Saturday, June 22, 2013

Troy Proves Himself Useful and My First Weaving Project (or is it a Swatch?)

One week after I had my first weaving class, Troy made me a loom of my very own. We combined pictures from the internet and my memory to come up with a plan. I wrote on some measurements for Troy and we revised a bit for what supplies Troy had on hand. And this is the result:
Super duper, right?! (Isn't Troy awesome!) I put on the weaving I didn't finish in class and was able to continue. The pegs aren't glued in yet and I don't have a proper wing nut to loosen and tighten the adjustable peg and it needs some sanding, but really it works! And fits comfortably on my lap. Troy kept wanting to go bigger, but I wanted to make sure it fit nicely and wasn't so long that I had to reach too far.

Once I had it set up, I did some "free style" weaving to make sure I hadn't forgotten everything I knew:
Here's the total that I did:
I am still completely obsessed once I get started and there have been some late nights! (Can't stop now...just a little more...)

A couple days later, I decided to try a pattern from the book I bought (A Tablet Weaver's Pattern Book). This would be in the other style of card weaving where all the work is done in the set up and the cards always turn together. Although that sounds like a "no-brainer" you have to keep track of whether you're supposed to turn forward or backward. (There may have been a few "re-dos" on my part. Not quite as easy as tinking, but you can do it!)

Quarter for scale
What I had in mind was to do a narrow band for a bracelet of some kind. I chose a 16-card pattern (#12.1 if you're really curious) and picked out some embroidery floss colours. It was written for three colours, but I used four. I was aiming for 7" long. I went to cut the embroidery floss and thought to check I had enough of all the colours first. Well, I ended up using all of the dark gold, and so that determined how long each piece could be (20"). Not really long enough, but I worked with it. And after one night of set up and one night of turning, I had a little band.

It ended up being 6.5" long, plus two 2-inch fringes, and 11-13 mm wide. 2 mm isn't very much and I wouldn't think it would be very noticeable, but I can see that it's wider in some places than other. But overall I'm happy with how even it is and how it came out.
So it turned out a little shorter than I planned and I'm not sure what I'll do with it (if anything) now. I'll have a look through my fasteners and maybe I'll still be able to wear it around my wrist. The woven part is long enough, but I probably will need further length to attach the fastener. So maybe it'll make a nice bookmark. (Anyone use those?)
Meanwhile it's pretty!

The dark blue may have been a different brand because it was much thinner that the other colours. I actually used all six strands of it, while using only three strands of the other colours. This made the blue a touch thicker than the others, but I went with it. I did finish the band with a good soaking and then some aggressive ironing to set the strands.
I have to give a shout out to my sister who passed on all her embroidery floss when she was ready to give it up. I have two boxes of embroidery floss, most of it nicely organized on those little cards. It's fantastic!

Now I'm thinking of the next project with some red cotton I remember getting at a re-sale. I have to find it first...

PS: Oh wow, I wrote this whole post forgetting that I actually finished a project before this. The day I got back from Squam and was telling Troy all about the weaving I was going to do, he pulled on his shoelace, and--POP--it broke! So my first project was a basic weave on three cards with a brown cotton I bought somewhere sometime. It was variegated and a little bit "think and thin" so that added some unneeded "interest" to the project. (It was for his grubby shoes, so we didn't really care about how they looked.) I strung up the loom as long as I could (and then longer--I double looped some paths between some pegs) and got 90" total length. I was aiming for a 60" finished lace. I got it done in a couple days (again--obsessed) and then we realized it didn't easily fit through the lace holes! But with a little thinking, and then some tape I got it laced up and it is working nicely. (It is raveling at the ends though.)


  1. Troy proves himself (so amazingly) useful (yet again for the umpteenth time).

    There...fixed that for ya...


  2. I'm glad you enjoyed the class at Squam and are fervently weaving at home. Makes a teacher proud. And way to go Troy! Loom looks great! For version two, I might angle the back posts back more to give you more length where the cards and the weaving are. The more room there the better. That would keep the footprint small too.

    Keep those cards turning!
    John Mullarkey

  3. Hey John,

    Thanks for the compliments. I lobbied for a bit longer, but Christina wanted the first one pretty compact.

    I expect there will be others in future as well.


  4. Yes, gentlemen, your comments are noted but it came out just like I wanted. I will admit that it could use a little more working space as John suggests, but I wanted to make sure my arms didn't have to reach too far forward.

    Seems to work great as I put it through its paces.



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