Sunday, July 14, 2013


Today there is new fiber play, Bear gifted me a vintage loomette for my birthday - so I have been playing. Like any new toy there is the initial flush of interest - which in this case resulted in a mini blanket. I've also finished Bears new hat, a redux of Hope he never needs this in exactly the same yarns. Bears new job requires more site visits so a safety hat seemed called for - to go with the safety vest. Photos will be made once Bear is home wearing the hat. Till then you just have my word.
The loomette is great fun, you may have seen an article in Piecework April/May 2010 or come across the website Eloomanation, which provides more details and detailed scans of the original instructions. My loomette is in nice condition, no rust, original box but no needle or instructions. Instructions are easy to find at Eloomanation or on you tube, and 6" blunt needles at Lacis. I was up and weaving easily. Of course it was the fourth or fifth square before I remembered the warping pattern without needing to reference the instructions. It's not as simple as a set of yarns laid across each other, there are three layers of yarns In a highly specific order, if done right one ends up weaving every second weft, not every weft.
I used vintage Purls sock yarn left overs from a recent project, and was surprised to see how open the weave was, and how much it closed when the squares were wet blocked. I have grid weaving on a rigid heddle loom, and on a four shaft table loom ... And I liked it. But found that I liked to touch the yarn more than one gets to in weaving. With the mini loom and sewing the weft yarns into place the yarn is touched and felt ... Not as much fun as knitting, but something I'm keen to explore over time.
All in all I made 16 squares with a plain weave, and another two with "fancy" weaves. Then I stitched them together, not using the method in the original instruction book but using a modified mattress stitch from the Eloomanation site.
Excuse the crumpled sample, it has been spending time in the bottom of my knit basket, I love this fabric, its lite and drapes well. The weave is open -but that is why it drapes so well. The seams leave a lot to be desired, I see why many people use crotchet to join the squares, what you can't hide emphasize.
What I don't understand is why this would have been promoted as a way to make garments ... Blankets, table linen, household cloths yes ... Skirts and jackets no. I guess my modern aesthetic is different to that of the early 20th century, or perhaps promoting was one thing, adoption of the ideas that were promoted another. Just like today's weird craft advts that try to sell ugly outcomes for valid materials and methods.
And finally a photo of the finished Sanquhar mitts, there is value in dating ones work. But these were started early 2012 and finished mid 2013 ... So the date seems optimistic to say the least.
I've got a wee backlog of projects to share, some baby mittens, and the frog pond socks, rather than make this post long I might try updates more frequently.
Take care, na Stella.

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