpet weavers always deliberately work a flaw into each carpet.

  4. neki rivera
    | Reply

    your scarf is beautiful regardless of the flaw
    .why are we so hard on ourselves? we’re perpetuating the myth of perfection don’t you think?
    sandra, as ever, says it better.

  5. Cally
    | Reply

    I’ve certainly never woven anything that was perfect! However, it is frustrating when you know that you could have done better, and in this case it was an avoidable mistake which I didn’t avoid. That’s a shame, because I don’t want to give a gift which carries the message “I wasn’t paying attention when I made this”! On the other hand, the planned recipient is far from being a perfectionist herself, and would likely rather have the scarf than not have it.

    To please us both, I’d sit down and weave another one were it not for the fact that I have no more of that purple yarn and the colour appears to have been discontinued. At first I perked up at the thought of shopping for a new yarn, but a bit of investigation suggests that getting the right colour may be challenging. It is such a good purple: not too blue, not too red, but really purply purple.

    Ah well. There’s still time to think about it. On the subject of the scarves, Trapunto, Pat tells me that the lighting in the NNA is a bit weird so the colours in the photo are not true – I wish I could see it in person, though. I’d love to have seen the whole show together.

  6. Margreet
    | Reply

    Cally, the scarf is really lovely! I’m sure the receiver will be very pleased with it.
    May be you could dye that purple yourself if you would like to use that colour again……..

  7. Evelyn
    | Reply

    Beautiful colour combinations in all the scarves. If you hadn’t pointed the error out, it might not have been noticed?

  8. Leigh
    | Reply

    Callie, it’s beautiful! And no mistakes seen from over here. That is absolutely one of my favorite color combinations BTW.

  9. Julia
    | Reply

    You know, you really NEED wavy socks, to go with the wavy scarves! I love your work. (There is nothing more annoying than assisting in a badly-run course. My sympathies).

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