Something New…

Lately, I’ve been a bit bored with my usual pursuits, and I ended up trying a couple of new creative outlets. Gel printing was one, and the other – weaving.

I experimented with a cardboard sheet, some reclaimed yarn from a UFO, and a tapestry needle. I cut notches into the cardboard to use as slots for warping the yarn. I wanted to see if I’d like the repetitive back and forth action of weaving.

It wasn’t bad, though it might have been a tad too repetitive. I’m guessing that was because I had no pattern or design to follow.

Something New - Weaving

I love the cheerful colors!

I made two striped placemat-like rectangles, the first with taut warp threads and a little less squishing of the weft thread, and the second with less tension in the warp threads plus more squished weft. The second one turned out just a big longer, if you haven’t guessed yet. πŸ™‚ It was fuller but also less neater. I like the weaving feel of the first attempt better, but I’m not sure if the warp was too tight. Hope that in time, I’ll learn what the right tension is.

Speaking of tension, beginner weavers need to be cautious about not working the weft too tightly. Tight weft causes the warp threads to get pulled towards the center, and the rectangle ends up with a narrower center compared to the edges. I was pleased to see that I had managed mostly constant width in the rectangles – not bad for a first attempt.

I made and fixed my first mistake too – I missed a warp thread and had to undo a couple of rows of weft to fix it. I miss knit-fixes that involve undoing only a column (or two) of stitches! πŸ˜› But now I wonder if I could have just left the mistake as is, and it would eventually have gotten hidden.

Something New - Weaving

Can you tell the first attempt from the second? πŸ™‚

I could retain these rectangles as placemats, or combine them with one or two more to make a table runner. Regardless of which route I’ll go, I thought a single-crochet border for each rectangle wouldn’t hurt.

I’m trying out a third rectangle. I’d like to use a pattern for it but I’m not sure if it’d work well, because the weft threads are too widely spaced apart. (After all, notches on these cardboard sheets can only be so close together.)

I’ve not decided yet if I like weaving, but I’m definitely going to try some more “crude” creations before I start wondering if investing in a loom will help me decide better. πŸ˜‰ What do you think – some basic tapestry after the third placemat/runner rectangle?

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Lemony shawl

It’s Lemony because of the beautiful bright-yellow color of the yarn. I started this project because I wanted something different to do while I was trying to finish other projects. πŸ˜€ Some of those other projects are still not done, but this wrap finished up pretty quickly.

Lemony shawl

I first started with the top-down approach without any pattern in mind, working short rows coupled with increases until I reached a decent height, and bound off, only to realize that the yarn is pretty heavy, and it stretched the shawl so much that it looked like I was wearing a python. :-/ So I frogged it and started afresh, this time quite narrower.

I still wanted to stick to the top-down construction, and started off with a simple lace pattern at the top. This time, I thought of looking for some inspiration for a lacy bottom edging that I could play with. I’ve mentioned before that I’m not great at designing with eyelets and laces, and I thought I could practice a bit now. I came across the Annis shawl pattern by Susanna IC on Ravelry. The instructions were for a bottom-up shawl, though, so I thought this is my chance to try to convert it to a top-down one and see if it looks the same. I tried and tried with quite a few combinations of yo, k2tog and ssk, but it never really looked the same. Sigh! I’d had enough of searching and experimenting, and just picked the best-looking one from amongst my tries — I had already made much of the shawl and didn’t want to frog it all over again to restart it bottom-up.

Though it doesn’t look anything like the Annis shawl πŸ˜€ I’m still happy because (a) it doesn’t look half-bad, and (b) I learned quite a lot about eyelets from those experiments. It’s at least got me interested in experimenting with more lacy patterns to understand them better. There’s also more to pointy ends than I have read about — they didn’t come up right even after blocking, and have receded back into the body now…

Meanwhile…

My friend KG has asked me to knit a sweater for her. I’ve not worked on a large project for someone who’s not immediate family, but thought I could see how it goes. I haven’t blogged about the sweater’s progress, though, and KG checked with me last week about it. She’s given me a deadline, you see… πŸ˜‰ πŸ˜€ Now that most of the difficult initial work — thinking of a pattern, swatching, designing parts from reference measurements — is done, the actual knitting is coming along… slowly. I don’t do things for long periods these days because my eyes feel the strain and fatigue at times — my day job also involves staring at a computer screen most of the time.

I like the color of KG’s choice of yarn. (Lavender? Lilac? I’ll just call it some kind of blue.) There’s also one ball of white yarn for some stranded colorwork. And hello, the background polka dots in the picture are also blue-on-white… Coincidence? πŸ™‚

Lavender cardigan

I don’t want to post too many photos of this sweater and spoil the surprise (or shock?) for KG, though, so I still won’t be blogging much about it until she’s seen it. Take note, KG! πŸ˜›