Thursday, March 24, 2016

Adventures in Weaving

I became somewhat interested in weaving after I saw some stuff people made on Ravelry. I bought a class on Craftsy which is an introduction to Rigid Heddle Weaving by Angela Tong, just because I wanted to watch weaving and see how it works. I finally got a loom at Stitches Midwest, and began my first project. I didn't want to do a scrappy scarf, so instead I warped it with black worsted weight yarn, and the weft was this red/gray self-striping yarn. I do think I wove it a little on the tighter side, and it looks a little stiff. But durable, I actually wore this scarf a lot during the winter, it didn't feel as prone to snags or stretches as my knits were!

My next project was tea towels, which was following along in the weaving class. However, the instructor moved onto a 24" Kromski Harp, which I did not have. But her towel was actually 16" wide. I just had my little 15" Cricket loom, so I decided I'd just modify the pattern so it was 15" instead of 16". Luckily with weaving it's bit of math and calculations before you start ... which I happen to be really good at. While turning the warp onto the beam I got so fed up with the craft paper I was using, it kept bunching and just didn't work for me. Finally I said, forget it, and I did not use the paper, just to see what would happen. Turns out, I ended up having some tension problems during warping, I noticed the yarn on the sides were pulled MUCH tighter than the yarn in the middle, and I remembered that I didn't have this problem when I was working on the scarf. So that's why we had to use something to separate the warp ... Anyway, the problem was pretty obvious when I took it off the loom, but it went away a lot after I washed it. I'm pretty happy with my towels. I made 2.

I really enjoyed weaving in general, and I really liked doing the hemstitch too. Considering how much I hated seaming handknits, I was surprised. But I think this is really different. The conclusion? I like weaving. I do. But I sort of hate warping right now. I will definitely weave more stuff in the future, as I have a ton of yarn to go through anyway, but I think I will have to find a solution that is not using grocery store paper. Perhaps a bamboo mat? Or maybe warp sticks? I can't find warp sticks made for my loom, but my husband does have a saw, maybe I can get him to cut a few for me.

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