Sunday, August 30, 2009

Weekend Project: Warp Speed Ahead!

Some people weave burlap into the fabric of our lives, and some weave gold thread. Both contribute to make the whole picture beautiful and unique.

Well, there's some good news and some bad news. The good news is that I am finally back in a groove and working on a project! The bad news is that it's not a sewing project. It's a weaving project. Yes, I made big strides on my Grandmother's scarf this weekend. :)

My main goal was to get the loom warped - that means, get it threaded length-wise. There are 4 main stages. From front to back (but NOT in the order that you do it), here are the parts of the loom that must be dealt with:
  1. The yarn must be attached to a beam in the front.
  2. Each piece of yarn must be passed through an individual slit in a "reed", which looks a lot like a big metal comb.
  3. Each piece of yarn must be passed through the eye of an individual needle-like thing, called a heddle, hanging in a wooden frame.
  4. The yarn must be attached to a beam in the back.
The yarn must be put (and kept) under an even tension and slowly rolled from the back beam to the front beam as the weaving is done. Here is how it looks when the loom is warped:
Here is a front view, where you can see the reed with each thread going through a separate slit:

Here is a back view - part-way through the warping process - where you can see individual strands of yarn put through the holes (or eyes) of the hanging heddles. There are four frames containing heddles, and the sequence in which you thread the frames impacts your final pattern. I was using a sequence that repeated a pattern every 10 yarns, and so I used red thread to bundle every 10 heddles to help me keep my place.

Finally, the part that all this careful threading is leading up to - the scarf pattern emerged quickly once I started weaving! Isn't it beautiful? I hope my Grandmother loves it! :)

I really, really, really want to get back into the sewing room too! But after weeks of not doing ANYTHING related to fiber arts, it felt good to get any project up and running! :)

I noticed that I'm coming up on my 300th post - I think I'll make it an official tradition and have another Kiva gift certificate give-away. (Kiva lets people join forces to give small loans to entrepreneurs in the third world. I usually help budding seamstresses or tailors, but you can choose anyone. Once the loan is paid back to you, you can apply the money towards something special for your sewing room!) Check back later this week to sign up!

In the meantime, I hope you had a productive sewing weekend and that your week gets off to a good start! :)


patsijean said...

The scarf is going to be quite lovely. Weaving is a wonderful craft that I've always admired, but never could wrap myself around.

I've been participating in Kiva loans for about 1-1/2 years. I can only afford to add $25 to a loan pool at any one time, but I've had a 100% repayment rate, on time. So, usually what happens is after a loan is repaid, I turn that money around into another loan. I just added 2 loans to my "portfolio". My first 3 loans were solely to women in various countries, the last to groups. It is a wonderful feeling to know that even though I am retired now, I can, in some small way, positively affect the lives of others, no strings attached. Kiva is truly a wonderful program.

Anonymous said...

That scarf is going to be gorgeous!