Monday, December 31, 2007


We have weaving! I warped my loom! Finally! Here, I'm going to make you watch all the boring details.


First, I wound off a nine-yard warp of purple Harrisville Shetland wool, enough for three scarves about 8-9 inches wide (depending on how much they shrink). If I'm going to go to the trouble of warping the loom, I might as well get several scarves from it, and I can try all sorts of different colors/patterns/shiny things (well, I can try three different ideas, at any rate).


Then I raddled the warp on the back beam of my loom. Raddle is a great word, isn't it?


I wound the warp carefully - carefully! - onto the back beam.


I threaded the heddles - another great new word - in a straight twill threading. That means the first thread went through a heddle on the first harness, the second thread went through a second-harness heddle, the third thread through a heddle on the third harness, and the fourth thread through a heddle on the fourth and final (on this loom) harness. I even remembered to leave floating selvedges!


I sleyed the reed - I have got to look up the derivation of the word sley - but no photos for you, just this one, of tying the warp onto the front apron rod.


Then - then! - I wove! I used some of that new-fangled Noro sock yarn as weft and started a straightforward lean-right-then-left twill, which I thought might show off the long color progressions of this yarn. Don't look closely at my wonky selvedges and ignore the toilet paper (that's just for establishing the correct spacing of the threads at the beginning) - it's all OK by me right now, and I know it'll just keep getting better and better the more I practice. Just like tension in knitting. My rigid heddle weaving is getting better and better, just from doing it over and over again.

And then I rested for two days, utterly exhausted from my labors.

Well, almost. It took me most of Sunday afternoon and evening to measure the warp, dress the loom, and weave all of about 4 inches of scarf. By then it was 8 PM and I was wiped. It's surprising how implementing a new and complicated skill can take so much out of one, and yet be so fulfilling. Not a bad way to make the change to a new year!


marymac said...

Yay, loom!

I have no idea what sleying the reed is, but it sounds cool. :)

Batty said...

Beautiful! Have fun with your loom, and have a Happy New Year!

LizzieK8 said...

You're a better woman than me! I always wanted to weave till Eldest Daughter got a loom. We warped it once and that was the end of that for me! HPN and have fun with your loom.

Sue, aka seiding said...

Yay! Isn't learning new terminology the best? I'm loving loving the look of the scarf!