Sunday, July 18, 2010

The Killers Among Us

Can I tell you how much fun it is to weave on a 4-harness loom?

Pretty damn fun, that's for sure.

Here's what I've been working on:

It's my sampler, taken straight from Learning to Weave, by Debbie Chandler. Tonight, I finished my 9 inches of plain weave (3 inches each in balanced weave, weft-predominant weave and warp-predominant weave) and started on my 2-2 twill. It's tough for me to get a balanced weave in the twill; I feel like I'm hardly beating at all and I'm still getting a clearly weft-predominant weave. I'm also annoyed that my right-hand selvedge looks like crap (but the left-hand selvedge isn't too bad, so that's a plus) and for some strange reason the entire right-hand side of my fabric is slightly canted up and out, although it doesn't seem visible in this photo.

Still, the variations on the different weaves are fun, and once I'm done with this twill I'll "play around" as Debbie suggests. What I'd really like to do is find a draft that I really like and make a whole scarf using two other skeins of the yarn I'm working with now, Araucania Ranco. I've set aside a bright fuschia and an olive green, which I think will play off one another nicely and cause some cool op-art effects if only I can find the right design to weave. We'll see how that turns out.

Meanwhile, I'm feeling a bit "stuck" with my latest crocheting project, a shawl in laceweight tencel. I love the look and feel of the fabric, and it's an easy two-row repeat that was simple enough to memorize and execute, but I think I'm feeling the need for a worsted-weight project in my near future. Something less fiddly than lace and quicker than the couple of weeks it's taking me to pull this shawl together. Not quite sure what it will be, but I know I need a break before Small Shawl Wars starts and I'm going to be knitting shawls nonstop...until someone takes me out, that is.

You know, the last (and first and only) time I ever participated in any kind of "war" was in college. It was my freshman year, and my dorm played "Assassin" (or was it called "Killer"? or something equally uninspired?). We each were assigned a target and given a ping-pong ball. There were rules about when and where you could kill someone, and of course, you killed a person by hitting them with the ping-pong ball. I think I lasted all of two days -- didn't even kill my own target, I'm sure -- before my killer took me out with what I thought was a fairly clever ruse. To earn spending money, I typed papers. A dollar a page, and this was pre-computer, so I was working on a Brother electronic typewriter with the little white-out tape that could go back a whole line to correct errors...but beyond that, you were screwed. Anyway, my killer contacted me through my ad for typing services, then enlisted someone else in the dorm to walk with me to our appointed meeting place (supposedly for me to pick up the paper to be typed), and when we were in just the right place under just the right conditions (per the rules, not within a certain distance of certain buildings, other people, etc), my "escort" took off running and my assassin beaned me with a ping-pong ball. Ah, college...good times.

At least this time around, I'll get a shawl out of the deal. Much better than taking a ping-pong ball to the shoulder.

No comments: