October 25, 2011
It is no surprise that practicing one craft can lead to an interest and desire to learn another, especially with fiber related crafts. Many people who started with crochet have learned to knit and many who started with knitting have learned to crochet. There’s a lot of crossover between the two. My love of spinning definitely arose from my love of knitting, and more importantly, knitting with natural fibers. From there I have developed a healthy appreciation for the art of carding and combing spinning fiber to the point where I’ve invested in tools to help me with that task. I have even dabbled in dyeing yarn and fiber, but I will leave that for folks with a greater passion and skill for it than I possess.
So where is a crafty guy like me to go next? What is left to learn? Actually, lots! Some of you sharp readers might have picked up on the hints I dropped in last week’s Rhinebeck recap and if you guessed weaving, then you are absolutely right!
I have been thinking about trying my hand at weaving for quite some time, and I chose the 24” Kromski Harp rigid heddle loom. It is the same one my friend Dave got when he came to visit in July. We only got as far as putting his together then, but he has been sending me pictures of his projects ever since.
That pretty much sealed the deal for me, so I figured since Rhinebeck was the week before my birthday it would be the perfect time to get one of my own. Dave brought his loom back with him the week before Rhinebeck and showed me how to warp it and get started. I chose some lace weight yarn that I did some dyeing experiments with and immediately began the process of warping the loom.
It took some effort to find a balanced weave with this yarn, but I still had fun with it. The piece I wove is full of imperfections, but it is a practice piece so it is sort of supposed to be. I love it just the way it is, and will keep it as a constant reminder of where I started from. Much like I have kept my very first handspun yarn full of thick and thin spots, coils, and all its other beautiful flaws.
This past Sunday was my birthday (no, I’m not telling how old I am) and I got to pick up my birthday present at a Touch Of Twist’s booth last Saturday at Rhinebeck! This weekend I finally got to try out my own loom so I grabbed some more yarn to practice with and got to work. Warping the loom is somewhat of a tedious task, but a necessary one.
The heavier yarn I chose for my second practice piece, which is a bit of a sampler, is a worsted weight and much easier to create a balanced weave with. After working a plain weave for a while I added in another color and practiced working with two colors, creating all sorts of pattern combinations. I also tried using the pickup stick to create floats in the weft threads for even more pattern combinations. It was all great fun!
My second practice piece is almost done now. There is not much warp left to weave. So when this comes off the loom, I can start planning a “real” project. You know, something that’s actually meant to be…something!
I know what a lot of you are thinking. That I already have enough going on with the knitting and spinning, right? Well, perhaps. But this new venture will give me another use for the handspun yarn that I’ve been accumulating, and that is a good thing. Right? Which reminds me, I promised there would be an update on the Rambouillet I am spinning. It is going well. I have about six ounces done and there is a lot more to go. I will definitely have an update next week.
Have a great week everyone!