We’re now in Chicago, visiting Mike’s family. I’ve been continuing to play with the inkle loom, among other projects. I put on a warp that alternates dark purple and white in the center – which turned out to be a major mistake, as doing pickup in dark purple threads is a real eye test. So far, I pass, but after a few hunched-over hours I decided there had to be a better way. I looked up a tutorial on tying continuous string heddles (thank you, Laverne Waddington!) and promptly tied four sets of string heddles – one that picks up every other white thread, one that picks up the remaining white threads, one that picks up every other purple thread, and one that picks up the remaining purple threads. Since my current design involves picking up every other pattern thread, I figure I’ve got my bases covered.
Here’s what it looks like now:
So far inkle weaving is proving to be more of a side entertainment than a serious interest. It “feels” more like knitting than like weaving to me, perhaps because of the extensive hand manipulation. Design doesn’t seem to be that complicated, though I’m not attempting to design my own just at the moment (no graph paper!). But I’m enjoying weaving some of the patterns in Anne Dixon’s The Weaver’s Inkle Pattern Directory.
I’ve also been working on an entry for Handwoven‘s Handwoven for the Home reader contest. I’m doing placemats with a matching table runner – the table runner being basically a series of three or four shortened placemats. The structure is double weave with one layer narrower than the other, and all four edges as separate cloth. I got the idea after buying one of Pat Stewart’s lovely shawls in mixed doubleweave and integrated cloth for my sister-in-law. Pat was kind enough to send me the .wif for the shawl, which helped me figure out how to get the four edges as separate layers. While I still need to rework the structure in the center, here’s the basic idea. The edges will be dark green, the white area in the center will be solid white. The center will be a mix of pure white double weave and integrated cloth.
I’m planning to weave this up in Lunatic Fringe’s American Maid yarn, which is naturally colored cotton, in dark green and white unmercerized 10/2 cotton. I think that should be quite attractive. I’m also considering making a matching set of napkins in twill blocks, with a similar pattern, but that would have to be on a different warp. We’ll see if my interest lasts that long.
Meanwhile, the catsitter continues to send us photos of our adorable “kids”. She has a real talent for capturing their spirit. Here’s a great photo of Tigress sitting around looking regal (no doubt just before perpetrating something naughty!).