Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Let the Weaving Commence

Inspired by Leigh over at Leigh's Fiber Journal, I decided to weave some baby blankets out of good old acrylic yarn in plain weave.

I am not a very experienced weaver, and I figured it does not get much simpler than this. I think this is the fourth warp I have put on my loom so every one is a learning experience.

The yarn I picked is Bernat Baby Coordinates Sweet Stripes in a pink and purple self striping colorway. The stripes are fairly long, so I figured the blanket will at least not be too boring. I bought 4 skeins of yarn, and may need another one. It is plentiful if I do so I am not too worried about it. I plan to finish the edges in crochet like Leigh did with hers.

I made the warp three and a half yards long and plan to get two blankets out of it. The warp used about two and a half skeins. of yarn. I am using a sett of 8 epi. I have spent the last week in spurts in my weaving studio (aka the garage) putting the warp all across my 36 inch 4 harness loom. I have to time my weaving to days when the temperature is pleasant. Fortunately, the weather here in Texas is beautiful right now.

I am a very slow warper, but that does not mean I don't have mistakes. The last time I warped the loom it took me about 10 hours to straighten out all the crossed threads and threading errors. I must be getting a little better at it, because this warp had no crossed threads at all. (of course this time I threaded the loom 1-2-3-4 all across) I was able to tie on and start my weaving.

When I warped the loom, the warp colors got randomized, because I still can not hold the warp and thread the reed in order - a la Debbie Chandler's instructions. (did I mention I am a self taught weaver?) I have a random number of pink then purple threads all across the warp. If I had been going in order, I suspect it would have been about 3 threads each color in a straight pattern but we will never know.

Today, I finished tying the warp on and started weaving with the self striping yarn. What I had not thought of was winding the shuttle bobbins with a plan. The self striping yarn makes even stripes, and before I realized the consequences, I got one stripe that is not the same size as the others. I don't think the baby will care though so I am leaving it in.

Now when I wind the bobbins, I have a definite starting and stopping point on the yarn pattern and I think the rest of the stripes will be about the same size based on how hard I beat. I have not quite mastered keeping that even yet. I think it is another case of more time needed in the chair.

The baby shower is 2 weeks away. There is nothing like a deadline for motivation.

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