Monday, 21 May 2012

Learning to Weave!

This morning, Jennifer, Diane, Julia and I from the Whitby Spinners, met at the Greenwood Community Centre to take our first lesson in weaving. Dini thought we should create a warp long enough for each of us to weave a dishtowel. We did lots of arithmetic and determined we needed about 3 2/3 yd of warp and 196 ends.

So we began warping on the warping board mounted on the wall.

First, Jennifer had a go.
Then Diane and then me with Diane's assistance. Julia deemed me her 'warping bitch' (I think she meant it in a nice way). She wasn't very interested in winding and winding the two cotton yarns.

We learned that 'the cross' was the most important part of the warping as it keeps the warping threads in order. As we were doing 14 ends (threads) per inch, we tied a knot every 7 sets of 2 threads (one blue, one white) so that we could later put them in order on the raddle. We needed 14 sets of 14 threads.
I got so carried away, I did a 15th set of 14. Not to worry.

While we were winding the warping threads, Judy and Julia were counting out the required heddles on each of the 4 shafts.

Once the winding of the warp was finished, it was tied in several places - including the all-important cross - and brought over to the loom where it was wound onto the back post.
We wrapped the roller with paper to keep the threads separate while Dini tugged on the warping threads and maintained a steady tension.
Then we started threading the heddles. We got about 1/6 of the way done and it was time to go. I volunteered to finish threading the rest of the heddles so it would be ready to sley  the reed next week.

Once home, I finished threading the heddles. I tied each set of 12 threads in a slip knot to keep them out of my way. 
Strangely, when I was done, after working right to left, I was short 2 threads to complete the last sequence of 4. On closer inspection, I noted that WAY back  near the beginning of our threading, 2 threads got missed.
I decided to leave them and have Dini or Judy show us how to remove them and attach them to the end where we needed the last two threads.

On my way home, I dropped in to visit my friend, Stephanie, and she showed me some of her lovely woven swatches. She loaned me 3 of her weaving books and two rigid heddle table looms! Now, I just need to watch a bunch of YouTube videos and teach myself how to warp a rigid heddle table loom.

After dinner I met up with Jennifer again for our spinning night - our last one at Coffee Culture for a while - and we yakked about what we had learned today and how inspired we've been by looking at various Ravelry websites. Jennifer told me about this one and I will be spending quite a lot of time in the next few days looking at all the items Jeen has made. Each one of Jeen's project is a mini-lesson in rigid heddle weaving.

Jennifer had taken home the other Dorothy loom to practice various types of weaving and yarns. Today we learned how to do the hem stitch which is handy when finishing the weft in preparation for cutting it and making the fringe. Jennifer did some plain (tabby) weaving and some twill weaving. Satisfied with her results, she passed the practice loom on to me this evening.
I'll practice on it this week and hand it off to Julia or Diane next Monday night.

It was a lot to absorb but lots of fun.  

1 comment:

  1. Looks like you have learned so much already Geri :-)