Friday, October 31, 2008

You had me at heddle!

So I'm kinda like a double threat now - weaving and knitting.  Yeah, that's right - I'm officially a weaver.  

Thanks to Cay, from the now closed Yarn Basket, I have a loom and didn't have to sell a kidney to get it!  Even better, it's the Schacht Flip loom which was my first choice until I found out that they retail for $225 now.  I PM'd her a bunch on Ravelry and she gave me all kinds of advice on the differences in some of the looms I asked her about.  Some people suggested that I look on eBay or on some weaving websites where people are selling used gear - which I did, but then realized that I didn't know enough to do that.  When Cay told me that she had a couple Schachts from before the price increased, I totally jumped on it!  She's the best - I mean really the best!  She even handed me a big stack of Handwoven magazines for free!  

I talked to my mother to tell her I bought it - assuming she'd want to wrap it up and give it to me for Christmas, but she surprised me by saying that it really wasn't necessary due to the fact that I'm not 12 and that I'm pretty capable of remembering that this is my Christmas gift, even if I get it early!  yippee!  So last night I pulled it out and set it up - which was kind of weird since I didn't really know what anything was supposed to look like, and even though I was following the instructions, I was still not totally sure everything was, you know, on the right sides of other stuff.  Then I proceeded to warp it with some gold slightly slubby rayon from a cone I got at the Woolgathering 2 years ago. 
 It's fingering weight and seemed to fit the calculations for the 12 dent reed I have (yeah - there's math involved in weaving too!  oh math, what can't you do?)  I think this part took me a couple hours, and I believe I had to walk around my dining room table 62 times to measure out my warp threads!  Aside from the walking, there was a whole lot of this:
Pulling 62 loops warp threads through the slots with a little hook.  Then after that, there was the matter of cutting the end of the loops and pulling 62 of the now 124 threads through the little holes.  Sounds tedious, but I can certainly think of worse ways to spend my time - it was a heck of a lot of fun, really.  I mean I'm used to spending hours making loops of yarn and pulling them through other loops of yarn, aren't I?  This is the finished warping - I feel like I have more extra than I should at this end, but again, what do I know?  maybe this is normal. 
 Then the best part started - I picked out some Cherry Tree Hill from my stash and wound my shuttle and started weaving.  
It's fantastic!  I love it.  The variegated yarn is so much different in weaving than in knitting - or at least if feels like it is so far.  Maybe it's because the warp threads break it up, kind of like a slip stitch pattern does.  Whatever the case.  I'm crazy in love with this.  By my calculations, this was supposed to make a 12" wide piece, but it's a bit narrower, which I'm attributing to the fact that I don't really have my technique down - kind of like finding your gauge when you start knitting.  You can see at the beginning I was pulling the edges too tight (the warps are way closer together there) then I tried to loosen up and the edge got messy, but then I think I evened out a bit.  I'm hoping to attend a workshop that Cay is doing for the weaving guild next weekend, so maybe I'll get to weave with some real weavers and soak up their technique!  Whee!  


rae said...

Oh wow, a loom! I need to add that to my list of things to buy some day. :)
-(mrsrayray from ravelry)

Catherine said...

It looks wonderful! The gold thread really sparkles against the cherry tree hill yarn; love it!

Anonymous said...

You know, I had this moment in class yesterday. This guy I know (the one who wants me to make him a sweater with fighting reindeers and a snowflake on it) was giving a presentation. He was talking about looms in Japan, and then all of a sudden he said, "Oh, why am I talking about looms, nobody in here cares about looms." And I thought...well, I care about looms! And I thought about you. =)

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