Thursday, September 02, 2010

Starting Smaller

A while back I started to weave some green and white place mats. I had it all figured out and got so excited about it I measured out enough warp to make 12 of them. Well, it did not work out so well and it sat and sat on my loom. I ignored the loom every time I looked at it, or got dejected all over again...I mean it was a ton of work to get that thing all strung up and I didn't want to cut the mess off and loose all of that work. Meanwhile the loom just sits, not working at all. I got re inspired after participating in the San Juan County Fair Sheep to Shawl and so I cut the warp off of the loom, rolled it up and sent it to shame itself in a closet until I can figure out what to do with it.
All of that being done I decided to start smaller and just go for ONE place mat to see if I could get it to work. I had a bit of cotton from when I was making Jacob's belt with the tablet weaving and decided to use that. Here is the process that I used to get a couple of balls of leftover cotton to look like this:
First and foremost, I did what I failed to do in my last project and that was determine what the 'sett' should be. I used the WPI method...wrap around 1inch and count the number of threads. Divide by 2 and that is generally what the sett should be for a plain weave.
I think my number came out to be 10. Because I was doing a Twill, rather than a plain weave, I rounded up to 12. So my sett was determined to be 12 dents per inch.
I had originally planned to have a solid dark blue background and a weft of the light blue. After I started to measure the warp I counted, rewound the dark blue back onto the cone and determined that it would have to be a 3 colored place mat if I was not going to go buy more yarn (not really an option according to the bank account at the time). So I collected the materials and started again.
Then I wound the warp. It didn't take too long and since I was just doing 12 ends at a time it was really easy to keep track of how many ends I had and it made it easy to stop and tend to the children when I needed too.
Then I cut it off of the warping board....
Then the tedious work begins...sleying the reed. Every single one of the 156 threads has to be threaded through the reed. It took some time but eventually I got here:
Then all of those individual threads have to go through a heddle, in a certain pattern. For me it took about 3 hours to thread the ends through the 4 heddles in pattern.
After it is all threaded I had to tie the warp to the back apron and then roll it up (not really since this warp was so short) and tie it to the front apron, adjust the tension, fix a couple of heddle threading mistakes and then tie up the harnesses, again in a certain pattern. This would have been a lot easier if I had not had to get out the pliers and pry apart some of the hooks so I could get the cord in, I also had to make a couple of new cords since there were a limited amount on the loom.
Then I could get to the business of actually weaving. Sort of. First I put in the header and then I got to weave a couple of inches before hemstitching the beginning of the weaving.

Then I got to weave away until it got too close to the reed. Then you roll it onto the front beam and keep weaving until you get to your desired length (I added about 1/2 inch to account for any drawing in after the tension was taken off of the warp threads). Add the final hem stitch ...
Remove from loom and set on a table edge with something heavy, like a couple of books so that you can carefully pick out the header yarn...
Then let the recipient of the place mat check it out (he rubbed it and said it was soft and pretty) He said "is it for Daddy?" I said "no" he asked "is it for you?" I said "no" and with an excited raised pitch he asked "is it for me?" and I said "yes!" and he said "oh goody goody!"
Then I gied off the fringe in over hand knots. I did this in groups of 4 threads. This of course has to be done on both fringed ends, and then up to the cutting mat to even out the edges...
And finally, forbid the intended recipient from touching it so you can take a 'good' picture.


tweetey30 said...

lots of work goes into weaving..yikes.. i think i will stick with my

Alexis AKA MOM said...

Wow way to go! It looks so awesome, I so can hear Jacob's voice when he got it!

I'm so bummed we couldn't make it over to you. It has been one thing after another and let me tell you Firestone in Lakewood is a JOKE. More to come on that! I have my FULL size spare on and going to go with that for now. I so was looking forward to Cherry coffee :(

Anonymous said...

t's such a great site. fanciful, acutely stimulating!!!