I have a new toy!
Have you seen one of these before? It is a Donmar “Weave-it”, circa 1940/50-something, purchased on Ebay after I saw what Sock Pron was doing with hers!
There is something of a Weave-It subculture in the States – not quite on the scale of sock-knitting, but it appears to be growing. (Yes of course there is a Ravelry group!) Each square takes only a few yards of yarn and very little time. Regular users reckon on 15 minutes a square, but my first one took me a lot longer – probably 45 minutes – as I fumbled about, stabbing myself on the pins! But that’s a lot less than the 4 hours it takes me to knit a barn-raising square and I am sure I just need some practice. My daughter has had a go too and was really excited when she managed to weave a square of fabric all by herself!
The thrifty ladies of the 1930’s onwards used these for coats, blankets, bags, babywear – there are pdf booklets of the original designs free to download at Eloomanation (the place to go for all things Weave-it!). Beyond the basic plain woven square, there are countless textures and patterns to explore. You may have guessed I am obsessing about the herringbone potential!
Single-strand sock yarn creates a very open weave, but doubled it produces a useable fabric. My first square is Elle Wool Boutique variegated merino leftover from FL’s Centuria hat. I can see myself making an entire blanket’s worth of squares from this and felting it – mmm!
That long loop at the top is a mistake - in my defence this was my first square!
As Sock Pron points out, this is a great way to “control” mad hand-painted yarns. All the colours are there, but there is no pooling or flashing. The only drawbacks I can see are the fact that you have to look at what you are doing all the time (no reading with the other eye!) and the fiddley sewing-together technique. So I don’t see this replacing knitting in my life. But it is certainly going to have its place – sofa blanket here I come!