Weaving angst and Worldwide Pants!

So, the first project that I started in 2008 began horribly. I had decided a few weeks ago, after Ellie had shown her good taste by loving up my scarf, to make her a kitty bed using fabric woven from some of mine and Travis’ handspun. I thought that this would be a good way to use up some of the small skeins of handspun we’ve accumulated – skeins that are too small to use for a project, junk skeins made from clearing off bobbins, experimental skeins, and some that are just hideously ugly. I also have a collection of commercial yarn that I have no plans for, or have no idea why I bought in the first place. This is what I decided to use for Ellie’s bed.

I warped across the entire width of my 32″ loom, but when I was winding the warp up on the paper (paper is used to create an even tension in between layers of warp), I realized my paper was about 1 1/2″ shorter than the width of the warp. I continued winding up the warp anyway, which was a big mistake. When I started weaving, I decided to just ignore the ends that had the wonky tension, and just weave the center bit. This was incredibly awkward, not to mention that for some reason, the tension on the wonky warp was not really loose, like I thought it would be – instead, the yarn was stretched so much I thought it was going to snap.

So after about 8″ of this, I was all, “Screw it,” and just cut the piece off of the loom. I wound up wasting a ton of yarn, but that’s all right – I wasn’t doing anything else with it anyway, and I learned something new. Travis helped me put a new, not as wide warp back on the loom, and I’m back weaving again. Of course, after I got the new warp on, I had an epiphany about how I want to try to actually construct the kitty bed – I was originally thinking it would be a big pillow, but now I think I may actually try to make it with foam walls around the edge of it. That’s going to make it more complicated, and I’ll probably wind up needing to weave another piece for the edge.

Here’s the crappy little piece of fabric from the aborted weave:

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I used it today to make a small stuff owl. Here’s an in-progress shot.

shaggyowl

It actually turned out to be a good thing that I made the weird piece of fabric, because I have never tried sewing with handwoven before. Of course, because my weft yarn is so thick, the cut piece was fraying like crazy. But now I have a little bit of experience with it, and I have a better idea what to expect when I actually get to constructing the kitty bed.

Two exciting things are coming up today and tomorrow (well, exciting if you’re a TV and politics geek like me). Tonight is the return of the late night talk shows! Dave Letterman’s production company, Worldwide Pants, actually did get the deal struck with the Writer’s Guild, so Dave and Colin Ferguson will be coming back on the air fully staffed, with their writers! Yay! Jay Leno, Conan O’ Brien, and Jimmy Kimmel are coming back sans writers. Boo! And, unfortunately, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert are going to be coming back on the air too, without writers (boo!), although I’m not sure what date they’ll be back on the air. Anyway, I know I’m going to be watching Letterman tonight. Go, Dave, and Dave’s writers!

Tomorrow night kicks off the crazy 2008 presidential primaries, featuring Iowa and their kooky caucus system. So it looks like it’s going to be a C-SPAN evening for me! Iowa fascinates me. Their caucus system is so bizarrely unlike any sort of political process I’ve taken part in. It’s such a social event. You can bargain and coerce to try to get votes. You can go caucus without the slightest notion of who you’re going to end up voting for. It’s nutty! And since I’m in the happy position of being okay with the Democratic field (sure, there are candidates I’d prefer more than others, but on the whole, I kind of like all of the Democratic candidates), I’m going to be relatively stress-free while watching it. The Republican field is a hot mess, so I’ll be enjoying a little bit of schadenfreude watching them.

The polls are all over the place – I think I’ve seen polls with Clinton, Obama, and Edwards all in the lead, and Huckabee and Romney have both been in first place, with McCain starting to surge. Apparently, the deeper hole Giuliani digs, the better McCain does. And Ron Paul keeps pulling $20 million quarters out of nowhere. Who is giving this guy money?

It looks like tomorrow night is going to be fun. I only wish I can remember enough of 2004 Iowa’s Caucus night to come up with a drinking game. If I hear anything that even approaches “Joe-mentum,” I’m going to start doing multiple shots. Good times!

Update – Just found out that Hillary Clinton is going to make a surprise appearance on Letterman tonight.  Huckabee is going to be on Leno.  In case anyone besides me cared.  🙂

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