Saturday, January 14, 2017

This Week in Fiber

 I have a new obsession.  It's all my friend Pam's fault.  Before Christmas, she was assisting in a class taught by Diane Notten on inkle weaving.  I went to visit the class one day on a break from the kitchen, having no intention of being interested in what they were teaching, just being friendly.  A long table full of inkle weavers were in various stages of their developments, some weaving the most basic belts and bands, some learning pick-up and spelling their names, Christmas messages or starry designs.  It was...interesting.  I asked some questions, admired everyone's work and went back to the kitchen.
  A few days later, Pam gave me a little Ashford loom with a red and green strap on it, and asked me to finish it.  I did, but I wasn't very good at it.  The strap is thick and thin, with loose and tight tension, but it didn't take long to finish, and I was just wondering if I could warp the loom on my own.  I found an inkle loom warp generating website,, and made up a pattern.  I warped the loom, after a few false starts, and started weaving.  Again, my tension was not great, and my left selvedges were wonky, but this stuff is addictive.  I sit down to weave for just a minute before work, or with a beer when I get home, and before I know it, a half hour has gone by.  This warp is giving me a lot of trouble advancing, which I think just means I warped it too tightly, with the tension adjustment too far out.  And I didn't think about how all the un-heddled (new term, made up) threads would look in all brown.  But I am enjoying it, and already planning the next warp.  I will have to return this loom soon, though, and will need to buy my own.
Upstairs, I've rethreaded the turned overshot warp into plain weave, because I'm too cheap to just cut the sucker off.  I think it will make nice table runners for my sister, and I thought that while I was at it, I would try some things.  Turns out, you can't weave hand-manipulated lace when you're only using 2 shafts!  Okay, lesson 1 learned!  But I've long been curious about clasped weft, so I started doing that this morning.  Turns  out, you can't have a floating selvedge with clasped weft!  Okay, lesson 2.  There's a previously broken thread giving me some tension issues, but this is one of those weavings where I just need to get it done and move on.  It's fun, almost effortless and will be just fine.  When it's done, I'll do something fancy and careful.
   Today, our knitting group is meeting, and I've got two things I'm working on.  One is a triangle shawl, the kind with the slanting garter stitch and a lace border, in a lovely variegated wool that doesn't photograph well.  I'll take a nice picture when it's done, washed and blocked.
  I'm also working on a cabled sweater.  It's just complicated enough, not too fierce.  And the yarn is lovely and soft.
  It's freakishly warm outside, and cloudy, but fine for a woodsy walk with Bella this morning.  I'll weave until the sun comes up and spend the day doing what I like best, playing with fiber.  I hope you do the same!

1 comment:

LA said...

Thanks for the link! I often take my Inkle to the Museum during the winter, and it will be nice to play with some new combinations. I'm not really surprised that you are enjoying weaving on this loom!