When I first fell in love with weaving, I decided that I wanted to weave my nephew a Tallis (prayer shawl) for his Bar-Mitzvah. Over a year ago I purchased this beautiful Rick Rack yarn by Interlacements.
Blue is my nephew's favorite color, and I loved the tones of blue and green and the beautiful sheen of this yarn. It was sold in a 1200 yard hank for $37 - a bargain! This "ball" of yarn is HUGE! It looks like a birthday cake. It is 7 inches across by 4 inches tall!
So, the Bar-Mitzvah will be next April, and I decided it was time to start this project. I'm really nervous about it because this project is sentimental to me. I want it to be beautiful, and I will be crushed if I make big mistakes. I started to calculate how much yarn I would need for the warp, and got nervous that I wouldn't have enough, so I bought a second hank. It is from a different dye lot, but if I use one exclusively for warm, and the second for weft, I should be fine. I also needed extra yarn in case I decide to make the corners and attarah from watching fabric and if I want to create a matching bag to hold it. These are all decisions I have yet to make.
The second hank was actually packaged as two hanks of 600 yards each. This is much easier to work with, but still a lot of yarn to manage! Working with such huge "cakes" of yarn made me nervous - I didn't want to end up with a big tangle as I pulled from the center of the cake. I decided to sacrifice a pair of panty hose (who can stand to wear them anyway) to hold the yarn together as I work with it.
Looks funny, but it seems to work! I was able to pull the yarn from the center as I warped the loom and don't think I'll have a problem with tangles. I did have to struggle with knots though! As I warped, I found many knots in the yarn - not knots from the manufacturer where they join two ends, but knots that were created when the yarn was wound. I had to cut and tie on several times, but I managed to stay cool and get the loom warped.
I got 112" warped and wound. I just finished threading the reed. All that is left it to tie the yarn to the bar and I'm ready to weave. I am irrationally frightened of this project, but really excited to see how it turns out. Of course, once it is complete, there is no guarantee that my nephew will want to wear it. If he doesn't like it now, I hope he'll appreciate it when he's older. I love that kid, and am happy that I can make this form him.
I'll post more as I make progress.