Friday, December 31, 2010

Peppermint Stick

Whew!  I finally had the time to quit just putzing at the weaving, and finish up the Peppermint Stick woven piece.  I'm mostly happy with it--edges are a little wavy, but I know why it did that, and I should be able to avoid that in the future.

I am happy with the warping--it kept tension evenly, and well, much better than previous woven pieces.   All in all, given that it's just my second piece woven on the Baby Wolf, it turned out pretty well.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Cany Cane weaving

The warping for my candy cane weaving is finished.  This is actually the second warping, having used the fuzzy yarn for the white in the warp and then cutting it all off because it wasn't going to work-the fuzziness gets tangled with the fuzziness next door, and I would have had to physically work with each end to open the shed on every pick.  I also tried tying the new warp onto the old, and found that I didn't like that--I still rather like doing the warp from the start.

Anyway, the new warping, with all cotton, went well and seems to be working--the fell is as straight as any of my weaving so far.  I had to correct a threading error but, thanks to having learned with the last weaving to check the shed BEFORE starting to weave.  I think--fingers crossed--that all is well.

I'm not sure yet that I like the fuzzy yarn for the weft.  When I finish this weaving I think I'll try a smaller sample, using the cotton for the weft, too.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

New warp...on the old

I'm tying a new warp onto the old; the width and heddle threading pattern is the same, so it should work--fingers crossed!

In my head I'm making a scarf or table runner that looks like--or at least brings to mind--a candy cane.  I used a great online plaid design program to try out different warp and weft combinations.  I want to use a twill pattern for part of the weaving because I think it will give the winding effect of a candy cane, and the design program won't show me that.   But it was a wonderful help in planning the basic warp and weft.  We'll see. (If you want to check out the design site: )

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Finally weaving!

Finished warping the loom, and finally got started weaving.  I'm learning many things: double-check for crossed warp threads before weaving,  etc.

Tied to back apron rod:

Back beam warped...

And finally weaving!  ( Notice that I'm not showing you the beginning of the weaving!)   I practiced several inches of tabby (plain) weave and dealing with things like the selvedges (managing them is, for me, different than on the rigid heddle--or, at least different enough that I'm having to play with it), and crossed warp thread (note to self:  double-check for crossed threads BEFORE you start weaving---oh, did I mention that before???)  Then I tried twill weave.   I like it.

The yarn I'm using is a little stretchy but it's working OK--probably good for me to learn how to do it.  I do like the rhythm of treadle-shuttle-beat-treadle-shuttle-beat, which you can't do with a rigid heddle.  And having 4 shafts make it easy to do patterns that look complicated.

Warping the loom

I understand that many weavers don't like warping, but I confess that I rather like it.  I need to work on the ergonomics of it, but I enjoy it.  I'm glad that I've had experience warping a rigid heddle loom because warping the Baby Wolf makes more sense--even if it is done a bit differently.

Measured warp on warping board.

Chained (sort of ) warp, ready to move to the loom.

Ready to sley the reed

Sleying the reed

Threading the heddles.  (This project has 120 ends.)

Heddles are threaded; time to call it a night!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Today's project... putting together the warping board, and then reviewing warping process for the loom.  I haven't decided whether to first try front-to-back, or back-to-front.  (Deborah Chandler's "Learning to weave" has an interesting hybrid method, but I think I should try the two more traditional methods first.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Baby Wolf is here!

My Schacht Baby Wolf loom arrived today!

After unpacking, unfolding and putting on the strollers, I moved it into its "home" place.

I've spent a few hours putting it together, and the heddles are now in the shafts, nuts and bolts in the right places..... It's ready for the next step--learning how to warp and thread it.  I think I'll start with just a few ends to practice warping, threading, and tying up the shafts.  I can't wait!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Silk/Bamboo Scarf

I learned a couple of new techniques on the rigid heddle that I want to try out, so I've warped the loom with a lovely silk/bamboo blend in a taupe-ish gray.  The weft will be several colors in the same blend.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Loom ordered!

I ordered a loom today--a 4+4 Schacht Baby Wolf. (I didn't order the high castle, as shown on this one, but I did order the "rollers" for it so I can wheel it around.  This also shows 8 harnesses, and mine will have only 4 to start--with the option to ad 4 more later.)

The major problem will be with receiving the shipment--someone has to be be here to unload it from the truck and take it into the house.  I hope the shipping schedule fits in with my work/road schedule!!

Sample "weave ups"

I'm weaving a sample piece with sections of various yarns I've spun, to see how they would weave up.  The brown/green/white merino isn't bad:

but my favorite so far is the bamboo with pink-ish merino.  It (still) reminds me of old fashioned peppermint sticks, and it's very soft.  I may have to spin some more bamboo fiber and find more pink merino, so I can weave a scarf with it!

Thick Corriedale 2 ply

I *still* have some gray West Corriedale, and I tried spinning thicker singles, then made 2-ply yarn from it.  And I like it.  If it were softer I would weave it into a scarf or knit it into a cowl, but it may end up as a table weaving of some sort. 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Plied Bamboo

"Skeined" (the niddy noddy arrived today) the 2-ply bamboo tonight, and got 2 skeins of about 65 yards each.  I still haven't decided what I'll do with it.

I plied the leftover bamboo with some leftover pink-ish merino (just a few yards) and it reminds me of old-fashioned peppermint sticks.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Plying Bamboo

I've been spinning singles from bamboo fiber, which has been interesting.  The fiber I'm using is really a "stuffing" fiber and, if combed or carded, might make for more even singles, but that wouldn't be nearly as much fun!  I have learned some things as I've spun it.

And now I'm plying it (2 ply) and I'm liking it--it's funky and soft!

I'm about to run out of bobins.  Crisis.   A new niddy-noddy is on its way, however.  And next weekend I should be able to warp the loom and use some of my handspun yarn as weft in a small piece--just to weave some of the yarn I've been spinning and plying.  Should be fun!!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Helpful video

Downloaded a spinning video, and found it very helpful for understanding different fibers and how to spin, woolen vs. worsted spinning, long drafting, and more.  I expect to watch it more than once:  Start Spinning, with Maggie Casey.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Stretches of "pretty good"

I'm beginning to see stretches of "pretty good" in my yarn--hopefully, there will be longer and more frequent stretches of such...  :-) 

This is a stretch from handpainted merino that I just plied; not yet washed or whacked.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Third weaving

I tried a few different techniques on the third weaving, some more successful than others.

Spindle vs. Wheel

I've started spinning some merino on my wheel, and will be interested to compare it to the singles spun on my spindle, using the same fiber...

First 2 weaving projects

I'll soon have my 3rd weaving piece finished, and it will be time to warp the loom again for the next piece!  (I don't know yet what it will be, but half the fun is thinking about that...)

I use an Ashford 24" rigid heddle loom and I'm still learning all things you can see from my first 2 pieces, with the draw-in on the edges, etc, etc.

This first piece used a cotton crochet thread for the warp and a multi-colored cotton sock yarn for the weft:

It looks a little like a purple zebra, doesn't it??

The second piece used the same weft, but the warp was a cotton/linen:

And I did a bit better controlling the draw-in on the edges.

And on the third piece I've been trying some fun techniques; I'll post the finished piece--soon.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

First yarn spun entirely on wheel

West Corriedale sliver, spun and plied (2 plies) on my Kromski wheel.  Not entirely even but progress is being made!


I've been trying to spin some bamboo fiber; it's a challenge (but very soft!)  I must say that it makes spinning merino seem much, MUCH easier!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Plied and Whacked

After plying my first yarn yesterday I washed it and hung it to dry.   The twist was very uneven, and Jude asked if I had washed and whacked it, to try whacking.  (Definitely a good way to get out some aggression arising from work!)   It it still uneven, er...arty, but the whacking has distributed the twist a bit more evenly and it is softer.  Still not what I was going for, but I'll get there!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

First spinning on the wheel

I'm finding that though I did long draft on the drop spindle, I am preferring short draft on the wheel.  My first spinning on the wheel is with Corriedale sliver.  I have a lot of it, and it's good for practice because it feels as if it's going to be too scratchy to wear; maybe it will go into a weaving.

I'm still practicing--not entirely even; it looks rather like art yarn.  (I'm told that I should enjoy it while I can, as once I have perfected getting it even it will be hard work to get the uneven, arty look.)

Spinning Wheel!

My Kromski Sonata arrived today and, wouldn't you know, I was home late from work and had to then mow the lawn so I was later putting it together.  I have stayed up late to try some spinning, and methinks (meknows) that I will like spinning with a wheel!