Friday, April 01, 2005

The Cloth's the Thing

Let's talk about my obsession with weaving this time.

We take cloth for granted more often than not. We no longer have to make it ourselves or wait for weeks for a precious bolt of cloth to cross the country. We don't need to reuse worn out clothing to make quilts. We can buy clothes ready made or find cheap cloth at the local fabric store. Yet some of us still feel the need to weave cloth for blankets, pillows, scarves, and more.

I was hooked on weaving long before I ever got the chance to actually learn so when I found out that the Fiber Arts class I was taking would teach me how to weave, I was ecstatic. Halfway through the class, I decided that I had to have a loom of my own. I found some plans but the cost of the materials was more than I could afford, although cheaper than a purchased loom. I turned to eBay and found a homemade loom that I won the auction on. After putting it together, I started on a project only to have the threads keep popping, so I pulled the warp off and started on a scarf project using Wool-Ease yarn. My brother-in-law has done some tweaking on the frames, cords, and treadle tie-ups but is convinced he can make it better. The number 2 frame doesn't like to drop and I may need to add more weights to the bottom of it to help. The wooden dowel holding the pulleys seems to be too large and so doesn't turn well in the holes. Fixing it will have to wait until I finish the scarves and that won't happen until the blood clot in my leg is gone.

You can see the loom in my Weaving gallery.

On March 12th, I won another auction on eBay for a Schacht Table Loom. An older model than they currently sell, but still in good shape except for a crack on the right hand side of the castle that can be fixed. Plus, the levers are attached from right to left while I prefer from left to right. I've already purchased some natural and dark green 8/2 Tencel for pillow tops to be made on the table loom. This will also give me the opportunity to use the warping board my brother-in-law made me for Christmas last year.

It's extremely fascinating to watch the strands of warp thread slowly filling with the weft thread to create a pattern as you press the treadles or select levers to raise and lower the threads, then throw the shuttle from side to side.

Once I'm allowed to weave again, I'll post my progress on the scarves and pillow tops.

Shorah Y'all!

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