Here I Go Again: Still Weaving

So, now I’m dusting all of my weaving supplies off again. It’s been a long time. I really haven’t used the inkle loom I bought as a college student since I was in college. Sad, sad, sad. Welp, here I go again.

I had so much fun weaving the strap for my new drawstring backpack that I decided to wind  a warp and get weaving. I had been meaning to try out the pattern that came with Jacquetta Nesbitt’s Supplementary warp patterning video lesson so I copied the pattern down and wound a warp with #10 crochet cotton. The technique was still fresh in my memory since it is the same method that I was using to weave the Lithuanian sashes. I love picking up and dropping threads while watching the pattern emerge.  Oh, and that swiping sound the beater makes when I secure the weft thread to lock the pattern in, like music.

 

It’s a work in progress. The yarn I used makes a band only half the width of the sample on the tutorial due to my yarn choice. It is only 1.5inches wide. But hey, who cares? I’m having fun. Lately I’ve been wearing my inkle bands as hair-ties just as an excuse to have them out.

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card woven band as a hair-tie

 

A few days later I thought, well my Kromski Harp Rigid Heddle loom is looking kind of lonely since I cut the bag strap off of it. I saw this as a perfect opportunity for an experiment. I decided to try one of my favorite plain weaves, houndstooth, using (gasp) acrylic knitting yarn. Not caring much about what would happen I didn’t bother overspinning the yarn. Plastic, gah. Every since I learned to spin yarn I have been a total snob against acrylic. I didn’t want to risk ruining my good stuff on an experiment (I have struggle with warping my loom in the past), so there. The rigid heddle loom is great for projects when you can’t afford a lot of loom waste. You can keep weaving all the way to the end of the warp, no problem.

Any how, I think the scarf patterning looks nice. I would use this color combo again. The acrylic made a very dense and stiff fabric. I’m kind of on the fence as to whether I will like wearing it.

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I Could Use Another Bag, Maybe Two

I Could Use Another Bag, Maybe Two

I’m not much of a fancy, shmancy purse kind of girl. Usually when I carry a  bag it’s on one of two occasions. For everyday, I wear a small pouch on a long cord, just large enough to carry  my cell phone, keys, and cards. When I am traveling whether for a long walk or on my bike I use a drawstring backpack  for anything I bring along. This summer I realized mines were looking tired. This was the perfect excuse to get crafty.

Back in my college days I attempted to learn embroidery. What I actually learned was that I am not guru material. I haphazardly use a running and chain stitches in order to add doodles of color. It works for me.

For both the pouch and drawstring backpack I used this technique with 3 strands of cotton floss to embellish some denim scraps I had. The cord for the pouch  is cotton knitted eye-cord I made.20161127_112019

Things took an unexpected turn when I was deciding on straps for the backpack. Long ago, like literally 12 years ago, I became obsessed with learning to weave as a college student majoring in Apparel, Textiles, and Merchandising. At school we were learning to weave on a big, elaborately engineered dobby loom. In a search at the local library I stumbled across weaving that was a little more my speed. Apparently I could weave with just cardboard cards, tablets. The cards would act as harnesses to raise the threads for weaving. I was able to weave narrow strips, the first using 10 cards with 40 threads. I never did anything with that sample (or any of the other narrow bands I wove). All these years later it would be the perfect addition to my bag project.

Great! Well sort of great. I only had enough for one strap. I needed to make another narrow band to match my original. This proved trickier than I thought. I remembered the pattern was from the book Creating With Card Weaving by Sally Specht. I found the draft and threaded up my cards with the same #10 crochet cotton used in the first weaving.

In the end I realized that somehow I had managed to mix up the color sequence (not even realizing it). The two straps are different plus my old sample is more irregular with obvious mistakes. Oh well, I still think the bag turned out nice.

As a bonus, I am obsessed with weaving again. Time to dig out my old weaving hoard.

Just Married: Keepsake Wedding Sash

Not, me. A dear friend got married yesterday. I wanted to make a gift for the couple and thought well why not weave them a keepsake wedding sash.

I have been learning about weaving Lithuanian sashes with my friend, Donna for the last few months. While I love the supplementary warp patterning technique I am still learning to merge my design asthetic with the traditional Lithuanian colors and patterns.

Perle cotton thread used for the warp. The dark blue will be used for the background

Perle cotton thread used for the warp. The dark blue will be used for the background

I am very fortunate to have someone that can help me translate my ideas in to a finished project. In this case we came up with an original floral motif and modified traditional heart motif to separate the names. The letters are all Donna’s original charts.

Part of the charted design

Part of the charted design

This book is written entirely in Lithuanian but thankfully has lots of pictures

This book is written entirely in Lithuanian but thankfully has lots of pictures

 

The book where we found inspiration for the heart motif between the names and waves (snakes) to underline them

Inside the book Lietuvos Etnologija where we found inspiration for the heart motif between the names and waves (snakes) to underline them

None of the books we have for this technique have letter charts included. In fact most books we use for reference are scholarly works written to document this nearly lost baltic sash weaving tradition. We have to redraft or transfer every pattern from pictures in the books.  I chose a dark background color instead of the traditional light neutral background for this project. For some reason bright colors on a dark background excite me in a weaving.

Frame loom ready to weave

Frame loom ready to weave

Weaving the original floral design.

Weaving the original floral design.

The sash turned out really nice although it departs from tradition in pattern motifs and color. Weaving took  about 20 hours  not including designing, creating the charts and dressing the loom.

Time consuming but I have to say I enjoyed every bit of the process.

The finished wedding sash

The finished wedding sash. It took me more than 20 hours to weave