Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Table Runner I Won't Repeat

This is a perfectly beautiful table runner but one I'll never repeat because of the yarn I used.  Unlike the photos, the yarn color is a rich variegated copper metallic and I just loved it when I bought it...but not after using it.

Paton's Metallic in the copper alloy colors doesn't weave particularly well...I had to pull out one row when the strand itself began to unravel.  It definitely doesn't lock in well at the end of the row.  I knew I couldn't use it as part of the fringe because of it's terrible unraveling so I wove the ends back in and actually tried to knot them to prevent further unraveling.  It doesn't appear to be working so this runner will definitely have to be hand washed carefully.

Each strand is variegated in color and in thickness which makes for a beautifully textured design.  And that's where the good part ends.  I love the finished appearance but not the worry of future unraveling.

Unfortunately I bought 2 skeins of this yarn, the copper alloy and a gorgeous burnished rose gold that looks more like periwinkle to me.  I guess I'll use it on a runner just because it's so pretty.

The pattern is Christine Allen's Cobblestone Way and I only changed the border to simplify it.  I've used this pattern before and love it!

Monday, June 11, 2018

Just a Hint

I was horrified to read that one of our Swedish weavers actually keeps track of how many hours (days, weeks, months!) it takes her to complete a Swedish weaving project.  I have an approximate idea how long it takes me but I don't know exactly...and I don't want to know exactly because that might take the fun out of weaving.  It doesn't matter one bit to me how long it takes when I'm making something for family or a friend but I try not to think about the hours I spend making an item to sell.

People who do crafts for sale will never get paid properly for their time and we accept that.  We hopefully get our enjoyment out of creating...I know I do.  I get further enjoyment out of seeing a stranger look at my work with admiration.  Thankfully, the few pieces I sell are not an important part of my income or I'd starve.

It's been gratifying to me to find more Canadians who actually know what Swedish weaving is.  Most have never heard of it because the supplies are atrociously expensive in Canada and that's why I buy most of mine in the States.

My hint for today, though, is for weavers to put to the back of their minds how long it takes them to complete a project.  Just weave and enjoy! 

Sunday, June 3, 2018

Paton's Metallic Yarn

I discovered this yarn by accident while shopping at "Len's Mill Store (not sure if this chain is only in Ontario).  I bought it and a lovely plain lilac color because I loved the sheen.  I found out quickly that it unravels on the ends just like the Simply Soft Party so I knotted it in the same way and was happy to see that it slipped through the floats easily.  

Unfortunately, one of the stands began to unravel right in the middle of a row so I had to remove it and start again.  This means I won't buy this yarn again.  It's pretty but too unstable.  The yarn is a beautiful variegated rust color called copper alloy and is also variegated thicknesses along each strand.  I love the effect and hope it doesn't cause me too much trouble finishing my project.

Another problem arose at the end of each row where I normally weave the ends back into the runner or leave them as part of the fringe.  Because this yarn unravels in a sort of ugly way, I chose to weave it back in but then wasn't sure how to end it.  I had to knot 2 pieces together to feel safe that it won't unravel during normal washing.  Again, it's beautiful but not suitable for me to buy again.  

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

2 New Christmas Table Runners

Both patterns for these runners are in the booklet "Monk's Cloth Afghans for Christmas".  The one above is called "Snowy Sparkles" and I, of course, changed the little border a bit.  It's fun to put your own stamp on your work.  I used the Caron's "Simply Soft Party" yarn in royal and silver grey...I've used the white with the silver grey and they also go well together.  

I had added some of the grey to the fringe along the length but decided it looked better without it so I took it off.

This one is called "Christmas Stars" and it wasn't difficult to do, just had to pay more attention.  I used Bernat "Happy Holidays" yarn in green and red which is pretty darned perfect for a Christmas table runner.  This yarn is thicker than Caron's so there is lots of texture on this runner.  I loved the pattern and will use it again but with different patterns and yarn.

The Christmas Star pattern took probably twice as long to complete as did the Snowy Sparkles but I think I like it better.  Now that I've discovered that knotting the end of the Simply Soft Party yarn before weaving is possible, I'll use a lot more of this yarn, though.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Solving Caron's Simply Soft Party Yarn

Those of you who have used Caron's Simply Soft Party yarn will most likely have come across the problem of having the metallic strand break while you're weaving.  This is such a pain because you have to remove the complete row and start over again.  The problem is caused by the metallic thread being wound around the yarn and not woven into it (like the Bernat).

I had gotten into the habit of tying a knot in the yarn as I finished each row to keep it from unraveling further and you can see by my photo how the end unravels without the knot.

I was working on my latest project and continually concerned about breaking the thread but I was lucky for a while until the inevitable happened.  Just inches from the end of the row, the unraveled end caught somewhere and broke the metallic thread.  

I looked at the completed rows and saw how tight the knot was and wondered if I knotted it at the very beginning if it would slide through the floats.  I could only try because it had become too frustrating any other way.  Well, you could feel a tiny catch as it went through the floats but it caused no problem otherwise.

And so that's how I'll use Caron's Simply Soft Party yarn from now on. 

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Choosing One Yarn Over Another

This is part of the Christmas table runner I'm presently working on.  The yarn I'm using is a rather thick Bernat Happy Holidays.  Just below the final row of green is a row of red and, for some reason, I thought it might look better if I used a thinner yarn, Caron Simply Soft Party.  I thought the contrast might look nicer than using only the Bernat.

When I'm unsure like this, I will weave in both yarns for a short distance just to see which one I like best.  I've decided to go with only the Bernat because, to my eye, it seems nicer.  There is no set way to do this because all of us will look at a project differently and, whichever you choose, will always look just fine.

Just a note:  When I post photos of finished projects on Facebook, I don't write in all the details of why I chose what I did, what I liked or didn't like about my choice of yarn, etc.  That is what the blog is for...for readers to learn from my experiences and for me to learn from their's.  I think it would be very unfair for me to take up space on someone else's Facebook page telling you everything I just wrote here.  Facebook serves one purpose and the blog is for me (and you) to expand on what we're doing and why.  I was criticized by one lady for directing readers to the blog because she thought I was getting rich on it.  I made $100 all of last year and I'm not quite sure how that works...I think I get a fraction of a penny when a reader clicks on one of the ads but I'm not sure.  The blog has continued to grow in popularity so I'm making a little bit more this year ($70 in 6 months).  It doesn't matter to me.  I do Swedish weaving because I love the craft.  I post photos on Facebook because it's a learning experience for us weavers.  I write the blog because it's fun to do and also informative.  I'm actually very surprised that I've had to explain all this just because of one very rude lady but life is full of surprises.  Anyway, I know the blog is popular and serves a good purpose so one critic isn't going to change it. 

Saturday, May 5, 2018

Shelley's Choice!

Shelley asked me to make her a red on red Christmas table runner and I was lucky enough to buy a large red remnant from a friend.  I have no more red now and don't know if or when I'll ever get some more.

I used Simply Soft Party yarn which has a metallic thread running through it.  I don't recommend this yarn because it can be troublesome to use but pretty when it does work out.  The pattern is a slightly altered "Holiday Cheer" from the booklet, Monk's Cloth Afghans for Christmas.

For anyone making table runners for Christmas bazaars, the ones I made with red cloth and red yarn were the most popular last fall.