Tuesday, September 06, 2011
Woven Shawl Genesis
The school year has begun again, and I've been wrapped up in preparing for and launching my courses, but I did take time to warp my Ashford Rigid Heddle loom for a second shawl. This one is for me, made of fine gauge wool sock yarn. I had these yarns in my stash: mostly inexpensive self-striping sock yarns widely available from craft stores: for the warp I used one skein of Soles and More and two skeins of Deborah Norville Serenity yarns from JoAnn. All the yarns were in fall colors, with lots of orange. I love orange.
Warping the loom requires stretching the yarn across my kitchen table and onto a sewing machine cabinet near the window. Because these are finer yarns, and I'm using the 12 epi heddle, it takes more wraps to fill the loom than the worsted weight yarn I used in the previous shawl, so warping took a bit longer. I like to warp on Sunday afternoons and use the couple of hours it takes to enjoy the calm repetitive activity. Needless to say, no cats are invited to this fiber event.
This is what was left of the three balls of yarn I used to warp the loom. It took about 660 yards--more yardage than it takes to knit a pair of socks. Weaving takes a lot of calculation at the planning stage. I've gotten good about calculating the warp, but my weft calculations have been over generous, and I haven't figured out why.
Here's the loom with the warp tied on and ready to go. I leave the loom on the dining room table, and weave in several sittings.
For the weft I used these two sock yarns: Patons Kroy and Lion Sock Wool. I used a whole skein of the Kroy and about half of the Lion. Both yarns are self-striping.
Here's the finished shawl. I alternated both weft yarns in a random pattern and got this lovely plaid effect. I double knotted the fringe.
I was hoping for a 20 x 72" shawl, and the finished size was 20 x 66. Somehow there was more warp take-up than I anticipated, but live and learn. It still makes a decent sized shawl and I'm thrilled with the fall colors. And I made plaid! A very back-to school fabric that reminds me of my Catholic school days.