It started innocently enough, with some plain kitchen cotton.
Project number one:
Andrea and her husband are taking a somewhat-delayed honeymoon, and she offered to loan me her Ashford Knitter’s Loom for the month that she’s away.
Uh, gee, let me think for a mo– YES. YES, I’ll take it!
So, it just so happened that when I came home from Ottawa, thoughts of my great-great-grandmother’s carpet filling my head, I found myself in (temporary) possession of a loom.
Andrea had warped it with some plain kitchen cotton to practice with, and told me to finish off her practice piece and then warp and weave as I pleased. I don’t know what brand of yarn the cotton was, but I wove it up in what seemed like no time at all. My tension wasn’t perfect (especially at the edges) — and cotton doesn’t have much in the way of stretch or give, so you can clearly see any and all faults… but for all that, it’s not a bad ‘first project’ if I do say so myself!
(I have to interrupt myself here to say that this wasn’t really my first time weaving… just my first time in about 20 years. My dad’s outdoor education centre had a living-history ‘museum’ in an outbuilding, where students could experience cooking on a wood stove, carding fleece, working wood with hand tools, and weaving on floor and table looms. I made a couple of coasters and a rag rug or two there, though some poor staff member did all the work of warping the looms for me.)
Project number two:
Within about 10 minutes of the cotton being off the loom, I had grabbed some Noro Kureyon that’s been marinating in my stash. It took me less than an hour from opening the instruction booklet to finishing warping the loom. The Ashford booklet that comes with the loom is exceptionally clear (and it’s available as a PDF too).
I followed the basic scarf ‘recipe’ in the booklet, and it took just under one ball of the Kureyon to warp, and another ball (of a different colourway) to weave — perfect stash-busting, without leftovers! The scarf was off the loom within 24 hours. Twenty-four hours! Two-four! That kind of blew my mind. I mean, sure, it’s worsted weight, but I sure couldn’t knit it up that quickly!
They Kureyon was a really good choice for a starter project, on reflection, because it’s woolly and grippy, and has enough unevenness in its own composition to camouflage the weaver’s (ahem) inconsistencies. Plus, those colour changes — even in subtle colourways like the ones I used — keep things interesting as you work. The finished scarf is just a little thicker/stiffer than I would have hoped, but I think it would look classic with a man’s tweedy sport coat.
Project numbers three and four are still to come!