Saturday, May 10, 2014

Dressing the Loom, Part Two

This is day two of this process.  I've been reading and studying about each step for months, but I couldn't really know what each step would actually take till I got into it.  I was glad I'd read so much, but reading doesn't send the skill to my fingers!  If I knew what I know now, I'd have started much smaller.  I thought, "How hard can it be?" Hahaha!!

Once the warp is on the warping dowels, it's time to twine, or sew along each end to space the warp ends evenly.
Two lengths of yarn, knotted together, alternating over and under each warp end

Once the twining is done and firmly knotted at each end, it's time to attach the warp ends to the loom dowels.  Using a tough yarn, pick up both twining yarns and whip it to the dowel.

Ready to be mounted on the loom

The loom frame

Setting up the pull shed.  This stick with the yarn looped around it is attached to every other warp. When it is pulled towards the weaver, it'll open the "pull shed." 
The pull shed was one of the most difficult parts for me.  It is tricky to hold the dowel rod and loop the yarn over it evenly.  It's still not perfect, but I'm hoping I'll get better each time!

By the time I fought my way through this process, I had trashed the living room!  What a process.  

To me, this is really beautiful even without any weaving happening yet.  
You know, even though this is a difficult process, I actually loved it and will do it again. 

Friday, May 9, 2014

Dressing the Loom, Part One

It's up, it's dressed and ready to begin the weaving!  I am beat or I'd be in there weaving right now.  I am pretty sure I made enough mistakes and had to take them back out again to add at least 3 hours to the process, but boy have I learned a ton.  Next time won't take so long.  This is a very careful and delicate process.  I kept track of the hours I have spent and to get the whole loom up and dressed, ready to begin weaving has taken 14 hours.  My goal next time is to cut that WAY back!! With all that I learned, I'm pretty sure I can do it.

I decided to use the loom for the warping frame instead of making a separate piece. This worked just okay, sitting on the floor for hours was pretty hard on my body.

I marked the warping dowels in one inch increments to help me space the warp ends.

The dowels I bought were not nearly stout enough and you can see them beginning to bow in the middles.

If I had known at this point that the places along the shed sticks that look not quite right were going to cause me trouble, I'd have fixed the problem at this point.  Unknowingly, I had let some of the warp threads cross over each other on the warping dowel.  If I had gone through and put each end in the order it was warped in RIGHT HERE, I'd have been a much happier camper.  Next time, I will know.  Great way to learn something that will stick with me.

Here is another thing I will never do again.  The bow in the center should have never happened.  I have purchased much stronger dowels for the next time I warp and will not have the uneven warp ends I had to deal with today.  

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Weaving Wool With Silk Fibers

Tomorrow night is the end of semester art show.  I need a fiber arts project to put in, but haven't decided just how I'm going to use either of the things I've woven yet.  I took the brown wool piece and prepared it for hanging this morning.  One of these days I'll come up with the perfect idea for using it, but till then, this is how it looks:

Wool warp with mohair and silk weft

Looks like it has bangs!

This is a twill weave. The silk is from deconstructed silk garments from Japan.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Moving into finals...

It's the end of another semester.  Someone on Facebook commented that I was having way too much fun in my classes.  I had to reply that the classes are not fun!  They are a crash overview of a topic or skill with little time to explore and experiment- with polished work due by the end of them.  That said, what I learn there applied later in my studio at home turns out to be highly satisfying and leads to so much fulfillment.  So, here's to another term ending and all of the relief that brings and what the leisurely summer months of exploration will bring!

I'll post again after finals.  Oh JOY, it's nice to be this far along.