So a few weeks ago Peg decided she was going to take a weaving class and that I should take it with her. Sure! Why not? So bright and way too early on Friday morning I grabbed my basket of oddballs that are the plague of my stash and took them to the Trading Post in Pendleton. The class was taught (and very well I might add) by Benita Story, and if you ever have the chance to take a class from her, I might beat you over the head with a rigid heddle if you don't take it. And I say that because I totally know what a rigid heddle is now.
We started out on pre-warped looms (which I still think is totally the way to go having warped 2 and a half looms- will get to that on day 2) and learned basic things like the difference between and Tabby and a Twill and a few other crazy things. I busted out the yarn basket and started playing around with different fibers to see what I liked (sari recycled silk), didn't like, what worked, and what should never be repeated for the sake of humanity (bright blue eyelash). I went a little nuts and with the help of some bulkier yarns, got all the way through the sample warp and wove until I couldn't get the shuttle through the shed. If you have no idea what I'm saying, that's probably best since I'm just guessing anyway.
SUCKED. We started off by warping which is quite possibly even slower than watching glaciers melt. Okay, it didn't suck but I had a serious Murphy law going on- anything that could have gone wrong did go wrong. And some stuff that couldn't go wrong went wrong anyway. Just that kind of day.
Started by painfully warping a little over 300 yards of deliciously purple Cascade. Cut it in the wrong spot. Started over. To make up for lost time I used a table loom (which happens to sound like a dying toaster), which supposedly is faster to warp. Sure. Got a few warp threads crisscrossed and tangled in the back, which I naturally didn't notice until I got 3/4 of the way through the scarf and couldn't get the shuttle through the shed. Fortunately, day 2 was good for vocabulary, so I was able to express my problems without the use of "dohickey", "thingamabob" and "whatchamajigger". Always look at the bright side. But long before the discovery of crisscrossed heddle mess, I discovered that getting a balanced weave would be rather impossible with the awesome Fuzzarelli handspun I had chosen since I was getting 17 rows to the inch instead of the suggested 8, which is nuts even with Paige-gauge in action. Had to buy more yarn (which is totally the anti-purpose for learning how to weave). Once I bought more yarn and finally got on a roll, I discovered the heddle mess and Benita (very very patiently) unwrapped the warp from the back and held for a while as I wove. She then told me how I can tension it with a weight and weave at home if I want to finish the scarf. Which I totally did. And then I liked the scarf a lot better. It's name is Penelope because it reminds me of the scarf Christina Ricci wore in the movie "Penelope". I know- very original.
Was better. So much better. So much better that if you put day 2 on a chart and then put day 3 on a chart next to it, the chart would crap its paper pants. That good.
Since Janet over at Eighteen Stitches finished her awesome houndstooth crazy fast, I decided that I couldn't live without a houndstooth scarf of my own. Or that I just had to make one and then would pretend to give it to my dad since I skipped out on Father's Day to take a weaving class. Anyhoo, I warped again (and cut in the right place this time!) and loaded up my bobbins (or are they spools?) and got that beast of a loom warped with deep red and black yarn. And I wove. And I wove. And I wove until my eyeballs were about to bleed, but darn it, I had a houndstooth scarf to give to my Farter (not a typo) on Father's Day.
And then I felted it. The fiber Gods have a sick, sick sense of humor.
(If you have any suggestions on what to do with a tragically felted scarf, I'd love to hear them!)