Saturday, January 24, 2009

Fibonacci Sequence Scarf

The past couple of weeks I have been playing with message drafts and Fibonacci sequences. The scarf here is the result. If you aren’t familiar with the Fibonacci Sequence there is an excellent description on Leigh’s Fiber Journal.

I wanted to used different shades of the same yarn and happened to have a bag of yarn that I picked up our annual knitting retreat garage sale (thanks Katie). The bag had several greens, yellows and burgundies yarns. These colors were perfect for this project as I was also looking for a project that would remind me of the fabulous fall colors we saw in North Carolina last fall. The texture of the yarn wasn’t as soft as I usually use for my scarves so I washed a sample to see if it would bleed and soften. It didn’t bleed and it did get softer. I’m mostly happy with how it turned out. I did have a boo-boo in the home stretch, but as my DH points out – only I know it’s a boo-boo and not a design feature.

I’ve always been interested in name and message drafts but found getting a good sequence with the word or message I wanted was a little challenging. I tend to want to use just short 4-letter words (no, not that kind of 4-letter word!) which could be my problem. I did get a workable pattern using some of Ralph Griswold’s sequences and used one of those in the scarf shown here. This is the one I used for Fibonacci scarf.

But for the next scarf that I want to do, using Mr. Griswold’s sequences just didn’t work very well. So I decided to strike out on my own using an online sequence generator. I had the generator give me a list of numbers between 1 and 26 in a random order and with no repeats. In Excel, with the alphabet in column one, I pasted the numbers from the sequence generator in the next column and then in the third column I assigned shafts. The results were:
# 1 x l k u d r c
# 2 y o w e s q
#3 m h b a z i
#4 j v p f t n g

I added a point twill threading (I think) in between the word as I repeated it across. The draft I ended up with is very similar to other drafts that I have seen but I didn’t expect anything no one else had ever thought. I just wanted something to reflect the word I had in mind and for me to be the only one who knows :-).

Right now I am slowly putting the warp for a laprug on my floor loom, have the warp for the above scarf ready to slap on my 8 harness table loom, am winding the warp for a summer and winter project to go on my 4 harness table loom and am patiently waiting for DH to finished getting the rust of the reeds for my other floor loom. And it has lots of other work that needs to be done on it!

Happy Weaving!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Fore and Aft Scarf -- Off the Loom

My double weave scarf (Fore and Aft Scarf, Handwoven, J/F 1998, page 59) is off the loom and finished. The weaving went along without any problems so I really regret not using yarns that have more personality and zing.

The only tricky part is cutting the warp and using it as the weft. The bottom warp becomes the top weft and the top warp becomes the bottom weft and that connects the two layers along one side.

The tension on the warp gets a little wonky the closer you get to the end as you can see from the photo. You just have to trust that it works. I was actually fretting about it a lot ahead of time and had a dream about it -- in the dream it worked and I saw how it worked. So my subconscious was way ahead of me on this project.
Here are some photos of it finished and hanging on Headless Harriet. I did overdye it with some blue dye in my stash of dyes and I like the colors a lot better now. The back does lay flat, it's just the two different colors on each side that makes it seem like it isn't flat. If I do it again, I would like to nuke the fringe along the back.

I used my Louet W30 table loom for this project so that I raised the harnesses independently and could really get an understanding of how double weave works. The beater in my little Louet can be very wobbly and I've heard others have this same problem. I fixed it, mostly, by jamming long knitting needles on both sides of the reed housing. The photos are below.

My looms are naked again but I have some warp really to slap on them; I just have to decide on a pattern. I'm also doing an online summer and winter weave along on Ravelry so I will be experimenting with that.

Happy New Year and Happy Weaving!