A little bit of weaving

When I have time I enjoy a few minutes on my knitters loom, when I don’t have time it, folds up and slips behind the chair. Recently I’ve been using some lovely Jacob yarn from The Knitting Gift Shop and am quite pleased with the outcome, two delicious bedside rugs.

You can see the one on the left has not yet had the fringe finished and been blocked but I couldn’t wait any longer to show you.

I thought I would like the one with more white in best but I think the dark one is stealing my heart, how unexpected.

Armley Mills – Part 3

Having spun my wool for the Armley Mills project I next needed to weave it. I really wanted to undertake this on a loom at the mill but the only one available was in pieces and was too complicated for me.

I retreated to home and my Ashford knitters loom. the concern I had was if my yarn would stand up to the tension of the warping but I needn’t have worried. The bad news was that I warped it wrong, had to cut it off and start again. I saved all the cut pieces for the weft as I’d only spun a limited amount and couldn’t afford to waste anything.

The fact that this wasn’t the best spun yarn didn’t help with the weaving plus it was the first time I’d woven with handspun yarn. It kept sticking, it was thick and thin, I couldn’t seem to get my edges right but I didn’t worry overmuch as I knew at least one edge would be hidden by the felt.

I ensured all the ends of the cut pieces I’d used for the weft were all on the right hand side and instead of weaving them in at the end I left them hanging like a fringe. It’s not the best weaving I’ve done but I knew it would work for the final piece. Now onto printing.

My first woven scarf

We bought the loom just before Christmas and as Simon was first to start weaving I had to wait my turn. It’s a 20″ Ashford knitters loom, which is basically a rigid heddle loom that folds up. The folding up part was important to us as with two spinning wheels in the house space is at a premium.

It’s difficult to know what it will turn out like especially as how firmly you beat each row down will make a difference. There are occasions on which I’ll produce samples but when it’s just for fun I like to make a whole item. Things I learnt making this first scarf – 1) warping up was faster than I expected   2) the tension needed to be greater than expected  3) it was easier to beat the rows down using both hands to hold the reed  4) if you don’t get your tension even in the beginning you can feel the difference in the work  5) make the warps longer as you lose some length during weaving and when cutting off at the end   6) it was way quicker than I expected!!   I really liked that last learning point 🙂

It’s far from perfect but I learnt a lot, was much better at keeping my edges straight than I expected to be and the result is still beautiful and usable despite any errors. I can’t wait to have another go but I’ll have to as Simon is now on his third item. Think we both may have the bug.

First weaving

We’d been fancying trying our hand at weaving for some time. Knitting and crochet aren’t for Simon but he was quite interested in weaving and I was wanting to weave up some of my handpsun yarn.

This is Simon’s first scarf, keeping the edges straight is the hardest part but I think this is a great first attempt from Simon.

The grey and white is lovely. My turn on the loom next I hope.

Woven towers

This is another one of the pieces I’ve been working on with Water Street school in Skipton. The theme is castles and due to restrictions on where this piece will hang it’s turned out more to be towers. The pieces were woven on cards and cords made to represent mortar between the blocks. I especially like the leaves and flowers they drew to climb up the walls.

Each child chose to work in either hot or cold colours. I just need to add a few twigs to represent arrow slits and the job will be done. This hanging was created by children in year one – just 5 and 6 years old.

They may only be little

They may only be little but they’re big on talent. I’m working with Water Street Primary School in Skipton for a few weeks. Each week I work with a different class to produce a wall hanging with a  theme and a few techniques.

This first hanging has been made by children in reception class using weaving skills and the children in this class are only 4 and 5 years old. Not easy to concentrate for long periods at a time when you’re so young but they did a really great job. And the theme – seasons. We’ve used all kinds of fabrics plus paper, packaging and plastic bags etc. Everything has been donated so the cost for materials is nil.

Most of the weaving was done on cards, then we covered some cardboard shapes and the sticks at the bottom are first attempts at God’s Eye weaving. For the helpers it was fast,furious, chaotic and so much fun! I’ll try and show you photos from each class as we go along and then a grand finale at the end.

All woven up

I started this piece of weaving quite a while ago and finished it a little while ago. It has a number of stitches (is that the right word?) which give texture and I like it in the restricted colour palette,

The weaving doesn’t actually take that long but for a beginner like me weaving all the ends in seems to take ages. I’m sure as I get more practised I could weave more in as I go.

I really like this scrubby piece of branch that it hangs on. The interesting piece of organic matter comes courtesy of a friend and was actually taken from some pot pourri.

First Weaving

I’d always been put off weaving by the thought of having to warp up a loom. The whole thing just seemed so time consuming yet despite these niggles I have done a little with children and found myself being drawn to it over and over again. I mentioned this curious desire to my friend Yvonne who just happens to be an accomplished weaver (amongst many other things). Now Yvonne knows me well and knows that I don’t do straight lines – I may have mentioned this before. But then, to my delight, Yvonne informed me there was a way of getting wavy lines into weaving and a good place to start was card weaving.

I confess I’d never heard of this before but it’s exactly as it sounds. You warp up the card, which has serrated edges, and weave on that. It’s very portable and means I’ve been able to have a go at weaving whilst sitting with the rest of the family.

I think I’m quite pleased with it but there are so many mistakes! In my initial enthusiasm I persuaded Yvonne to run a workshop for myself and two friends who’re interested in knowing more and we’ll be doing just that tomorrow. I finished my sample a couple of weeks ago but didn’t get around to weaving in the ends of yarn until last night and that’s when my spirits took a tumble. As I worked on finishing it I realised more and more how imperfect it was and wondered what I was doing. After a good nights sleep I’m in a better frame of mind, can appreciate it as a sample and am now actually quite looking forward to tomorrow.

Mixed media workshop

A great day with some fabulous work produced. We incorporated rag rugging, weaving, crochet and knitting into the felt for added texture and some low relief. The youngest participant was just thirteen but she was also one of the most productive participants!

A really interesting workshop producing some interesting work I think.