Sunday, April 29, 2012

Warp Speed

Okay, so I wanted to weave some plaid cloth with handspun cotton yarn, and I wanted to weave it using the same size heddle (8 dent- 8 threads per inch) as I used for the strap. I ordered the right size heddle but they sent me the wrong size and I grumbled.
I had woven as far as I could on the strap
and I cut it off the loom- 102" long, about 2" wide, 2.5 ozs of handspun cotton yarn. I packed the weft tightly so that it would be a sturdy strap. It took me awhile to get the rhythm, and to keep the selvedge even.

So with an empty loom, I looked at my 10dent heddle (the one that came with the loom), and I looked at my yarn, and then I looked at the heddle, and then I said the hell with it, I don't feel like waiting for the replacement to arrive.
 I used my niddy-noddy to wind the warp- it makes a skein 60" long, which I thought would be long enough (I learned later just now much warp at the beginning and end is unusable, but it still worked out). 18 strands in each section.
 I used a very small crochet hook to thread the heddle (I'm sure there are weaving words for that action, but I don't know them)
 There's a reason why no one says *Gosh, I love warping a loom*.
 All threaded... I have to pull the warp through the heddle and wind it on the warping beam (in this case, a board).
 It's a slow process, prone to tangles... and bad words...
 Lots of leftover warp (I know better how to deal with that now- with less wasted yarn).
 All warped and ready to go...
 oopsie, I missed a slot...
 ... all better now... (I had to unwind the rest of the warp to add it in, but all is well).
 First few rows- I also know now how to make that look neater and more even (I love Facebook- it's full of wonderful teachers). I'm actually glad that I used the smaller heddle- here and there the slubs in the yarn hung up on the holes, but for the most part, I was able to weave the cloth just fine.
 Not bad for a first try, eh?
 It's subtle for a plaid, but still pretty. BTW- the blue yarn was spun from recycled blue jean cotton, the rest of the shades are natural cotton colors. You can see a couple of my mistakes...

 It took almost less time to weave the cloth than it did to warp the loom.
 28" of cloth, 7" wide (after washing- it shrinks a bit). The fringes won't last, I just tied them to keep the ends from raveling during washing.
Cool, right?

And I'm already planning my next loom. Mary- it's all your fault.


Anonymous said...

Weaving is a wonderful thing and you are doing great. And I guess I am one of those few that loves to warp a loom. But you are right, it takes just as long (sometimes longer) to warp a loom then it does to weave the warp off. Can't wait to see more of your projects in the future.

Mary Keenan said...

It's my fault and I'm scared because I bought a loom too!

Kathleen Taylor said...


Nora said...

Really, REALLY nice!! It almost makes me want to try weaving myself...almost. LOL I'll stick to what I know best and that is drawing. :D