Monday, June 21, 2010

Endings and Beginnings

Have you ever had a project assume such mythic proportions in your head that you couldn't even bear to pick it up? The fear that it would be too hard, take too much time, prove too daunting just kept you away indefinitely?

Well, for me, that project was my mom's 80th birthday present: a blanket woven out of 400 4" Weave It squares and painstakingly seamed together.

I seamed it halfway, then -- completely undone by the thought of weaving in all those ends -- set it aside for the better part of a year. There it sat, still in the fancy gift bag I'd set aside for it, taunting me from the bottom of my closet of shame.

It was the shame, mainly, of making mom wait so very long for her gift that finally made me pick up that blanket again last week.

And guess what?

I finished it.

That's right, the blanket-without-end is finally finished.Mind you, I finished weaving the last of the ends in during the car ride to Mom's house on Saturday, but still it's done, done, done, and I couldn't be happier.

Here's how she looks in situ:


And from another angle:


And just because I can't seem to stop bragging on this:


Isn't she luuuuurvely???

So, that's the end. And as for the beginning?

Check this out:


Meet Dorothy, graciously lent to me by Joe, a weaver friend who is off to bigger and better looms. Along with Dorothy, Joe lent me his copy of Learning to Weave, by Debbie Chandler, and I've been reading it nonstop for the past week. I've already picked out the sock yarn -- two skeins of Araucania Ranco, one in grey and one in mauve -- to use on my first sample. Now all I have to do is actually sit down with the book on one side and the loom on the other and get started.

There are so many things I've never done before! Using a rigid heddle loom up till now has allowed me to skip past a bunch of the basic skills that a weaver has to develop, like winding a warp on a warping board (I've only direct warped). But, I just can't wait to play with my 4 independently-operating sheds! I've been eagerly poring over the drafts in Learning to Weave, trying my best to understand them (again, something I've completely managed to avoid up till now), anticipating playing with plain weave and twills and all the other beautiful designs I've seen for a 4-shed loom.

If only work weren't busy getting in the way. I went back today for the first time since the beginning of May, and while it was good to be back and even somewhat fun prepping for the start of the new semester, this whole "job" thing seriously cuts into my fiber time. If only I didn't need the "money" that said "job" brings in.

In any event, my time over the next couple of weeks will be quite limited, so I doubt I'll even manage to warp my new baby until things taper off in early- to mid-July. Till then, I suppose I'll have to satisfy myself with looking at Dorothy, reading Debbie and dreaming of warping day.

Oh, and crocheting my Marigold Wrap in -- what else? -- vibrant shades of orange, yellow and deep brick red Wollmeise.

But that's a project for another post.



4 comments:

gibknitty said...

the blanket looks amazing! beautiful colors. congrats on finishing it.

Emily said...

Wow! Wow wow wow wow!!! Love the blanket!!!

Nancy McCarroll - Arts, Crafts and Favorites said...

Boy oh Boy! Great job!! Congratulations on finishing it and having it come out so nicely.

hakucho said...

Wow, your blanket (or I should say ...your Mom's blanket) is amazing. Such a lot of work. I bet you feel really good that you finished it. I have my grandmother's weave-it loom, but I don't think I'd have the patience to weave enough squares to actually make a blanket. Very nice job...I bet your mom adores it!!!