Sunday, November 2, 2008

Getting my weave on.

Over the summer I was fortunate enough to receive a wonderful brand new 36" Ashford rigid heddle loom.

While I was picking up my Art Ed. Certification (my major in college was Fine Art/Sculpture) I picked up roughly the equivalent of a minor in weaving. In school we used 4 and 8 harness looms and what I loved best about weaving was creating pattern. I think it is so wild how you can manipulate the threads to make such beautiful and intricate designs. I love how all over the world and pretty much throughout time, weaving has stayed the same. Sure there are crazy industrial looms that are bigger than my apartment, but for the most part weaving still is what it always was. I remember this one time I had to visit The Daniel Boone Homestead on a college field trip and Daniel Boone's father was a weaver.

When we walked in the door there was a loom set up in the middle of the home and it was warped and partially woven with what was apparently a leftover project from Daniel Boone's father. (Or so they said.) Well, I wanted to just sit down and finish it for old Mr. Boone! I thought it was such a trip that this loom looked exactly like the loom I was using in school almost 300 years later.

Back to the rigid heddle. Like I said I loved pattern weaving and though I am extremely grateful for the rigid heddle, I do know it is a loom with real limitations as it only has the equivalent of two harnesses. That said I am eager to see what this baby can do! The loom was already warped when I received it, with a natural colored warp about 16" wide and who knows how many yards long, because I'm not undoing it to measure. Even though I have grander plans for this loom than what it is currently set up for, I know what a real bitch it is to warp a loom, I refuse to take off this warp and let all that tedious hard work go to waste. So I see a table runner or place mats in my future! I've woven about 6" or so, just messing around using a variety of pink, green and tan fabrics and it looks cute, but I honestly don't know what I'm going to do with it. Small wall hanging of some sort? Perhaps.

However, due to my minuscule apartment's previous life as an old timey post office and not a residence, I have almost no storage space. There is one small closet that my husband uses and another closet which is supposed to be for linens in the bathroom. Well my clothes take priority over some towels, so I keep my clothing in the bathroom! So the loom had no home. My handy husband put 2 hooks on the wall in our bedroom and VOILA! the loom is hanging on the wall. The hooks from Home Depot are the kind with 2 hooks on each hook (like for a coat and hat), so I have the loom resting on the top hooks and the shuttles rest perfectly on the bottom hooks. Nice! Also when there is a project on the loom, it looks lovely as decoration! Whenever I finish whatever I'm making, I'll post the pictures.

My next project is to make a ghetto warping board. I found sweet plans online thanks to In the Now if you follow the instructions on his website, you would no doubt have a very well designed warping board. I however, do not have a wood shop, or friends that I know of with a wood shop that are dying to make me a warping board. So this girl's going to IMPROVISE! I am going to bastardize the following plan and recreate it with 4" nails in my wall, using the plan below to provide me with the proper measurements and placement of the pegs (or nails).

I'll let you know what happens. I figure I've got some time to work on it, since I still have to finish my table/runner/wall hanging/place mats before I need to warp anything. That is-unless the weaving gods smile on me again and I have something new to warp! We'll see!!

1 Comment:

The Gingerbread House said...

There is always room for one more project ...don't forget "under the bed" there is room :o) Make a curtain around a table with lots of fabric stuff hidden under it. :o)...Yuur pal who learned to hide stuff...don't forget the trunk of the car until he's asleep.Ginny