Sunday, September 22, 2013

Practice makes perfect

I'm jumping right in with lesson 3 from Learning to Weave by Deborah Chandler. This is the first weaving I've done on this loom and the first I've done on my own.  I'm a little disappointed with my learning curve (it's not quite as good as I'd hoped) but I learned many things.  I started off with a plain weave that had such miserable selvages that I didn't even take a picture. Ick. But then I got the hang of it a bit and quit thinking so much!
Here is my experimentation with twill and beating strength. I don't recall having to consciously think about how hard I beat the weft in my weaving class...but I'm finding I sure need to watch this. I have a tendency to do everything tight - my knitting gauge leans toward tight too. 
Next I just played around, using broken twill, and misc stuff. See the right hand side warp?  The last 3 or so warp yarns really started standing out to form a ridge, and I have no idea why. But my selvages improved and I began being more comfortable.
Here's the final project. I used fringe tied with overhand knots on one end and used hem stitching on the other. Both new experiences for me, but they went well. 

Near the end of the project, I was noticing the red warp was much looser across the whole project than the white warp. I'm assuming this was because of stretch within the yarn. I wasn't sure of any way to fix it, so I cut the experience short and cut the losses.

I'm excited to keep learning and improving my skills!!  I've already read up to lesson 6, where I'll be weaving some more. A lot more evidently. Good thing I have a healthy knitting stash!!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Getting Organized!

I am your typical type-A personality that likes to have everything in order.  Since my weaving is now up and running, I was looking for a weaving record sheet where I could both plan and record my projects for easy reference.  This is an important step of the creating process, because you never know when your sister is going to see a scarf you made and want one exactly like it, except in pink.  And who is gonna remember the threading for this pillow five years from now??  If you have all the details for a project written down, it then becomes super easy to recreate a project, find the yarn you used once, or even refresh your memory on what you learned while making that blanket. 

Parts of the form will be filled out as you are planning your project, and parts will be filled in after completion.  If you'd like, you can attach small cuttings of the yarn used, add on the weaving draft you found online and used, or even staple on the sample you wove first.
I made up a similar form that I use for my knitting, but the ones I've found for weaving didn't have all I was looking for.  So here is my version!  Enjoy and let me know how you like it, or if you have any suggestions for improvements!


Microsoft word .docx


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Ready for Fun!

I FINALLY received my loom parts this week in the mail and quickly went to work making the needed repairs. I installed an apron onto the back beam, added a second apron rod to both beams, installed my new reed, and laced on new treadle cords. I had also ordered a larger boat shuttle, bobbins, and lease sticks. 

These things out of the way, I am ready to start in on the beginner sampler project in my book. My hubby mounted my warping board to the wall the previous night, so I got started winding my warp!
I decided to use red and white, so here is the 2 yard red on the board. I have since decided it's best to have the cross further to the left on that top set of rungs, because it was too close to the reed. But anyway, here are the two chained warps ready for dressing. 
Next, I began with securing my cross on the lease sticks and sleying the reed. 
With that accomplished (yay!!), I threaded the heddles using a direct threading. 
I finished up by tying onto the back beam, winding the warp, and tying onto the cloth beam. Here I am ready to weave. 
I've learned a lot - it seems that practice makes perfect and maybe next time I can streamline the process (which took approximately 6 hrs) and minimize yarn waste. There certainly are many ways to do many things in weaving, and finding the way that works for me will be fun. I really enjoyed getting to this point, I had my radio playing and the tasks are simple and repetitive. Tonight, I'm hanging out in the recliner (I'm still recovering from abdominal surgery a week ago) and enjoying a movie with the kiddos!!  Tomorrow, we weave!