Sunday, January 19, 2014

Shawl for a Queen

My kingdom's spinning guild makes a hand spun shawl for each new queen as a group project.  Sometime this means we do nothing for several reigns, but usually we end up making a shawl at least once a year.  The women who had been doing the weaving got her Laurel last year just before Pennsic when the last shawl was presented, and decided that she didn't feel it was right to continue doing the weaving, and as her first act as a Peer, volun-told me to weave the next one.  Eeep.  This will be presented at an event in February.

Things have been a little nuts for me the last couple of months.  In addition to the usual holiday madness of my little business and going home to visit, I've had the flu since New Years eve and have been dealing with some ongoing health issues that have been making getting anything done increasingly difficult.  My focus is not as good as it once was, I get confused easily, and I am in a lot of pain a lot of the time.  In the last week my neurologist diagnosed me with fibromyalgia.  Not great news, but at least we now have an idea of what the problem is (or really in this case isn't) and how to proceed with managing the symptoms.  Knowing you need to slow down and adjust your expectations from yourself and understanding why are two totally different things and for me at least the why turns out to be a key piece for my coping abilities and peace of mind.

Anyway, the upshot of all of this is it's taken me longer to get started on the shawl project than I had planned.  But I finally got the Perugia towel off my loom, and have started doing the sampling for the shawl on my new table loom!  Yay for awesome Christmas presents that make sampling possible!  It's a 4-shaft 18 inch wide Dundas loom, which they do not make anymore, that we were able to pick up used, even though it had never been used by the previous owner.  The heddles were still tied together.  Warping it was so much easier than warping the floor loom, and weaving on it is fun though it's a bit of an adjustment going from tie-ups to manually controlling each shaft.  I'm using the same diamond twill pattern I used for the towel for the shawl, set at 16 EPI with a commercial warp and the hand spun weft.  We decided to use a high contrast for the warp to give the cloth a shot effect, which I think will look well when it's finished and should have a nice bit of shimmer.  So far I am happy with how the sample is working up.  I plan to weave a bit more and wash it before I warp the big loom, but I should have that done by the end of the weekend and be able to get the warping done this week.  The actual weaving won't take all that long.  With the larger yarns the whole project will go much more quickly than the linen did.


  1. Thanks! I'm pretty pleased with how this is turning out, I was a little worried about the drape of the hand spun but I think it will be a nice, soft cloth when it's all done. The warp is a very supple merino so it's balancing out the slight stiffness in the weft very well. I'm also loving the way the subtle variegation in the hand spun is showing up in the weaving. Very pretty.