Two New Alchemy Blankets, and How to Correct a Missed Warp Thread!

One of the main reasons I started a website was so that I could write a blog about my adventures with yarn…. and here I am, weeks on from my last post, with not a sausage in between!! At the risk of winning cliche-of-the-month award…. where has the time gone?!!!

Actually I know where it’s gone - mostly into a collaboration I was working on with Debbie (Down Sheepy Lane) and Gemma (The Little Grey Girl), producing handdyed, handwoven, handmade project bags for knitters and crocheters. It’s the first time I’ve worked so closely with other creative folk, but it was hardly a struggle since both Debbie and Gemma are good friends of mine (and each other)! As a test-run, I think it was quite successful - we certainly sold a good majority of the bags made… although I think we probably made too many in our enthusiasm! Next time we’ll have a much better idea of timings, quantities and all those sort of things that you do on the fly the first time round (at least that’s the way I work…). And just in case you haven’t seen the finished products, they can be found under the “Woven Gems” menu option on TheLittleGreyGirl.co.uk.

July is nearly upon us, which also means starting work on a new Alchemy Blanket. I managed to complete two in June - one made from woolly leftovers from lovely Knitwear Designer Renee Callahan (East London Knits) - and the other for a lovely lady who travels all over the world and had sent me a box of hand-carded, handspun cotton singles from Africa and India (no pressure there then!), The spun cotton clearly had not been washed or soaked, as it was still very crinkly, but it behaved enough for me to create what I think is a really lovely, lightweight blanket - the colours are definitely unusual, but work brilliantly together. The whole thing is so light and open compared to the normal woollen yarn I use, which will be perfect in the hotter climates of Mozambique, where this is headed.

The blues and reds of Renee’s blanket looked lovely.

The blues and reds of Renee’s blanket looked lovely.

I love the effect produced by the slightly slubby cotton yarn in Hazel’s blanket.

I love the effect produced by the slightly slubby cotton yarn in Hazel’s blanket.

TODAY’S TOP TIP!

Last week - when I first intended to write another blog post - it occurred to me that one of the most useful tips I could have learned earlier on as a new weaver was how to correct a missed warp float. If you notice this whilst you’re weaving, you can of course “un-weave” a couple of throws to correct it…. but what if you don’t notice until much later on, or even once you’ve taken your piece off the loom? Quite often, these missed floats can happen as you get nearer the end of your work, especially if you are using slightly sticky yarn (for instance, handspun cotton singles!!!) and, as luck would have it, I happened to have a “real life” example….

In the first picture (left) you can seen where I have missed a warp thread - it is going over three weft throws, where it should be doing an over-under-over form (like the ones next to it).

In the second picture (right), I have carefully pulled out the entire length of the warp thread, to the left of the error, leaving a nicely noticeable ladder…

Now, take a darning needle, thread it with the warp thread, and simply weave it through the weft yarns in the correct pattern (ie over/under).

Simples!!!

I do encourage you to check your work periodically as you weave, as well as once it’s off the loom. It’s so, SO easy to miss a warp thread and not even notice, and it is equally as easy to fix it. I always make a point of examining my work before finishing the fringe - it’s a bit of a pain for those of us who lack patience, but it really is worth it!

I hope any weavers or would-be weavers will find this useful and/or interesting. If you have any other questions about weaving techniques you’d like to ask, please use the comments below, or send me an email and I will endeavour to put up more “Top Tips” in the future!

With warmest hugs

Nicky