Thursday, April 25, 2019

And yes, I have been knitting

Today it is a late post, I have a weeks leave from work and little things like weekend routines tend to slide. But there is knitting,
The knitting is Scottish, Le Petit Lambswool Biches and Bouche, I am shamelessly copying a sweater I saw at Unwind - Afterparty by Astrid Troland. The yarn was a late Unwind 2019 purchase - I told myself I didn't need it, that I had lots of yarn, but  Sunday morning, 3 days in I realized that I would regret not adding the Le Petit Lambswool to my stash. The yarn is not merino or cashmere soft, but is light and soft to touch - more like Shetland yarns only perhaps softer. After party should look good with dark plain dresses and jeans and other wardrobe staples.
As well as knitting on Afterparty (and a few other languishing projects in the WIP basket), I have been playing with my Inklette loom. I've had this for a few years but only recently realized that it was perfect for making matching tapes for hand woven items. This was meant to be a perfect match for the black-white shaded warp that is currently on the Loom. I say meant to be as the idea was good but a little naive.
I knew in theory that the white weft would show on each edge, and that if it matched the warp it would appear invisible. What I failed to understand was that it would show as tiny white blips on the black side of the band. I could have switched the white weft out to a grey - dark or light, but decided to continue to weave the band and use this as practice for my tension. I worked purposefully on this - making sure the white blips were as even as I could make them. I also worked my way through several Inkle forum threads on, testing advice and suggestions for keeping Inkle selvedges neat and tidy.
What I learned I put into practice on a wider band.  This one has 91 threads, and I have added an Inkle temple. This is a wrap of sturdyt paper taped to a fixed width. Every time I place a weft I change sheds and tug the weft until the band width matches the temple width. This simple little trick (Thank you Inkle weavers Help Desk of Ravelry) is genius. I am not too sure about the orange - but knew the grey/blue/black band needed some sort of bright. Bear asked how wide Inkles could be - I said not much wider than this on the Inklette and asked why.  Seems these have Guitar strap potential - which is one of the classic uses by many weavers. I might have to explore weaving wider  Inkle bands on a floor loom some time soon.
The weaving on the floor loom continues, this is tea towel number 3, in a chevron twill. I still consider myself a beginner weaver, and the inconsistencies in my beating are really clear in this photo. The good news is that washing and tumble drying seems to help even things out. The messy bits just above the orange weft are the anchor pegs  of the Texsolve supporting the lamms. The plan is to place a narrow decorative band in a darker colour 2/3 of the way up the piece.
Over the past week I have tweaked and adjusted the tie-up and now the loom is working nicely.  I've worked out which cords go behind and which in front, and how long each cords should be. There were some adjustments to make as the Texsolv anchor pegs don't fit the the holes in the shafts - but they do work as buttons to hold the cord in place. Some of the lamms didn't work so well with the pegs - they rode so closely together that the pegs would get caught and flick out. of the Texsolve holes.  For those positions I switched to cotter pins, which clamp on the cord and lie very very flat on the top of the lamm. I might have celebrated the loom being in lovely smooth working condition by ordering some loom toys.
 I also dropped into the local library and picked up two books on Inkle weaving.l I have Anne Dicksons weaving on four shafts book and think I will add her Inkle pattern directory to my bookshelf in the near future.
Helen Bress's Inkle weaving book is a little dated - no colour but  sections on how to add sticks and found objects to ones inkle bands.. What I did like is full detailed plans for making both a  table top and floor standing Inkle loom. I don't have immediate plans to build any more looms - but it is nice to know where to find plans.
The sweater, Afterparty, is at the stage of needing sleeves, so that is the next thing to work on. I have been procrasta-weaving at the thought of working two long tubes (sleeves) before the fund colour work of the yoke. The loom is in the room at the far end of the house, and the lighting isn't the best in there so knitting in the living area with nice bright lights is the best choice now the daylight hours are shorter. 
take care
na Stella

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