The first official FO of December, and these were a long time in the making. Made on my rigid heddle, after instructions from Inventive Weaving on a Little Loom.
I'd made similar washcloths before with the same warp yarn, which I'd also used as the weft. While I love them, for these I used a thinner weft for a more “traditional” washcloth feel.
Of course, using thinner weft meant the weaving took much longer, especially because it meant there was more looped pile to do. The looped pile technique is done by picking the warp up and looping it over a knitting needle, and it’s pretty time consuming.
I'm not sure exactly when I started these, but I know it's been several months, because I took it with me to my Guild's rigid heddle group in September, and not in October because I felt a little bit guilty for not having something new to share. Now that it's December, I was determined to have them finished. Plus, after listing out my works in progress the other day, I realized just how much stuff is on my to-do list. (And of course, after I hit "post" I thought of about a dozen more.
Which led to this:
In truth, my stress level usually hovers in the yellow-orange range, and only hits blue-green when I'm asleep or just had a massage. Thankfully, red-purple stress levels are fewer these days and usually pretty short lived. Anyways, knowing my stress level helped me identify what would help lower it. The solution: cross some things off that to-do list!
Really, there were only 1 1/2 washcloths left to weave. Once I set my mind to finishing them, they went quickly enough. Off the loom, they went for a run in the washing machine, then got rolled hems. And now I have new washcloths!
I'd planned on weaving another set with the colors inverted, but I think I'll hold off on them for now. Weaving each washcloth takes about 90 minutes once I really get in the zone. Pretty slow moving for non-weft-faced plain weave.
My 90” warp made 6 washcloths. I wove each to 10”, then did about 20 shots of plain weave between each washcloth for the hems. If there is a next time, I’d weave even more for the hems - it was a little tight sewing them up. More technical details are up on the Ravelry project page here.
If you know me, you know I love books. My house is covered in them. In 2015, I read close to 80 of them. Here are the knitting-related highlights.
The Shepherd's Life - I've already waxed poetic on this one. Even if you're not a knitter, you're missing out if you haven't read this one.
The Illustrated Herdwick Shepherd - Like The Shepherd's Life, but with more (gorgeous) color pictures. If you're in the States, you'll have to pay a bit more to get it, but it's worth every penny.
Super Stitches Knitting - This is my go-to stitch dictionary. It's compact and has a ton of different types of stitches. It might not have exactly what I'm looking for, but it usually has something close. If I'm traveling and know I'll need a stitch dictionary (as one does), I bring this one.
Adventures in Yarn Farming - The story of a couple who buys a farm and becomes shepherds. Basically my life's dream. With beautiful photos and projects.
Knitting Pattern Essentials - The title may be a bit broad, since this book really just deals with designing sweater patterns. But for sweater design, it has everything you need.
The Spinner's Book of Fleece - Gorgeous, with all the information you'd need to up your spinning game. With individual profiles of different types of wool.
Knitting Around - Anything by Elizabeth Zimmerman is golden. In addition to her no-nonsense patterns, this book also has an interesting autobiographical aspect to it. Well worth a read.
Finishing School - Even if you already know how to block and seam your garments, this book has so much valuable information on swatching, garment construction, and design. My copy is a little dog-eared since I consult it constantly.
Top Down - All about how to knit top-down sweaters with set-in style sleeves. I've knit one sweater in this method and loved it. Still trying to wrap my head around the theory, but the patterns are lovely.
Farm to Needle - I've already mentioned this book, but it's worth mentioning again. Amazing stories, beautiful photos, tempting patterns. This book has it all.
Buachaille: At Home in the Highlands - Kate Davies's latest, with patterns designed for her new yarn line. Luscious pohotos, wonderful writing, projects, and recipes. As always, a home run.
Did any knitting/fiber books take a special place on your shelf last year? I'd love to hear about them!
*note: some links in this post contain affiliate links.
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