In which prayers are said…

Prayers that soaking/blocking really is magic for weaving, just like it is for knitting.

I started my first laceweight weaving project Friday night.  Shireen came over for a visit and offered to help me warp up my loom with some Malabrigo Silkpaca in “Archangel” she gave me.  Since I always find warping to be the most intimidating part of weaving, I took her up on her offer.  We moved some furniture and warped up a nice long, if narrow scarf-like piece.  It’s amazing how fast 440 yards goes!


Since she gave me two skeins of this lovely stuff, we decided I would weft with the other skein.  This meant I was free to practice without fear of making any sort of colour choices/mistakes.  So I wound the entirety of the second skein onto the bobbins for my boat shuttle (Shireen brought with her the prototype of an amazing machine that Tito made to help with that most boring of tasks) and got ready to go.



I got started with my leader yarn, and for some reason that seemed to take a LOT of yarn.  The gaps didn’t seem to want to close at all.  Once I did get them closed up, I started with my boat shuttle and words cannot express how much more enjoyable using that shuttle is, compared to the basic stick ones that come with the loom.  I had a problem with the left side of my shed…however I tied it, it seemed sorta loose and wimpy and there are a few inadvertent floats as a result.

But the bigger issue I encountered was not being able to get the weft to stay put.  I’d beat it down, and it would bounce back up.  I assumed either I was doing something wrong, or the silk in the yarn was rendering it so slippery that the threads just weren’t sticking together.  I messaged Shireen to ask her what I was doing wrong and her response was not to think of it as beating it down but rather “think of it as placing it on a line that is an equal distance from the one below it.”  I tried that, but I admit that I still wasn’t too successful.  That being said, I am fairly sure that the method I used to attach the warp to the apron bar rendered the start of the piece somewhat uneven.  I have already decided that even if it means less loom waste, I won’t be trying that method again.


So by the end of the weaving time on the weekend, this was what I had.  It’s way uneven (there are all sorts of gaps and you can see where the weft threads are actually wavy over on the right) and the edges are pretty ratty looking.  But, it’s also my first laceweight piece and I am hoping I (and it) will get better as the piece progresses.

Besides, that s$%# will totally block out, right?

Disruptions in “The Schedule”

Most of the knitting I do is for me.  Occasionally, I knit for my husband….hats mostly, but I have knit him some worsted weight socks and most recently, I have on needles for him a pair of fingerless mitts that should have been done months ago, but that for some reason I am just not digging.  Progress on those has been glacier-like.

I have been known to knit for friends, but since most of my friends are knitters, it sometimes feels like bringing coals to Newcastle.

Most recently, I fell into knitting socks for my Mom and my Dad.  It happened by accident when my mom admired a pair I was working on (that I didn’t love) at the exact time when I could still alter the WIP to fit her.  Once she received them and loved them, she asked for another pair.  I have a strange sort of compulsion…I can’t really do something for one parent and not the other.   Since Mom had two, I had to knit two for Dad.  I gave him one at Christmas (which I am told he is going to wear out at this rate – YAY!!) and have another pair in the queue.  He wants brown.  Oy!

When I was at home for Christmas, my dear friend Karen gave me a bunch of Malabrigo that she was never going to knit.  She’s a knitter of heavier Mal Worsted and Mal Mecha, but had somehow obtained several skeins of Mal Lace and a few of Mal Sock.  When I compared one of the Mal Sock skeins in a colourway called Archangel to Mom’s new leather jacket, it cried out to be knit into a light, airy, lace scarf to go with the jacket.


The picture doesn’t entirely show how well the skein matches with the leather, but they’ll co-ordinate extremely well, I think.  I decided on the Foreign Correspondent’s Scarf as it’s a basic 4 row repeat, it has lots of nice open airy fishnet lace, and it won’t fight with the variegation inherent in that colourway.  In any case…one more thing to knit.

So when I say I have a “knitting” schedule, it’s not entirely accurate.  It’s more of a list of thing to start/make/finish, in the approximate order in which I wish to start/make/finish them.  The occasional gift item falls in there, which means I sometimes have something that resembles a deadline.  Overall, I have to say that I am not much of a deadline knitter.

I got an email from Porter Airlines the other day, advertizing a 50% off sale.  I figured it seemed like  a good time to get my parents to come visit, as they like getting away from Newfoundland in April or May.  It’s warmer here around that time, as spring has sprung in Toronto, but there’s still frequently snow on the Victoria Day long weekend (that’s May 24th, for you Americans!).  Dad mailed back and said they were going to come for a week around Easter, if that suited, which it did just fine, thank you!  Except…that means one thing.  Two planned projects now need to move up the queue.  Mom will want to have the scarf for her spring jacket, and the last time I mailed a pair of socks to Newfoundland, it set me back over $13.  So frankly, if I can have them ready for mid-April, more’s the better for me!  So, tonight…I wind!!

Do you have a knitting schedule?  Do you actually keep to it?  What sorts of things disrupt it?