Sunday, October 30, 2011

Return to weaving and I LIKE it!!

There is a "Farm Day" held here in Prineville, in association with a cattle dog trial. When a group of us was talking about it, I had a thought - "I wonder if I could get the little loom back?" I called the woman to whom I had sold it. It turns out she has never woven on it, and was happy to sell it back to me! Another friend was going to Eugene, so she picked it up and brought it back.

It's a Dorset Loom - not made anymore, very similar to the Baby Wolf, but with direct tie-up. I had never woven on it in all the time I had it, either.
from  the back

from the front

Thursday, after getting a day off from loading hay, I bought a 3/4" dowel so that I could get my warping reel back in action (That's what all those dowels were, rolling around when I was packing that I chucked...). I have weird shoulders, a bad neck and warping boards are not my friend. I wound a 3 yd. warp of Superwash Merino/Bamboo that I had dyed, and had just enough... The weft is raw silk that I dyed black.

Friday, I warped the loom. I warp front to back - it fits me best. I got to the threading, and half-way through, realized that I had screwed up. I pulled it all out, and started over, tying the warp in the groups of the threading - success.  I should mention here that it has been at least 7 years since I last wove...

We packed up the truck, folding the loom (I think I really like this little guy), and getting the bench, tables, grid walls and totes of fiber and yarn in easily, leaving room for the nested dog crates for the turkeys - see the story of that here. Our set up included fleeces, yarn, roving, and the loom and Correy's spinning wheel.

Since this is a "Farm Day," Correy also brought her ram lambs, and the two friendliest camelids - Outlaw, the llama and Rusty, the alpaca.
Da Boyz



I am a very fast weaver. I was pretty sure that I would be able to finish it in the time at the farm day (10 am to 4 pm), and I did. So, when we got there, I set up our space, and rested.
in process - notice the sheen!

Then I wove for awhile, and took a break, and so on. I managed to stretch it out to 2:30, when I cut it off the loom.  I had a re-learning curve - my selvages aren't perfect but were getting better as I went along. I like using end-feed shuttles - I have a schacht, and 2 old fly shuttles in my arsenal. In fact, I don't have any other shuttles that I use.
Off the loom!

After washing, I'm disappointed. The sett was a little close, even though I used the sett formula. It's ok, but not as drapey as I had hoped. Actually, I think it's because it feels heavier than I anticipated.

I like weaving on this little loom though, a lot. I planned the warp so that I could tie onto the end and use it as a dummy. I'll re-sley (and thread) before the next one. I have another skein of the superwash merino/bamboo that I can use. Maybe it can be a runner, or something...

These are the ends by the fringe (to hold them stable while washing and drying) - I think they're pretty darn cool in their own right!

I'm already planning more projects - mainly color and weave, which is really fun to do. I'm thinking shawls, and/or dishtowels.

Next knitting project? A headband/ear warmer, with inserted I-cord edges, knit in the round from center back, shaped as I go, and then joined with either I-cord or the Salish Shoulder join with a tassel (of course!). I'll resley more loosely for the next one.

Sunday, October 16, 2011


When I was in Portland last week, I went to the Portland Handweaver's Guild show in Multnomah, courtesy of LindaLou's tour guide service.

Their sign is woven - it's very, very cool.

There were lots of very, very well woven (and felted) pieces. I was amazed. The first one you saw (after the sign above) was this robe. Made of cotton, chenille and maybe silk, it looked like a wearable hug.
Back in 1998, I wove a really lovely piece of fabric - it's a mixed warp of cotton, cotton/linen, cotton/rayon and rayon with a silk weft, which looks mostly turquoise. After washing and drying, I have about 3 1/4 yards. I have yet to cut into it to make something.  I admire people who can!!

One of the pieces is cardwoven. Here is a whole shot and a detail - incredible:

Linda had a couple of pieces - here's one:
There were a number of scarves, in different, interesting colors, weaves, etc.:

This is a detail of a cocoon-type jacket. The ruching is actually wool in the weft, which, when wet finished, fulled. Very clever, and really effective use of different fibers!
Last night, we were sitting around talking about an up-coming Farm Day at a nearby dairy. The subject of weaving came up, and I thought of a small loom that I used to have.  When I had retrieved my loaned reed from the new owner awhile back, she said she hadn't woven on it.  So, I called her to see if she would be interested in selling it back to me - she was!!  So I'll be getting it back this week. It's a Dorset Loom, sort of a precursor to the Baby Wolf. It weaves 25-26" wide, and is 4 shaft direct tie-up.

I'm excited! I'm thinking I might put a couple of scarves on it for the farm day and see how it goes!

Now I just have to replace the dowels that inadvertently got pitched in the move so I can use my warping reel again...