Posts Tagged ‘weft’

plaid sky

i can only weave 2′ wide on my loom. most of my fairway is about 4′ wide, however, so for every section i need to weave two lengths that will be sewn together.

i’m making the second length of “sky” a plain weave plaid. it’s pretty easy to do — instead of measuring out one color of warp, i changed the color of the ends into random widths of stripes. then, when i weave in stripes of weft, viola! plaid.

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stripey sky

getting some of the “sky” tee-off carpet woven. here it is on the loom:

i have three yarns wrapped on my shuttle, and i have three shuttles about that length. i’m alternating stripes randomly.

below is a close-up of plain weave and the measuring tape i pin to the side to keep track of how much length i’ve woven.

measuring the first warp

ok, i was sick for a week, then spent the past few days catching back up with things, but i’m back at the loom and ready to measure out my first warp.

the first part of my mini green that i’m going to weave is the 4′ x 4′ tee off area. my loom will only weave 2′ wide warps, so i’ll weave two 2′ x 4′ pieces and attach them to make the final 4′ x 4′ tee off space.

i’m going to measure my first 4′ length with all white warp. i’m not sure if the warp will get totally covered over by the weft, and don’t want to use up any good colors in the warp if that’s the case.

here’s the first bout of the first warp on the warping board:

measuring the first warp

measuring the first warp

i need 300 ends (strings) for my 2′ wide warp, but as i was winding and winding, i realized pretty quickly that the pegs on my warping board would only hold about 150 ends. it took me a dumb second to realize you could measure more than one bout for your warp (a “bout” is kinda like a “bundle”).

here’s another view, showing some of the little strings and knots used to help keep count and to make sure the bundle doesn’t fall apart once you take it off:

first bout on the warping board

first bout onthe warping board

at the very end, you can see the “cross” — that’s what i’ll hold in my hand when i transfer the ends to the loom (when i thread the reed, to be specific).

onward brave weaver….

ingredients

there are lots of bits and things and gadgets weavers need, and they all have odd english- (as in, british-) sounding names like heddle, treadle, warp beam, raddle, sley hook, and so on. reminds me of woodworking (dado, kerf, mortise, rabbet, etc). i love it — makes you feel a part of an age-old tradition.

originally, i was going to weave a very, very nice carpet with linen warp (the warp is the part that is stretched on the loom) and wool weft (the weft is the part that you weave back and forth and is wrapped on the shuttle). however, a couple quick calculations made it clear that these quality, durable yarns would soon break the bank — the linen weft alone would, even with deep bulk discounts, cost more than buying all the weft AND warp in cotton. cotton doesn’t wear as well, but as the entire carpet will be glued down to pieces of plywood in the end, and since i’m only getting $2500 for the piece, i’m going to take my chances with cotton. the upside is that there are many more colors available in cotton, and it’s well known that i’m a color whore. given my aesthetic, i figure any wear and tear will, in the end, add to the charm of the hole.

here’s my first shipment of yarn — both the 8/4 carpet warp and thicker weft stuff for the shag areas — plus a couple 30″ stick shuttles:

first yarn shipment

first yarn shipment, plus a couple 30" stick shuttles

i bought a smallish warping board from three wishes fiber arts, and borrowed a larger board from joanne, a member of the mary meigs atwater weavers guild (mmawg). here’s the smaller board with the first guide string tied on (more in this later):

small schacht warping board

small schacht warping board w/2.4yd guide string tied on

i’m weaving this green on a 4-harness schacht baby wolf floor loom rented from the mmawg. it’s really cool —  folds up for easy storage and has wheels to help move it around. here’s the warping board clamped on to the loom, which gives me a good height for wrapping the yarn:

warping board clamped to loom

warping board clamped to loom

next: measuring the first warp out. wheehoo!