Pages

Friday, 19 December 2014

First attempts at weaving

I finally got my (dismantled) weaving loom last week, and, after putting all the pieces back together, then setting up a small warp (thank you Ashford for your how to video's even though my loom isn't an Ashford, the principle is the same), I got to weaving a couple of small test items with some alpaca wool that I purchased from another alpaca breeder.

We have ordered an Ashford (manual) carding machine and electric spinner (they appear to be the only make available in this country), so, once they arrive we will hopefully be able to process Miranda, Minky and Kris' fibre and I will be able to weave with that in future.
You can clearly see the warp thread that I couldn't
rectify - it had been threaded in the incorrect
heddle when RMan and I set up the warp.  Lesson
learned, Loom :)
It has been a fantastic learning curve.  The most important lesson I've learnt is that the warp (the thread that runs the entire length of whatever you are weaving) must be prepared correctly, be threaded through the correct heddle, and be tensioned correctly.

Whatever you initially do to set up your loom will positively, or negatively, affect the woven fabric produced.  Note to self - "Take your time setting up the loom, Dani".  Being new to the whole weaving thing, it is taking me roughly 4 - 5 hours to set up the loom.  Admittedly, I do not have a warping frame and use a stick tied to the back of a dining room chair to prepare my warp threads.  It's not ideal, and I'm hoping that RMan can knock me up a simple warping frame early next year.
The edges of the piece I was weaving are all
uneven.  No matter how much I try and keep
the tension equal, the edges are scruffy...
I can't get my head round why the warp should be prepared with +/- 10 separate threads at a time, nor why there should be a cross during in the preparation of the warp.  Plus I am having on-going problems with the edge - no matter how careful I am to keep the tension firm, the edges of the fabric are jagged.  Is there a weaver out there who can advise and assist?
Catching the incorrect threads on the shaft I'm
working with results in loose threads.  Again,
I've learned my lesson, Loom
I also discovered when I finished my first test piece that I had managed to catch some incorrect weft threads - resulting in the above picture.

Ah, well - it's all a learning curve :)

I have only woven using two of the four shafts.  I need to google how using all four shafts will affect the fabric produced by the loom.

And I need to find out low I can make the woven fabric more "lacy" and not so thightly woven.

But, with all the hiccoughs, I'm loving weaving, and have the loom set up in the dining room so that whenever I have a free moment I can sit down and continue weaving immediately...

16 comments:

  1. wow Dani! i don't know how i missed the fact that you started another blog, but i sure am glad that i found it! i have read through your backposts, and really loved the last post about animals having feelings. but you are like some kind of superwoman - i wouldn't even know where to start with weaving!!! i absolutely love your first piece and all the pics! congrats, dear gurl. and much love!

    your friend,
    kymber

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. kymber - LOL I wasn't keen on using a loom with foot pedals - much too complicated for my aging brain...

      The table loom (on a stand) that I purchased is easy-peasy to use - except for the selvages being jagged.

      Delete
  2. I got some really good advice on straight edges from you tube. It is a matter of practice, too. Your piece is very nice.....looks soft. I also bought a DVD on weaving,

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Tewshooz - Alpaca fibre is very soft :)

      I have search YouTube for info and can only find warping ideos - especially Ashfords. Reckon I may have to get a DVD or book...

      Delete
  3. Oh, how exciting! I'm glad you aren't becoming discouraged with first attempts. Everything has a learning curve and I have no doubt that you will master this one. Looking forward to seeing more posts about your progress. Good for you!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Vicki - It's too addictive to allow me to become discouraged LOL

      Delete
  4. Wow, that is just so amazing and fascinating to me! Just too neat!!! Thanks, I can't wait to watch things develop.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 1st Man - It gives me goosies when I think about it. Man (or should be woman) has been weaving sans electricity for centuries, and here I am weaving too - albeit very basic weaving ;)

      Delete
  5. Oh wow, I admire your achievement. I bet it's fairly relaxing weaving away and producing your own cloth (after the first 5 hours of setting up that is).
    xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mum - Thanks :) Weaving is an absolute treat :)

      I plug in my MP3 earphones and weave away to the sounds of Crosby Stills, Cat Stevens, Josh Groban, Nickleback, Sting, etc whilst warbling along tunelessly. I can't hear myself, so I'm not bothered lol

      Delete
  6. Dani congratulations! A first weaving is monumental. There is so much to learn at first! Very wise to start with only two shafts for that reason. Long experienced weavers make mistakes too, so take heart. With four, you can do absolutely amazing things and make amazing designs. You've only just begun!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Leigh - I'd love to see some of your weaving :) Thanks for the encouragement.

      Delete
  7. How interesting! but sounds very complicated, looking forward to seeing further projects

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Chickpea - Not, as long as foot pedals aren't invovled, it's quite easy. And so relaxing :)

      Delete
  8. thought of you as we passed some alpaca in a field just off the road past Noordhoek up to Chapman's Peak.

    I'm not a weaver but a knitter. Perhaps you need to work in a deliberate selvedge edge? And the smooth even tension will come easily once you've had some practice.

    Wishing you and yours a very happy Christmas!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Diana - That is actualy the breeder from whom we purchased our alpacas :) Yes - I know - the more I weave, the smoother the selvedge should be... (sigh)

      Thank you - I hope your Christmas in your new home was memorable too.

      Delete

Please leave a comment - I'd love to hear from you :)

view sourceprint? 01 09 10