I think I’ve worked out why the silk weft is becoming hairy after passing through the heddles. I didn’t stop to consider that the internal surfaces of the loops also might be roughened by mild corrosion. And there are *hundreds* of the bloody things. Bother. The best solution isn’t hairspray, it’s replacing the silk warp with something tougher and more abrasive to polish the heddles. Probably linen or hemp or something like that. The new bathroom is to be sage green and very pale warm grey (it already has a hand-polished wooden floor), which means the striped blue&white roman blind should be replaced… I could weave something, if I incorporated a design feature that allowed two or more strips to be joined (the window’s >24″ wide and although I could weave 48″ if I was very, very careful, I’d like something easy to restore my beginners’ confidence).
On the other hand knitting seems to be going well at the moment. I just want a) more time, and b) (ideally) a different body shape. I covet the Roundabout Leaf Tank and the Shell Tank from Knitting Nature but I strongly suspect I’m too short and square to look good in designs like that. Never mind, I’ll probably go for it anyway.
Next, or at least most urgent is a shower gift for my sister (K, if by chance you’ve found this blog, stop reading NOW!). The theme is ‘Hands & Feet’ (it’s to be held in a spa), so flushed with success at my first real socks I decided to knit a pair for her. This is Hipknits sock cashmere, shade Blueberry, pattern ‘Priscilla’s Dream Socks’ a download from Interweave Knits that I can’t find at the moment. I truly love my ‘Black Lagoon’ socks but I’m not sure lace is the best way to show off hand-dyed yarn *and* I needed an easy-to-size pattern as I can’t get her to try these for size as I go. I reserve judgement on the yarn; it somehow doesn’t feel quite as I was expecting (although I couldn’t say what I was expecting) and smells noticeably of the vinegar in its final bath (reminding me a little too strongly that I really should de-scale the kitchen sink), but it’s knitting up nicely and I can see the socks looking good with jeans. The old faded pale blue jeans of my youth, not the dark things youngsters wear these days… :-)
Also on the needles: that Handmaiden ‘Sea Silk’ in Ivory. I started swatching it for the Diamond Fantasy Shawl, but things just didn’t feel right even when I got gauge (WHY does the ‘u’ want to be in front of the ‘a’? Is it tired of being at the end of the Vowel lineup?). The large openings in the pattern meant the yarn wasn’t showing its subtle shimmering changes in shade to full advantage. I kept seeing the ‘Kimono Shawl’ from Folk Shawls every time I picked up the yarn; problem was, I had nothing like enough yarn for that. I bought it as a shawl kit online, 2 skeins of 500m. ‘Kimono’ needs 2000m of the suggested yarn. Bother, bother, dye lots… damn. OK. An invoice has returned home with its booty. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. I’ve ordered an extra 1200m from Colorsong Yarns (it now comes in 400m skeins). Plan is to try to knit the ‘Kimono’ of my dreams by alternating rows from different skeins to even out differences between dyelots. If that works I will have a fabulous shawl and a little bit left over. If it doesn’t work then I have enough to make two smaller shawls or scarves… or, if I find this out quickly enough, I could buy more of the new dyelot. I’ll have no difficulty thinking of a recipient for anything made of this, assuming I can bear to part with it. I’ve already decided that if by any freak of chance I manage to finish something before The Wedding, then whatever it is is a gift for K. I don’t know what to hope for…