Saturday, 14 March 2015

I See An(other) Addiction Looming

This is for all of you weavers out there who keep saying things like, "Come on over to the dark side! We have yarn!" You know who you are. I did not need another hobby. I can knit, spin, tat, dye, embroider, sew, and crochet, and that's just the fibre crafts on my list. My mother weaves; I didn't need to.

But I thought it might be nice to try making a Linus blanket to contribute to the Guild's initiative. And here's my mother, aiding and abetting, volunteering her stash and loom and knowledge to help me....

I had a dentist appointment Thursday morning, came home minus one tooth, and started my period. Notwithstanding,  I learned to calculate yardage, and started measuring warp. We only had enough to warp up for one blanket, unfortunately, but it's the process that counts...

Finished measuring and chaining up the warp Friday morning. Between us, Mom and I got the warp through the reed, rolled onto the back beam, and threaded into the heddles over the afternoon and evening.

The one thing that you never hear of or think of, if you're not a weaver, is how much of your set-up time you spend tying and untying various parts to each other. I know when Mom got her loom, the lady who sold it to her sent a whole bag full of random pieces of string with the rest of the accessories, saying we would need it. At the time it seemed like a really random thing to send. But really, you tie up your warp, you tie the beater in position, you tie the shafts in position, you tie the lease sticks on place, you tie the extra heddles back - it all adds up. The box of string bits is an essential tool.

Anyway, this morning saw the sleying done, and the warp tied to the front beam, and I did a little math and worked out a random stripe pattern. Two and a half days into the project, and I finally got to sit at the loom and actually weave after lunch today. It's a twill weave, in cotton yarns (DK-ish weight, I think). I got a quick run-down on how to weave, change colours, and advance the warp, and off I went.

It is going surprisingly fast and well, in my opinion, for a first project. And I can see how this could get really addictive, really quickly. I'm over 2 feet in already. Wove for a while, refilled bobbins as needed, and wove some more. Wandered downstairs for a break - tea, bathroom, and a Motrin to take the edge off my headache (always happens at this time of the month) - and went back to weaving. Made a few mistakes in treadling, corrected myself, and wove some more. Answered the call to supper, and went back to work. Dad went off to the Irish concert in town, Mom settled down with her knitting, and I wove. Finally stopped a little while ago, and discovered my back muscles were stiff, so I think that ought to be it for the night. But I think I like this weaving thing.

I did tell Mom she might have competition for the loom now. She says when they find a buyer for the piano, maybe the other loom, currently in storage, can go in that space...

We all see where this is going, right?

1 comment:

  1. Excellent! I'm glad to know there are blankets in progress. I still have to hem the one Sam did. I spoke to CHEO twice and I think I have a reasonable guide to sizes now. I'll put something in the newsletter and say something next meeting.