New Year, New Projects

I’ve done a lot of weaving over the last couple months. I am getting more confident with my loom and recently most of my errors have been due to wanting to finish up for the day and hurrying carelessly to the end. That’s something that no amount of experience can remedy.

I recently finished a project I’d been dreaming up for months. My black goat, Ely, died in 2020 and I’ve been looking for a way to honor his memory with the yarn I’d spun up. I concluded that I’d make a blanket, which was a long complicated process of measuring, calculating, adjusting, recalculating, and finally building. I decided to use these colors, my whole remaining inventory of Ely’s hair, and shoot for a 4′ x 5′ throw made from three strips and sewn together after weaving. I did it in a twill pattern, like denim, that forms little diagonal rows that give the fabric a flexibility where plain weave is more stiff.

I didn’t have quite enough to make the blanket I wanted, so I ordered three skeins of heavy gray wool to fill in some space. I now realize that was a dumb move. Wool behaves quite differently than mohair, stretching while on the loom and then drawing in tighter when it is washed. The result was that my blanket is lumpy in the mohair sections and stiffer and tighter in the wool areas. Live and learn yet again. I still love the blanket anyway. It is silky, fuzzy, warm, and heavy. It is shedding 1″ hairs on my clothes but I hope that will ease up after a while. Whenever I cuddle up in it, I’ll think of my Ely.

Leading up to Christmas, I wove several pieces in “overshot”, the technique that makes beautiful geometric patterns within a framework of a second, thinner yarn. I did a little playing around with some hand-me-down yarns and just loved what came out of it, so then I made a long strip of this orange design, planning to sew two sections together side by side into a light throw. I discovered that I am not consistent enough with my weaving to match up the patterns on the two pieces. The repeat varied from 2″ to 3.5″, depending on how much pressure I used, regardless of how hard I tried for consistency.

In the end, it made two nice, long shawls to give as gifts. I love the drape of the fabric, and the orange yarn had a variegated color scheme that provided interest. Now, it is time to come up with the next project. I tend to buy more yarn than I need when I am planning a project because they offer discounts if I buy just a little more… Then I look at what I bought and can’t remember what I’d planned to do with it.

That is my adventure for the day. I’ll look over what I have, look at the patterns in my books, and go make something fun. I don’t plan to leave the farm for the next few days, staying home in the blowing snow and only going out to feed and water the animals. By the end of the week I should have more cool stuff to show for it.

About bluestempond

Hobby farmer living at Bluestem Pond in Michigan.
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1 Response to New Year, New Projects

  1. What a beautiful blanket. While Ely may no longer actually be with you, he will remain with you through your beautiful creation.

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