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It seems like ages since I’ve done any weaving. I hate to admit this, and any weaver would probably shake their head and/or yell at me, but I have a project on my big floor loom that’s been sitting there, partially woven, for a couple years. It hasn’t been under tension, and it’s cotton yarn so it’s not stretching, but, yeah, it’s been neglected. Originally I had to stop because I ran out of yarn. I ordered more, but the new yarn was the wrong stuff (same ply, different spin, so it really looked out of place in the project). So I had to order yet more yarn, and in all that time I kind of moved on to other formats. Then I had problems finding a place to wind the bobbin, and… Well, here we are. One of these days I’ll finish those waffle weave dish towels, and that will be a time to celebrate! Here’s what I’ve done with it so far:

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In the meantime, I have this smaller table loom that first occupied a corner of my living room, and then a space along the wall in the dining room. I bought it off of ebay because I thought, surely I’d do more weaving on a smaller loom that wasn’t so back breaking? Um, no. It’s just been sitting there, with two skeins of yarn on top of it, waiting to be tested. (The really sad thing is, I have yarn for two other projects waiting to be used, too. While my yarn stash is nowhere near the size of my quilt fabric stash, I have a few skeins of yarn collecting dust around the house.)

So, I decided to finally give the table loom a try. Dusted it off, unburied my warping board, wound yarn, and threaded the reed. Made mistakes, which is hardly a surprise considering how long it’s been since I’ve done this! But this was just a sample project, so in some ways it is more forgiving than some projects might be.

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This is after I’ve finished threading the reed (the thing holding the yarn) and put it on the loom. Trying to get the yarn through the heddles was not nearly as frustrating as I had been afraid it might be. Again, made a mistake (didn’t count enough heddles on one side), but figured out a way to work around it without having to totally unthread what I’d done. I used the 3rd and 4th shafts in place of the 1st and 2nd to keep the threads in the right order. Again, only because this is a test project; if this was a serious piece, I’d go to the trouble of doing it right which would mean unthreading and rethreading half the yarn. I occasionally caught myself going through the wrong heddles, but those were easy to catch and quickly fix.

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This is after I’ve threaded the yarn through the heddles in the shafts, wound onto the back beam (I’m a front-to-back person), tied the yarn onto the front beam, and put in the rags to straighten out the warp. And here’s what I have done tonight:

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It’s just a simple houndstooth pattern, using forest green and tan acrylic yarn. Acrylic is so easy to use for a “cheap” test project, but it also has it’s problems. It doesn’t really forgive any weaving errors, because it doesn’t shrink when you wash it (which is an easy way to hide ends when working with wool and cotton, lovely yarns to weave!). This particular acrylic has a kind of angora-type finish, making it slightly fuzzy. I’m hoping the scarf is usable when it’s finished, probably with fringed ends.

And at this point, I’m going to loosen the tension and get some sleep. I’m kind of excited to be weaving again, there is just something so satisfying watching fabric being created in front of your eyes. Quilting is a very different kind of creation from weaving. Both are extremely tactile, and both have their long, boring parts that few people like (in the case of weaving, I would think that’s definitely putting the yarn on the loom — it can be back breaking work!). But both can also keep you up late, thinking “just a few more shots” and then suddenly you realize it’s 2 am and way past your bedtime. I’m sure no one else ever does that with their projects.  🙂

Good night, and happy creating, y’all!

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