Neither was I eager to wrap the warp threads on the loom. I only had one ball of one colour so I knew I would have to either cut and wrap the threads for each card separately (yuck) or figure out how much I needed and pull that much off the one ball to make a second ball. Plus I had to consider how to deal with the twisting threads. When you do fonts, it seems to always work out that some warp threads twist in one direction more than another and a lot of twist builds up. You can use fishing swivels to solve this (none of which I own yet) or you can just warp extra length and just "push" the twist out of the way. :sigh: :decisions: :work: (These are the types of decisions that can put me into complete project paralysis.)
I bought some time by asking Troy to complete the loom he made for me by gluing the pegs. When I used the loom in the summer, the pegs stayed in place. Now that it's winter and much drier, the pegs were loose enough in the holes that they weren't sitting perpendicular to the frame (which will cause uneven tension on the band) and slipping out of the holes completely (hopefully why that is a problem is obvious enough I don't have to explain it). While he cheerfully took care of it, I was off the hook for a couple days.
I used the time to graph out the letters in Excel. My first version was very blocky, working off the alphabet provided by my teacher (John Mullarkey) at Squam. His were all capitals, however, so I made up lower case letters. Then I edited them so that they were more rounded and I was happier with the result.
Wednesday evening I decided it was time to bite the bullet, make the decisions for better or worse, and get started. I made some guesstimates about length so I could figure out what path to warp my loom and pull off enough string from the one ball to do a continuous warp. The second colour was some cotton I had purchased in a big bag at the last Red Purl "Green Sale." I had two balls of it so I was set there. One had less on it than the other, but it had enough to finish this project without cutting it so close I had to worry about it.
When it came to the actual weaving, it was very uneventful and I was surprised to have it half done the first evening and finished in the second! I can't decide if weaving is more agonizing than a knitting project for me because there actually are more decisions to be made, or if I'm just used to making the knitting decisions and so they're easier. (Hopefully the latter so I can have the hope that weaving will become easier too.)
Here is just some of the twist that builds up on the warp threads.
When it was done, I had a band about 1-1/8" wide and 28" long.
And what does it actually say?
I am planning to use this band in a "Dream Catcher" like these ones I saw on the Squam website. I think they are beautiful and when I looked closer, I realized they used a doily for the center. The dream catchers I've seen before are woven and look like spider webs (to me). But when I saw doilies I got excited. I have a few that my Oma made and I was never sure what to do with them. I wanted to keep them, but I don't really decorate with them, putting them out on side tables or the backs of recliners. But I thought this was a project I could work with. So this woven ribbon is the first piece I've put together to hang off the bottom. I thought capturing Oma's perennial advice would be fitting.
She was a brave woman. Not courageous, because I think she was afraid or nervous all the time. But she braved her way through what needed to be done. For example, she had a terrible sense of direction and once got off a Greyhound bus in the town she had been living in for decades and got turned around and couldn't find her way to the person meeting her. (Fortunately it was a small town and they found her before too long.) But this is the same woman who emigrated from her war-torn country after WWII to Canada (a land where she didn't even know the language) with her husband, five young boys and my mother (aged 9 to 0). It's crazy if you think about it.
She was never mean, but she could be "direct." Comments that might confront you, but never belittle. But she once told my sister that she really didn't like saying things to confront people and was shy to say them, but they would be important things on her mind and she knew if she didn't say them, she would regret it and feel like she had not fulfilled her duty of helping to raise us kids. So she swallowed her fear and said them. Conviction.
These are some of the reasons I chose her words to weave into a band.
Once the band itself was done, I cut it off of the loom and had all these lovely twisted ends.
|From left, three-strand braid, two-ply twist of|
four strands each, two-ply of two strands each,
and four-strand braid.
In the end, it came out a bit of a jumbled mess, but I like it.
last band, the selvedge warp threads were "used up" a lot quicker than the rest of the warp so I thought I would need to make them longer to start. Apparently not in this case! Anyway, I decided to leave those strands long and have just knotted the beads in place. When the whole project is done and I have more bands/ribbons/whatever hanging from the dream catcher, I can always decide to cut them.
And to the left you see the entire band. The fringe is 27" so that gives a total length of 55".
That means medals in Alpine Abode Enhancement (since it will hang on a wall), Labyrinth Weaving, Nordic Colourwork Combined, and Stash Skeleton.
3. & 4.
And that is the end of my Ravellenics projects. Maybe not as ambitious as my Whistler sweater in 2010, but I really can't believe I got all of them done. In part because knitting is easy (for me) so the only challenge in the Whistler project was the sheer volume of knitting it represented.
This year there were different projects and the weaving and dyeing especially present "mental paralysis" problems for me. But I pushed and got them done. And they were, by and large, successful. And I had fun. I hope you enjoyed reading along.