A Crafter's Diary: 2nd - 8th May 2020

Hello everyone!  This week has been a fairly busy week on the crafting front.  I've spent most of the week making something - partly due to a new crafting tool arriving.  So for this weeks format, I'm gonna try out a different format again where I look at each craft in turn.  We'll see how well I like writing in this format!

Weaving
Before I start on the new tool that arrived in my life, I thought I'd start by sharing the story of a newly Finished Object (FO)!
FO - Woven Scarf
This project I very inventively called "Woven Scarf".  It was made using my Rico Designs School Weaving Loom that I brought at Hobbycraft earlier this year.  The loom is a glorified frame loom.  It is glorified because it has a heddle bar to change sheds, although I've never found these that effective all the time.  I'd woven quite a few small pieces that turned into mats and little bags and such like, but I was very taken with the idea of weaving a scarf.  So with the aid of my husband, I attempted to warp my loom by clamping one of the warping beams to one end of my long kitchen table and the other one at the other end on a workbench.  I then did a direct warp and rolled up the warp, putting cardboard strips in to try and avoid tension issues.  This was tedious and time consuming and the warp was very definitely not tensioned evenly.  But, I duly went ahead and wove on it anyway after all that effort.  Considering how some of it looked on the loom, I am very very happy with the result!
Warp Yarns:
- Sirdar Snuggly Baby Bamboo DK in colourway "91 Hedgie" (beige) and "90 Puddles" (blue)
Weft Yarns:
- Sirdar Snuggly Baby Bamboo DK in colourway "Puddles" (blue)
- Rowan Purelife Organic Cotton FK in colourway "981 Logwood" (grey)
- Sirdar Snuggly 100% Cotton DK in colourway "753 Orange"
- Stylecraft Head Over Heels All Stars in colourway "3916 Woldgate" (variegated, used two strands at a time)
In hindsight, using mostly Bamboo and Cotton and then throwing in that random wool based Stylecraft yarn was probably going to lead to interesting things, but I merrily went along with it anyway.  I wet finished it and it turns out that the Bamboo and Cotton sections shrunk more than the wool sections.  It makes for an interesting wavy look.  I quite like it!

 Woven Scarf

New Acquisition - Kromski Harp Forte
So this week I had the very great pleasure of welcoming a Rigid Heddle Loom into my crafting world.  I've been thoroughly enjoying working on my little tapestry loom, but I've been feeling very limited by the frustrations of trying to make a long scarf on it as you probably gathered above.  And also, I can't make anything particularly wide.  So I saved up and brought myself a Rigid Heddle Loom.  I had a go on an Ashford Rigid Heddle Loom at Unravel Festival this year and I very much fell in love with the weaving process.  I will do another post telling you about the loom and how it works, probably after I've done one on my spinning wheel, but have a picture with my latest Work In Progress (WIP) on it.

Kromski Harp 

FO - First Cloth on Rigid Heddle Loom
For my first project on my new loom, I decided to start with a warp that wasn't too long and basically try and bust through a little bit of stash yarn.  I'm not going to go into the ins and outs of why I picked what yarns, I'll do that more in my post specifically about the loom.  As with knitting, you are encouraged to sample everything in weaving to work out how much your finished piece will shrink and such, I couldn't be bothered so I used an online "weaving calculator" with generic guesses.  I was aiming for a roughly 24" square piece of cloth, just because it seemed a nice number.  That meant I ended up needing 240 warp threads, each 50" long, so I used a lot of my looms width.  For those who understand weaving, I did an indirect warp using the warping board on the back of the loom.  The final size is 24 1/2" long (yes!) and 25 - 26" wide.  As I am a new weaver, I am still learning how to keep my edges straight.  To only vary by an inch I thought was pretty impressive for my first try!
Warp Yarns:
-
110g The Women's Insitute Soft and Silky 4ply in colourway "52913 Magenta"
Weft Yarns:
-
57g James C. Brett DK with Merino in colourway "DM18" (navy)
- 55g James C. Brett DK with Merino in colourway "DM12" (teal)

Stripey Cloth

Stripey Cloth

WIP - Mystical Scarf
Once I had my first project off the loom, I immediately wanted to start my second.  I, once again, went with the method of not bothering to sample, but warped up for a "warp-dominant" scarf.  This means that more emphasis is going to be placed on the warp yarns to stand out and look pretty.  I'm doing this by using DK yarns for my warps and thin crochet cotton for my wefts.  This should end up as a roughly 10" wide scarf.  I used a 3m warp because the internet advised me that most scarves could be woven in 3m.  So, obviously, I trusted the internet...
I used the same weaving calculator and worked out that with about 10% shrinkage, I'd need 114 warp threads.  So I did some more stash busting to make my warps.  By the way, warp threads are also called "ends" which is why I've noted how many ends there are of each warp yarn.
Warp Yarns
- 104g (58 ends) Countess Ablaze Grande Merino DK in a Rebel Batch Colourway called "Dan Mumford: Orchestra of Wolves"
- 37g (32 ends) Hayfield Bonus DK Extra Value in colourway "838 Silver Grey"
- 29g (24 ends) Hayfield Bonus DK Extra Value in colourway "992 Pink"
Weft Yarns
- Unknown amount of Jomil Mercerised Crochet Cotton in colourway "Lilac" (I used up my remaining stash of this)
- As yet unknown amount of Si Whoosh Crochet Cotton in colourway "Blue"
You can't see any of the lilac wefts in my photos, but it looked gorgeous and I used my knitting "fade" formula to fade the lilac into the blue.  More on that when I write about it as a finished object!

Mystical Scarf

Mystical Scarf

Knitting
WIP - Melody Jumper
My Melody Jumper has had about a whole two rows added to it since my last diary post.  Its still growing slowly.  This was always going to be a long time work in progress.

Melody Jumper 

Trick of the Light MKAL Shawl
This was going so well.  I was adding a couple of rows a day.  And then Thursday arrived.  I tried to multitask too much and the result of which was I dropped some stitches and now there's a huge hole in my lace section.  I'm still debating whether to just start it again or try and use my crochet hook to fix it.  Its in the naughty corner right now.  Note to self: cotton unravels really easily.  I don't have many words polite enough to say here right now so I'm just gonna leave it there with a sad picture.

Trick of the Light MKAL DISASTER

Spinning
WIP - Tale As Old As Time
Yes, I did deliberately order these posts to end on a high.  I've been spinning a beautiful braid of fibre this week.  This is "Tale As Old As Time" which is one of World of Wools Fairytale Blends.  It is 80% Merino and 20% Stellina and despite having been squashed in my fibre box for a while, it was a dream to spin.  Its currently resting before I do a simple 2-ply on it.

Tale As Old As Time

So that's everything for today, I hope to return with lots more nice projects to share with you next week - stay safe, stay healthy!

Connecting With Me
Enjoyed my blog post?  You can connect with me on Instagram, Facebook and Ravelry!  I tend to keep my Ravelry project pages well updated so you can find out more details of these projects over there.