Sometime during that November/December "fugue state" (does anyone watch Breaking Bad?) I did a lot or reading and research on triloom weaving. There is a Ravelry group that is very active, and also a Yahoo Triloom Group. The cover picture for the Ravelry group was the one that finally sent me over the edge. Eventually, I took a short, one-day workshop in weaving on a triangular loom from Barbara Borgerd Ickler, who has been perfecting this technique for decades. Unfortunately, her web site is a little out of date, but her workshop was wonderful. Even the show-and-tell part was excellent, and by the time she had shown us all of the beautiful examples of her work, I was sold. Two days later I drove back and bought a 72" loom.
Unfortunately, the holidays interfered with my enthusiastic plans, so everything had to stay under wraps until all of the feasting and festivities were over. But during that time, I found a nice easel on Craig's list, sorted out some yarn, and vowed to set things up as soon as the house was mine once again.
I decided not to waste my handspun on the first try, so found some mill-spun llama that I had dyed, and added some Noro and a bit of handspun for variation. Lessons learned here:
- Llama stretches like the devil.
- Noro breaks and shreds at the slightest pressure.
- The handspun was not the same grist, in fact, nothing was the same, so tension was wildly uneven.
- It seems to take forever to adjust the easel, chair and loom comfortably. Had to hunt up some chains to use as reins for the easel.
- A 6' triloom and easel takes up a lot of floor space, and tends to frighten the dogs, while being of endless fascination to the cat.
- A light is really helpful.
- Use something to contain your yarn, in this case, a wire waste basket.
Before I could bind off and make fringe (and several times along the way) I had to stop and try to take up the slack.
- It is easier to straighten as you go than to try to clean up stretched and crooked rows at the end.
- Don't use 100% llama!
Hubby worried that the shawl was too - what was the word - sloppy? But I rather like the open, gauzy feeling, especially for spring. I finally got the shawl bound off with something that unintentionally looked like leno lace, but is actually kind of interesting, and celebrated the last of the fringe with a Kir Royale, sporting a rose garni.
Nothing provides confidence like one hard-earned success, so shawl #2 is well underway. And this time, I am using homegrown pygora/cashmere handspun with bits of color. All one texture, smooth as a baby's butt, and such a pleasure to work with! The addition of a beautiful wooden Tunisian crochet hook really makes it hard to leave the loom. Just one more round, just one more!