I had bought a dress on impulse without trying it on. Once I got it home it fitted perfectly but there was one problem, it was sleeveless. Despite weaving making good use of our arm muscles in all sorts of ways I have reached the age when my upper arms are past looking their best, baggy or bingo those wings needed covering! As usual I was pushed for time but a friend had woven 2 crammed and spaced shawls for herself and sister in law for her daughter’s wedding a couple of years ago. She had bought Garnhuset 40/2 linen and 30/2 mercerised cotton from us for both and they were beautiful.
So I set to work planning a warp, luckily I had some of the Garnhuset yarn she had used in my stash as well as some 60/2 silk that I thought might also be useful in the required colours, but I also knew that if I ran out or the colours weren’t right I could get speedy delivery from Weaving Yarn http://www.weavingyarn.co.uk/ who have continued to stock Garnhuset’s beautiful yarns.
There was no time for proper sampling but I had allowed for some extra warp to be able to check the sett and the colour combinations on the loom. I also had the benefit of Jacky’s experience of weaving something similar with the same yarn. Happily, my choices all worked!
The warp was wound using black 40/2 linen for the crammed stripes with 2 shades of 40/2 linen alternating with the 30/2 mercerised cotton for the open sections. I took care to ensure the warp was wound evenly and made sure that the paper between the warp layers was wide enough to protect the warp threads from slipping down at the edge of the beam as I was using the full width of the loom. For the weft, the cotton, linen and silk with the addition of a natural 40/2 undyed linen were used in a planned colour rotation.
Anni coped with the linen as well as she had done with the wool. The tension was even, the shed large and clean with no problems at all. Other than remembering to change the colours in the right order and watch the beat in the open and crammed spaces these fabulous yarns behaved beautifully.
The finished weaving was hand washed and pressed whilst damp with steam. After lightly twisting the fringes it was washed and pressed again. Finished with a couple of days to spare before the happy day!
The weaving was quick and easy and I was very, very pleased with the result! An added bonus – linen will keep you warm as well as cool, when the sun went down the shawl literally doubled up as a warm scarf and kept away the chill!
It seems like a long time since August but Anni came into her own again to weave this shawl. She’s since woven another blanket, which I will share another time.