I can't help but htink about things in terms of their cultural history. Grad school permanently impressed my brain, like ducklings get impressed by scientists rather than mama ducks.
So as I was working on putting a warp on one of my frame looms, I ran into an ongoing issue with a historical technology: tying knots. My father used to shake his head in disbelief: I would tie up the newspapers, pick them up by the string and the whole thing would come apart. He couldn't reconcile my being able to knit whole sweaters and be unable to remember how he showed me how to tie that knot. But my knots are completely irrational and unrealiable.
Knitters try to avoid knots. Weavers need and love useful knots. There are certain knots that are used all the time in weaving, such as a lark's head knot.
In tapestry weaving, you need knots pretty much at the same point in the process as in cloth weaving: when you are putting a warp on a loom. When you are putting a warp on a frame tapestry loom, you want to attach each end of the warp thread with a knot that you can pull against with great tension but release easily, because you go back and forth along the warp tightening things up. When you get to each end, since you have tightened the warp you have extra warp thread, and you need to untie the knot to accomodate the now extra length.
I can't for the life of me remember how to tie the end of the warp thread in a knot that will hold a tight tension but then release quickly. So I did the logical thing -- I went on YouTube. YouTube has tons of videos about how to tie knots, mostly for tying up your boat, your horse, or actually to save your life. But as I said, I can't for the life of me tie this damn knot. I tried a Google Images search for a quick release knot, and all the images that came up were horse-related and very confusing. So I began watching all kinds of video, and one of the best videos is called Six Knots You Need to Know. it is from a Canadian site called Repairs 101. At first I thought from this video that the knot I need is the clove hitch. That might be it but as you can see from the picture above, I am not getting it quiiiiite right. Very frustrating, because I can't count the number of times tapestry teacher Liza Collings has shown me how to tie this knot. And then she looks at me kindly when mine comes apart immediately. Sigh. She is very patient.
I did once buy a book about knots, one of those remainders sold as you walk into a Barnes and Noble. I am going to look through that to see if it helps. I am afraid all my tapestry books tell me to "tie a knot."
On the knitting front, I am finally making great progress on the tencel lace pullover. No, the top does not have a sweetheart neckline, that is the curve of the needle's cable.
And finally, in totally different circumstance, three people told me that I could wear rust browns and that they would look very good. As I am getting seriously tired of the teals and turquoises I have been wearing for decades, I began to wonder. I bought some gorgeous yarn, Berroco's Fuji, in a color they call Cedar, at Main Street Yarn, a friend's store in Rebersburg, PA. Here is a picture of the swatch. I hit gauge the first time, 5 stitches to the inch on a number 7 needle on the bottom, and 4.5 on a number 8 on the top. I use the tags to label swatches with this sort of information.
I think the color is gorgeous, and the yarn is a silk/cotton/rayon/nylon mix that I might even be able to wear in San Antonio. I am hoping folks are right when they say I can wear this color. Hard to tell from this photo, but what do you think?