Making Mary Meigs Atwater’s Recipes

This is a fun thing.  Up till now, I had not paid much attention to Mary Meigs Atwater.  None, to tell you the truth.  One day, at coffee, a friend of mine quietly pulled out a Recipe Book, as a gift from her mother-in-law, a former weaver. And that is how it all started.

It was fortuitously just before I was planning a baby blanket for my latest great-nephew.  Hmmmm…. there were quite a few possibilities, and I settled on the Recipe for Couch Blankets or “Afghans”, version (b). Had no problems measuring the warp, things went pretty well – all 8/2 cotton, washable, life is good. While the pattern developed I was amazed how much the pattern resembled the Catching Fire Scarf pattern (Hunger Games movie #2, Katniss’s scarf worn when in District 12) that I had been fantasizing about making for a while now. Instead of running a full-on charge forward, I let myself get distracted with the version (c) Modernistic pattern in the “Shadow” weave, which is on the same page.  This one had me sweating a little since there is not a lot of explanation, and I had to rely on my gut about the balance of the pattern and the question of odd versus even overall thread count. It turned out to be a pretty nice set of placemat runners for the table. Linen and cotton, they wash up well and have a nice drape, which is something that it not usually looked for in a placemat.

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It’s ironic how life events can morph planned projects.  Catching Fire waited once more, as Standardized Baby-Blanket Recipe (Series VI No.1) made it on my loom for [YES!] another baby blanket. 8/2 cotton, two color border – grey and purple to match the baby room, pink to signify gender.  This was fun to weave, even though I wasn’t sure how the huck lace would bloom with a loose sett. I added an inch of plain weave at the beginning and end to create a hem.

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My loom is now screaming for its next project.  I listened to its sadness at being undressed through two separate houseguest visits, and Thanksgiving hitting the streets. Yes, I have yarn set aside for another shibori crimp scarf or two.  But I really can’t pushing my fascination with the Catching Fire scarf to the back of the line forever. First, which fiber? Closure of a local yarn shop facilitated getting my hands on a batch of Juniper Moon Zooey – 60/40 cotton/linen. Perfect candidate. In September a good weaving fine of mine found an article that looked right on for the Catching Fire pattern. I finally read the fine print on that article by Lynn Tedder on Integrated Cells Weaves (published in Weaver’s Fall 1997).  My pick for the experiment is version 2, Single-layer cell weave symmetrical cells. You can only imagine how I smirked when I read that version 5, my second pick, is based on what was referred to in the article as Recipe for a Colonial Shawl.  Yeah.  Series IV No.14 – Recipe for a Stole – pattern from an ancient Colonial Shawl. Got it.  Thanks, Mary! This is going to be too much fun!

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