Thursday, October 1, 2009

Blame it On Charlene

In September, Peggy, Kate Faye and I went to the Cajun Lagnaippe Fiber For'em. This is a nice little fiber festival held at a camp in southwest Louisiana.

The For'em features lots of great classes including Weaving, Bobbin Lace, Sock Machine Knitting, and Machine Knitting taught by Yours Truly. The teacher of the Beginning Weaving Class, Charlene, had this bamboo shawl as one of her samples. She wove it from the directions in the September/October 2009 Handwoven Magazine, called the Budget Bamboo Shawl.

The shawl is made from Aunt Lydia's Bamboo Crochet Cotton. It is woven in Bronson Lace (new for me). The yarn costs less than $15. It is available at Wal-Mart, JoAnn's and Hobby Lobby.

Charlene had deviated from the pattern and used a cream color for the warp and white for the weft, and the subtle difference gave the shawl lots of depth. Kate, Peggy, Faye and I all loved it, so we decided we would all weave it in a Weave A Long or WAL.

So, we all got the yarn and two Wednesdays ago at spinning we began winding our warps. I was able to finish winding mine, and I believe that Kate and Peggy have theirs wound too.

This week, after finishing my Scarf Jail Scarves (that is a whole nother story), I began warping my loom. The loom is a very old Le Clerc Nilus that I think was made in the 1950's or 1960's. It was a school loom, and I am sure could tell lots of stories if it could talk.

I am a process person, so I am always looking for a new twist on stuff. Never mind that I am a beginning level weaver with less that a dozen warps under my belt. Last year I ordered the Singing Weaver's (Nadine Saunders) Warping on a Shoestring video, and I also ordered Peggy Osterkamp's Warping from the Back Video, as well as her book on warping. So, armed with all this information, I decided to branch out (since I am so NOT an expert on warping from the front of the loom) and break out my new raddle to put this warp on from the back using a combination of Peggy and Nadine's techiques.

Nadine uses shoestrings for lots of things when she weaves. She ties the warp to the back apron with shoe strings, and she also ties the warp to the front apron rod with shoestrings. It takes a bunch of shoestrings for her technique and I had shopped Ebay and ordered mine last spring from someone who had some close outs (can't imagine why red and green plaid sparkly shoe laces would have been on close out). I think I paid less than $10 for 40 pairs. You can see them in the photo and even see the glitter!

So, the photos show my warp going on the loom from the back with the raddle in place (Peggy O does this a little differently and I might try her process next time). It also shows my completed tied on warp and glittery shoestrings!

A gadget I got, that I highly recommend is the Auto Reed Hook. This tool is a must have - though a little expensive, it is well worth it. This was the first time I had used it. That hook cut my reed threading time by 2/3rds at least. I LOVE it. If you are a weaver, put it on your Christmas list.

So today, I tied the warp on to the front beam with the shoelaces and a snitch knot a la "Warping on a Shoestring". I found it very easy to remove the knots and correct the two crossed in the reed threads, and I believe I am now ready to weave the shawl.

As a side note, two errors in the threading is the least I have ever had! I must be improving with time in the chair.

The next thing to conquer is hemstitching since the shawl is hemstitched on both ends, and you start with the hemstiching before the weaving.

I will be weaving on the shawl tomorrow!

Peggy, Faye, Kate and Marlene get busy! I want to see your progress. This is a Weave-Along, not a Weave-Alone!

Charlene, see what you have started?


Anonymous said...

Looks fantastic, Liz! Maybe I'll unfold my Baby Wolf and weave my silk scarf off so I can try this pattern!

Charlene said...

I am so glad I inspired you all to weave. Hope it all works out. Maybe you could bring the shawls next year for show and tell. I wove another one using regular rayon but it was not quite as nice.

Joanne said...

Oh, Liz, that is going to be such a gorgeous shawl. Can't wait to see the finished project. You go girl!

Jillsknit said...

OK now you've got me wanting to get my loom dressed and ready to weave. It's been lonely for many years.

Cindy said...

I love it, Liz! But I'll consider it a red-letter day if I get this silly tri-loom shawl finished and off the loom someday! Keep up the good work!

Terri said...

Looking good! The hemstitching is a snap. I tried the back to front and returned to front to back. Seemed like a lot less trouble to me but lots of people like the other. Good luck you guys on the project!