Every summer, fair marks my official vacation. Swim club takes a month off in August, and 4H is over until the September meeting and we all take a collective breath. It is also supposed to be a time when my kids are all finished with school work and we can relax. Last year we took a month long vacation across the country. This year, I’m trying to get my son to finish 9th grade! I digress. Since I am now on vacation, other than badgering the teen, I have set out to get as much of my level 4 homework finished as possible.
Yesterday I took stock. I am actually in a good place with that which shocks me. I think I am about half way. I did a lot of the easiest assignments when I got home from class in Feb. Now I am left with things that are going to require a bit more time and patience. I decided to finish tiding up the things I could do quickly, like writing up my observations on reeling silk and making sure all of the dye day spreadsheets are filled out and ready to be printed and placed in my book.
Speaking of dye day. One of our assignments has been stressing me out since we got back. Well, stressing might be too strong of a word. I have been pondering it. We were split into 3 teams and each team had to make 2 custom dye colors, one team did 3. All 7 of these dyed yarns MUST be used in the same project. What make this problematic is that we in no way consulted with the other groups about colors. Two sets of the colors, so 4 of them, are almost identical. Not to mention that they don’t really go, at least not in a traditional way. Being primarily a knitter I have been looking at hat patterns and fingerless glove patterns. They would make for good color work. The downside is that I would have to spin a companion yarn to use in the project and that has not been on the top of my list.
Enter IWC (Intermountain Weavers Conference). I was lucky enough to attend and take a class from Jane Patrick from Schacht. I took her weave a scarf in a day on a rigid heddle loom. I have been thinking about dabbling in weaving. So it worked out for me. This also coincided with me putting my foot down and unplugging my kids during the day. My youngest was struggling with finding something to occupy her time. After the class I realized I needed to get my Inkle loom down and help her warp it. It worked…. she went a bit crazy with it and did 4 bands over the course of 2 days. This is my roundabout way of saying that all of a sudden, knitting was not the only option for those 7 weird colors.
It occurred to me that I had enough of the colors to warp the Inkle loom and weave a belt. If I put the similar colors on the outside edges they would balance themselves out. I could not be happier with the results and it only took a couple of hours to weave the band. Now I wish I had a watch that took a fabric band so that I could wear it. The yarn is Rambouliett and so very soft.
This might be one of my favorite homework assignments. I look forward to doing more weaving with my handspun. I am conspiring to get a rigid heddle and weave my final for level 4. That is how close to the end I am, I am already thinking and planning. I just need to get my loom and talk to my friend who Is a master weaver. Right now I am working on getting samples to be the correct WPI.