Weaving! Harness the Power…

Sorry, weaver’s joke.  (Harnesses hold the heddles, which are how the fabric is made… get it?  Yeah, it’s not that funny.)  (MAN, maybe I need to get out more.)

ANYWAY.  So, I’m going to give an update in reverse order of my weaving progress.  Why?

Because it’s Friday?

I went to class yesterday and did some more work on my placemats.  I am learning to make balanced-weave patterns and twill, which is actually kind of fun once you get the hang of it.

However, THIS was my view on the train.  Talk about PACKED – this dude’s butt was in my face, practically.  I mean, nice butt, but jeez.  I’m sorta married, and anyway, I’m not gonna sample the merchandise on the train without asking first, and it’s sorta public, an’ all…

But riding the train is sometimes like you and four million of your closest, smelly friends all mashed into a sardine tin on metal squealing wheels.

On to the weaving:

This is the breast beam of the loom, which sits toward the weaver.  My instructor jokes that is because it’s where you put your breasts.  ~smirk~

Mine are a leetle big for that…

The balanced weave is every other strand of the warp (the vertical threads) is lifted, and the weft goes in between them.  There are as many threads vertically per inch as there are horizontally, which is why it’s called a balanced weave. 

The thing I’m learning about this art, is that it’s very logical.  The explanations make a lot of sense and aren’t like trying to figure out calculus.  Once you get familiar with the terms (warp, weft, shot, shed, etc.), then it’s much easier to understand.

These are the three yarns that I’m using for this project.  The other two, which I used for the warp, (the vertical threads that are tied into the loom itself), are a dark rose and an ivory.  These threads are used for the weft, the horizontal threads.  Starting at the center and moving clockwise, the dark blue is for the narrow stripe that runs across the width of each single placemat and intersects with the narrow strip I wound into the dark rose warp.

The light blue is a very narrow gauge yarn that is used to make the hem allowance between each placemat.  My instructor had me use this narrow thread so that the woven area for the hem won’t be as thick as the main fabric.

The pink is the thread I’m using for the main part of the weft.  When it’s woven, as you can see from the other photographs, it’s much less PINK and makes a nice blend with the dark rose and ivory.

Also in this image are several of the tools I used.  Again, going clockwise and starting next to the dark blue thread is the “boat” shuttle, since it looks like a little canoe and the bobbin sits inside it, like a canoe.  Next is the tape measure, used to check the width of the textures that I’m weaving.  I am weaving balanced weave for four inches, then a pattern weave, then balanced, etc.

The book I recently purchased on the recommendation of my teacher, Learning to Weave.  I like it.  It’s very easy to understand and set up like a class itself, so it adapts well to use in lessons.

This is showing the measurement of the narrow band in between the two mats.  As I mentioned above, I used the narrow light blue thread to weave this portion; as you can see, it’s a great deal narrower than the main pink thread.

Here is a view of the twill that I wove.  I love the diagonal look of this weave and if I needed to select a pattern to weave all over a design, this would probably be the one I’d select.

My instructor had some leftover yarn, so I’m going to knit her a scarf in a new cable pattern, from my new book by Barbara Walker, A Fourth Treasury of Knitting Patterns.  I’m going to attempt “Cable #2.”

We shall see how this experiment goes in future articles.  For now, have a Happy Labor Day weekend and enjoy your craft!

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