Plaid

Over the weekend I took a break from my secret project to finish up my plaid woven wrap. Sometimes I just need to finish something when one project is taking up all my time with very slow visible progress. I’m very much a product-crafter as well as a process-crafter (meaning, I craft for the finished product as well as for my enjoyment), so sometimes I just need a finished product. Hence, carving out a few hours to finish the woven wrap.

I’m in love with how it turned out. The colors work well together in the plaid squares. I tried a traditional “twisted-braid” edging for the first time (instead of just plain tied tassel fringe), and I love the results–so clean and neat and utterly clever while being super easy. A quick bath and the fabric softened right up and the wool yarn bloomed to fill in all my little gaps and imperfections.

I finished it Saturday night just in time for church the next morning, and it was a perfect complement to a summer outfit in a cold sanctuary. My fondness for long, rectangle shawls is growing, and now I want one to go with every outfit during the summer. Even though summer nights here never really cool down enough to warrant a wrap, the air conditioning can be a bit too much to handle for long periods of time if it is especially well air-conditioned.

This wrap is another stepping stone to being able to eventually weave ones to sell.

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The Tales We Weave

It feels good to be weaving again, since my last (and only) time on my loom was over Christmas break. My first scarf, although I love it so much, was full of mistakes and a wee bit shorter than I anticipated. Luckily I’m short, so it doesn’t really matter, and luckily I’m learning to live with imperfections (even though the perfectionist in me vehemently objects). I’m excited to see my newest weaving project coming along much better than the first.

Last Friday marked 3 years since my sister Heather’s death. I took the day off from work and had some time in the afternoon to myself. I felt listless, like I couldn’t make up my mind on what project to work on. Lately I’ve had the urge to KNIT.ALL.THE.THINGS, so there’s been a lot of project-starting and not a lot of project-finishing. Since none of my current projects seemed like the right thing, I decided to pull out my weaving loom and start weaving a new scarf. I pulled some yarn out of my stash that I got on my birthday back in 2008 that I’ve been struggling to fit with just the right pattern. As soon as I saw those skeins, it finally clicked: weaving. It’s like they’ve been waiting all this time for just this moment when I would have a loom and need yarn in just this weight to weave.

The other special thing about this yarn is that my sister Heather was there when it was purchased. It felt appropriate to remember good memories as I warped the loom, wrapped the shuttle bobbins, and then begin weaving. After perusing some pictures of weaving projects done by others, I realized that plaid is actually a lot easier than I imagined. It is created by alternating colors on both the warp (vertical yarns when looking at the loom) and the weft (the yarn that goes back and forth horizontally when looking at the loom). When done at the right intervals, it creates the little squares of color. I always feel so clever when something ridiculously easy looks ridiculously difficult.

This scarf already has a special story, and I can’t wait to finish weaving it and take it off the loom for the first time to see just how it came out.