picture

picture

Saturday, 21 March 2009

beginner weaver....

when I learned how to spin a few years back, I became very enthusiastic and wanted to learn how to weave as well... actually - I always wanted to learn both! as a teenager I was keen to browse through craft books and magazines - but even though I was always busy knitting (or doing crochet) we didn't have enough money or room to buy a spinning wheel, never mind a weaving loom (and no, at the time somehow spindles didn't come up). my mother did own a small rigid heddle loom though - and eventually I asked for a small school loom, but not much came of it. in contrast to knitting weaving isn't something you pick up in passing, I guess! after fiddling about with our first warp and making small mats or runners, the looms went back into storage. I don't know what happened to my very small kid's loom, but we did save the larger RH and I took it with me when I moved to Ireland.
when I saw on the german mailing list for handspinners, that the wheel producer Kromski builds the "Harp", a rigid heddle loom, I eventually bought the widest model. I put it all together - just to hide it under the table in my wool room - with good intentions of course to use it very soon. but nothing came of it - until the RH and backstrap loom workshop with the OLG started at the beginning of march! this finally was the incentive I needed to get started! ok, the harp is still where it was before, but I managed to warp a smaller loom and wove a small table runner on it.
this is it:
the picture isn't great, but it shows the stripes I wove into the white linen and if you look very closely, you can see three blue stripes in the warp as well.
this is the weaving still on the loom, but it shows the warp stripes better. I had planned it quite differently though. being pigheaded I didn't listen - and used fine linen thread instead of thicker wool yarn. that was fine when I measured the warp, but when I finished warping the loom and started to weave, I realised that with a widely spaced fine warp like that I'd end up with onion netting, if I tried to do a balanced weave. instead I beat harder and ended up weaving a weft-faced piece. well, the warp was long enough for a scarf, but feeling the fabric I decided to switch plans to make a table runner. the linen yarn is too hard to wear close to the skin and with the fine yarn I'd probably sit and weave a scarf in 2012!
at first I also had problems with abrasion on the warp threads. I thought the linen would be tough enough, but moving the heddle up and down meant that eventually my first warp thread broke. I managed to fix it, but I became very careful afterwards not to move the heddle too hard! I didn't knot the warp threads or work a fringe, because the plan is to add some bobbin lace on both ends, done with the warp threads, which I left hanging quite long for this purpose.
so - the next project will be done with wool yarn - and I also try out another way of warping to see which one I prefer. I did find however, that weaving is probably nearly as addictive as knitting and spinning. I had problems going to bed at night - because I "just wanted to weave a few more rows" for the last few evenings:)) another bad habit in the making....

5 comments:

Leigh said...

Bettina, it's wonderful! Well done! And yes, you're correct, weaving is just as addictive and knitting and spinning. :)

Jewel said...

I took a weaving class last spring just for fun and yes it is addictive. I now have a large standard floor loom.

Woolly Bits said...

I can vouch for the addictive nature - I started a scarf yesterday and wove until 2 a.m.:(( it's hard to stop - I think I am going to loose a lot of sleep doing this:)) though I doubt that I'll end up with a floor loom - but only due to lack of space...

Woolly Bits said...

I can vouch for the addictive nature - I started a scarf yesterday and wove until 2 a.m.:(( it's hard to stop - I think I am going to loose a lot of sleep doing this:)) though I doubt that I'll end up with a floor loom - but only due to lack of space...

aodh said...

Good to hear you have started weaving!! Maybe I shouldn't tell you, but Louet do a very nice small loom, which folds up very small, when not in use, and you can do a lot on a narrow loom with four shafts!! Your first attempt looks very promising. Keep up the good work, Maire ( Ni Neachtain)