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Well, here we are three weeks later and hardly any progress has been made.  *Sigh*  This is my first major weaving project, and I’ve made a number of errors proportionate to my experience.  Little experience = major errors.

I threaded the pattern wrong the first time, so the spacer needed to be unwoven, the warp re-threaded and tied on again to the front.  Did I mention that we finally got some hot weather and that my studio/laundry room is like a sauna?

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Hemstitching after the new spacer section.

Still, it’s re-threaded etc and looking really good.  I rewove the spacer section and wove about a foot with the mohair, then cut it off as a sample.  It’s extra work, but I wanted to be absolutely sure of the final product.

IMG_1719On the loom with a new section of spacer, then woven with the dark blue mohair.   It’s a plain twill pattern that will leave the blanket nice and fluid.

I washed up the sample with some SOAK and let it dry.

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The moment of panic – have I done it right?  Will it wash well?

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Drying on the front porch.

I am very pleased with the results: drapey, soft, and warm.

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Lovely and soft!

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The kids are back to school this week, so it’s been really hectic, but stay tuned for more weaving updates!
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Time for a new project!  Well, not exactly new since I’ve been planning it all summer, but now it really starts.  Blanket weaving!  The London District Weavers and Spinners Guild, of which I am a member, was given a whole bunch of gorgeous wool yarn.  We sold some of it to the membership, but kept the bulk so that I can weave it all into blankets.  Now, I’m a fairly new weaver, and I’ve never woven anything this big, but of course I jumped in with both feet because I’m just like that.  We’ve got enough yarn to weave approximately 9 blankets done with three warps, which is EPIC!

The wool yarn came in basically three muted heathered colourways: blue multi, green multi, and a red/brown multi, each colourway being made up of about half a dozen different colours.  I’m going to be throwing in some brights to each in small stripes to cheer it all up.  I’ve made the blue warp now and soon it will hopefully be on my loom.  Here’s a pic of part of the warp on the warping mill: 

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The weft will be done in mohair so the blankets will be super super soft (touching the cones is like petting the softest cat).

Speaking of looms and cats, here is a pic of my new 60″ Leclerc Colonial loom, currently set up as a counterweight, and my cat Aras taking a tour.  More pics to follow once I get the behemoth warped with the blanket warp.  I can’t wait!

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And for good measure, here’s a pic of a mother swan and her four signets we saw on our trip to Stratford!  

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Well, we survived the move from Nova Scotia to Ontario in one piece (mostly – we did lose a couple of minor pieces to breakage).  The house, which we had only seen on the MLS listing, is just wonderful.

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The house has needed a lot of work, of course, since it’s over 100 years old.  Most of the work has been cosmetic yet time-consuming things like painting etc.  Our largest changes have been a new kitchen counter top and sink, and a door linking the front three bedrooms with the back two.  At some point the house had been divided into a duplex and was never fully converted back, which meant that there were two areas on the second floor which didn’t connect to one another and left the back bedrooms without easy access to a bathroom or to the laundry room.  A bit of muscle and a claw hammer soon fixed that, and my mother and I successfully installed a new door between the two areas which has greatly simplified things.  Knocking down walls is fun!

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We’re still somewhat living out of boxes and I don’t yet have the store up and running because it’s all still down in the basement (though I’ve been doing some shopping, and have some awesome new pieces!)

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What I have been doing just recently is experimenting with some Inkle weaving.  It all started when my mother-in-law spotted a little inkle loom at a second hand store (I was there with her and it kills me that I overlooked it, plus she’s been rubbing it in).  I asked around my local fibre groups and got some information, plus a great book, then started weaving.  It was quite simple once I figured it all out.

That’s the loom on the left.  Its quite small, even for an inkle, which means you can’t make anything really long on it.  It still serves the purpose, though, and you can make some really lovely things on it.

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These white strings are the heddles which hold the alternating strands of the warp.  They are what helps you to separate the two different sheds, the open areas between the strands of the warp through which you pass the weft.  I tied them out of cotton yarn to the specifics in my book, not noticing that 1) they were entirely too long for this size of loom, and 2) I had tied roughly four times as many heddles as I actually needed for my initial weaving project.  In my defense, I did have a horrible migraine that day and I probably wasn’t paying very much attention.  After shortening and reducing the number of heddles, I was ready to warp the loom.

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The warp, done in a regular pattern of black, white, and grey.  Inkle looms make a warp-faced weave, which means that the strands of the warp are what you are going to see when the project is complete.  The weft strand is essentially invisible, just there to hold it all together.

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My very first piece of inkle weaving.  As you can see, the stripes of black, white, and grey in the warp are visible here once it is woven.

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My two completed inkle projects.  The grey and black piece is long enough to use as a hair band and I’ve been wearing it all week.  The piece on the left is what I wove afterwards (I should have taken some pics of it while it was still on the loom).  The warp is made up of black and natural grey merino which I spun interspersed with some beautifully colourful Leicester locks (you can see it balled in the first picture).  The weft was the same black commercial wool that I used in my first project.  With the tasseled edging, it is long enough for a jaunty little scarf.  I think the pattern looks almost like a river bed.

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They’re both a bit rough, especially the selvedges (the left and right edges) which are very visible on such narrow pieces.  Still, it was very fun, and I will definitely keep practicing!

Girlchild and Boychild celebrate Halloween as Mega Man and his brother Proto Man from the Japanese TV show and Nintendo game.

MegaMan and ProtoMan Halloween 2010

They had an awesome time trick-or-treating and absolutely nobody knew who they were supposed to be – lol.

Jeanne has had her costume done since Thursday because it was costume day at her pre-school.  On our way to the car after school a car full of Navy guys stopped and shouted ‘hey, it’s Mega Man!’  She was also recognized at the Dartmouth Crafter’s Guild show the other day by a young man who said ‘hey, it’s Mega Man… I mean Mega Girl!’

Proto Man

Mega Man

Girlchild is really more obsessed than her brother, who is following along because he is constantly mimicking his older sister (right down to gobbling his dinner up, then when she says she’s not hungry, immediately stopping eating and saying he isn’t hungry either, even though he obviously is). The other night, Girlchild even said she wanted to name her first baby ‘Mega Man.’ Hubby and I inevitably get relegated to playing Doctor Wiley, Mega Man’s arch nemesis (though when she says it, it always seems to sound like Doctor Wally).

Mega Man and Proto Man

And for the sake of reference, here are a couple of pics of what the ‘real’ Mega Man and Proto Man look like (and yes, I forgot Proto Man’s belt, but I only realized as they were stepping out the door to trick-or-treat and there was no way Graham was going to wait for me to make one):

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Girlchild has literally worn her costume every day since I finished it Wednesday night, with no signs of ceasing any time soon.

Happy Halloween everybody!

About Me:

Ellen, a crafty homemaker with two kids and a penchant for correcting other people's grammar.

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