Special Olympics Scarf Project: Success for 2015 and On to 2016

The 2015 SO Scarf Project was a success!

–  11 out of 15 states completed …
– 11 colour combinations …
– 12 months later …
– 8,032 scarves, hats, headbands, earwarmers …
– Thousands of warm athletes …
The 2015 SO Scarf Project is done !

Well done, everybody!
Congratulations !

And now, on to the 2016 Scarf Project!

Eleven participating states have already announced their colours.  That gives us all enough time to meet their goal totals.  And as a bonus, most are also accepting winter wearables – hats, headbands, earwarmers, which are all quick, easy and portable projects.  I think we’re in good shape again for another successful year on the SO Scarf Project.

Please do also tell your other crafty friends about the project and join in the fun.  Updates can always be found here, or you can join our Facebook page – Knit and Crochet for a Cause – and the Ravelry group – Special Olympics State Scarf Project – for information and chat with other fellow crafters.

2016 KC4SO

Isn’t it exciting?

Purple Waves

After deciding on these colours to work with next, and keeping spring IMG_1669in mind, I excitedly warped the loom with the Noro Nobori.

The Noro Nobori is a chunky yarn, and is a cotton-wool-silk mix.  I say mix, and not blend, because the wool and silk is wrapped around the cotton strip, which is about a quarter inch wide.  I wanted to see what effect the variegated or self-striping yarn would have as the warp, and a solid colour as the weft.  It also ran thick and thin, so I thought that would add some more texture to the piece.

Then … this happened …. **gasp**

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First one thread snapped as I pulled … then another …  oh my …

The only good thing I can say to that is thankfully, it happened at the beginning, and I was only about an inch into weaving.

So I took it apart and off the loom, and this time used the purple Cascade Superwash as the warp.  The Noro will have to be used as the weft.  Yes, all those lengths of yarn were wound separately onto the shuttle, and woven in.  Yes, I had a million ends sticking out in the back *sigh*

But I was liking the effect of the white cotton showing up in between the wool and silk around it.  And one advantage of working with lengths of yarn?  I could choose the sequence of the colour changes and switch it around.  I did try to match the colours at the beginning and ends of the lengths, but after a while, I didn’t know what the original colour sequence was, so I just picked up one length when I was done and continued on with it, keeping as close as I could to a gradual change in colours.

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And the finished piece … it was a good size, about 7-ft long, and 10 inches wide.  I wanted it wider, but I didn’t have enough yarn to warp a full 15 inches.

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But the effect of the white cotton showing up intermittently through the colours is nice.  Plus, it covers up the spots where the tension went off, and the lines started to get wavy … the white pulls it all together as part of the pattern. Wasn’t that smart of the yarn?

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Next up is to learn how to hem-stitch the edge for the finishing.  Or I’m going to end up with fringes on all the scarves and runners and whatever else I work on.  I was going to do it here, but forgot in the excitement of finishing the weave.  I think you’re supposed to hemstitch while it’s still on the loom, not after you’ve taken it off, right?

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I haven’t wet-finished it yet, I’ll do that later.  Do we have to wet-finish all the pieces?  or only those that we think might need a little ‘fix’?   I don’t know if the Noro will fluff out.  The thick-thin texture didn’t really show up – maybe I was beating it too close together.  I should remember to leave about a quarter inch space in between the weft threads for the next time.  And if it doesn’t drape well to use as a scarf or wrap, then I’ll use it as a table runner.

The other ball of Noro Nobori is waiting for me.  I didn’t use it on this, because even though the tags said it was the same lot and colour number, there were more pinks to it than purples.  So that will be another piece – a scarf or wrap again, maybe wider, and a little more looser.  That’s okay … these are all experiments and practice … and practice makes perfect!

Pulling Towards Spring

What to make next?

When I am close to finishing off a piece on the loom, my thoughts turn to the next weaving project, and what new technique or colours I want to work with.  There were too many things I wanted to work on – and those knit and crochet WIPs were still in the back of my mind – you know, if I sat down to it like I’m doing with this weaving, it would probably have been done already, right?  But I was still on this weaving momentum …

These two purple balls of yarn had been sitting in the stash for some time now.  My sister wanted a purple cowl/wrap last year, but when I started to work on it, the colours and the patterns weren’t working for me.  (Yes, she did get her cowl, in a dark amethyst yarn instead).  So these were frogged and were waiting for a project to suit it.  I recently got the darker plum-looking balls beside it, thinking that I could combine the two.  Then there was this Noro Nobori hanks that were also sitting there.  Hmmm …

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Fresh off the red houndstooth scarf, I wanted to work on the pattern again, but this time with more than two colours.  It can be done, right?  And these are the colours that I came up with, and I was thinking that it would make a nice gradient scarf or wrap, if I had enough to make it wider, and if I can get the pattern right.  The last time I tried to make a gradient colours scarf, it didn’t work.  It still came out nice, but not what I was aiming for.  Then I came across one ball of Jojoland’s Rhythm, which would tie in all those colours, right?  Hmmmm …. that could work …

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In the end, I went with the purples, looking forward to the spring.  The other palette was more of autumn/fall, which I will still work on, because I like autumn colours, but these colours were pulling me toward spring.

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So purples it is …

2015 Special Olympics Scarf Project: Three to Go !

We’re on the last leg of the 2015 Scarf Project, with only three more states to meet deadlines.

2015 KC4SO

SO Washington – deadline is next week, 16 February

SO South Dakota – deadline is 9 March

SO Alaska – deadline is 10 March

I’m so happy that we met most of the goals this year, a complete turnaround from last year, when we met only five of the states’ goals.  This year, there were only three states that didn’t meet their desired numbers.  So yes, this year has been successful.

You still have time to make a scarf or two for this year’s three remaining states.  Info and details can be found here, and you’re welcome to join the Facebook and Ravelry groups too.

And if you can’t make it this year, don’t worry … the 2016 Scarf Project has started !!

See you there!

Red Houndstooth

I was itching to try a different pattern now.  Plain weaving is still fascinating to me, as I watch the colours take shape and the patterns emerge.  But I wanted to try something different, and the houndstooth pattern is always something that I’m trying to recreate in knitting and crochet. By the way, knitting and crocheting have taken a back seat for now – can you believe that?  It’s been all weaving for the last month!  Anyway …

So I warped the loom with Red Heart Soft in black and red.

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It started out great!  The pattern was showing up nicely, and I was really enjoying the weaving.  And then … something happened to the tension … again … and the pattern kind of got flattened or stretched out …

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*sigh* I need to work more on how to get this tension even throughout the piece.  Maybe it’s in the way I’m winding the yarn?  The boys liked it – they were more concerned with the ends that needed to be cleaned up, and didn’t see anything wrong with the pattern – that’s good, right?

I like my first try with this pattern.  This didn’t shrink too much, and even though it’s six inches wide, I’m finding it a bit skinny, so I’ll make it wider next time.

Already planning the next colors …

Textured Purples and Greens

From the bag of donated yarn for my charity/cause, I came across this one big skein of beautiful colours.  No brand name on the tag, just that it was !00% wool.  It had nice texture – wavy and thick and thin.  It dawned on me that maybe this would look better woven than knitted or crocheted.  Excitedly, I warped the loom.

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There was another ball purple cashmere-mixed yarn in the bag, and thought it would do well as the weft.  As I wove, I asked the boys how it looked.  Nice, they said, but it was kind of looking dark. Hmmm… so I went back digging into the bag and came up with a Cascade Superwash, in a lime green color and added that to the weft. And here’s the finished product.  It’s about six feet long and nine inches wide.

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No particular pattern on the weft.  I just wound yarn onto the shuttle until I thought it was enough.  2015/02/img_9155.jpgThe self-striping colors on the wool made up its own pattern – random stripes and random widths of colors.  I was enjoying weaving with this yarn.

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For the most part, the selvages stayed straight.  But  I think that because I was using two different weights of yarn on the weft, the tension was a little uneven, and there are sections that pulled down.  There’s mistakes along the way – a missed warp thread here and there, uneven tension here and there … Certainly more practice needed but I’m happy with it.

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On to the next project!

Happy Scarf Part 2

As I looked at the Happy Scarf, I was thinking that I should make another one, but this time wider and longer.  And since there was no pressure to finish the scarf within the allotted class time, I could take my time to practise weaving.

So I took out all the colours, and added in the others that I didn’t use before, and started to warp the loom.  I yarndidn’t really have a pattern in mind, just to warp randomly with a vague idea on the colour repetitions and checkered boxes.  Soon after I started, I realized that if I wanted to use all colours, I would need to use only a few repetitions of the same colour, or I would run out of space.  Satisfied with my final warp, I continued on and tied the ends to the apron rods.  I used the same yarn and colours for the weft, and the same SWTC Bamboo yarn in between.

About a foot in, the first two and the last two warps started to get too tight.  And the left third of the warp started to sag.  I tried to fix it and wind up the tension.  It didn’t work.  I unraveled the warping rod, and tried to fix the tension from that end and wound it up again.  It didn’t work.  So I unraveled the whole thing and started again.  *sigh*

Starting everything over and finished with warping, I started weaving again.  About a foot in, it happened again.  The same ends, the same left third.  I unraveled again, and started over again.

It was about the fourth time of starting over, and finally the weaving and the tension were working well. Since the yarn was stretched thin, I purposely didn’t pack it tight, because then it would take forever to finish the piece.  I had miscalculated again – as usual – and had ended up with a 12-foot warp.  That was okay, considering that I had to restart four times, and lost yarn at the ends.

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Then guess what?  As I worked on, the tension was off again.  The weave was coming up wavy, as I loosened and tightened the brakes.  *sigh* I was not unraveling this to start over.  What I did was to tighten from the top, instead of the bottom.  So it would pull up, instead of down.  For the most part, it worked well enough.  10-ft scarf

And the result?  a 10-ft scarf, about 10 inches wide.  lol  I soaked it for about a half-hour, (in hair conditioner; I didn’t have liquid fabric softener, so I thought that hair conditioner would work well enough.  Plus, it smells good!)  I thought that the yarn would fluff up a bit, and that there would be some shrinkage.10-ft scarf 2

So, did the yarn behave?  Nope.  It’s still 10 feet long, and not enough fluffiness.

ok … back to the drawing board …