Saturday, January 24, 2009

It's a Wrap!

Or perhaps, a mat.

But in any event, my first woven piece (absolutely, positively, a "practice piece") is finished.

I cut it off the loom yesterday and began the process of tying the warp threads into itty bitty (4 strand) fringe.

Hand cramps, be damned!

I finished up the knotting this morning, took one last photo, and came here to talk about it.

You can get an idea of the color here (though it looks more than a little washed out in the flash photo. The warp is ecru crochet cotton (size 10, I think) from a leftover ball that was sitting in the "cotton bin" forever. Used the whole thing up, then called the warp Wide Enough. (I had no idea what I was weaving --or in fact, what I was doing--but it seemed a logical way to start a Practice Piece.)

The weft is some big box "dishcloth cotton" that I had on a cone. I dyed it with sassafras. You can see the process here and the finished product here.

My edges aren't even, but then I haven't done the final "finishing" (washing in hot water to even it out a bit--somewhat akin to blocking a finished knitted item).

The "float pattern" is interesting. The "floats" (the longer wefts) are pretty on the front, but the back has some long (too long?) warp threads that would be sure to catch on something if this were meant to be worn or used hard (like a blanket).

So I learned something that isn't in the book. Though looking at the photos in my book, it's kind of obvious (now that I've done it).

One last shot of what I consider to be a very pretty Practice Piece.

I am already thinking about what I will do next. It will be wool (or at least Not Cotton), that much I know. I'd like to get a feel for weaving with other fibers.

I have bunches of sock yarn that I plan to employ as warp, and I'm thinking that the 4 balls of Jaeger Roma that I bought at Smiley's to knit a scarf for the Daughter In Law might weave up nicely. It's a "sproingy" sort of yarn, Viscose, nylon, angora blend. I have 500 meters, which should make a substantial scarf (or scarf and hat). Or maybe I'll weave a wrap in mohair.

I just know that for now, I want to explore.

The Other Half asked about time. How long does it take to weave vs. knit. I could have knit a piee this size (roughly 8" X 19") in a day or two. I started this on January 4, so 20 days ago. The actual weaving took a couple of hours, but it's not especially portable (whereas knitting is usually very portable) and (at least for now), weaving (for me) is a pretty solitary occupation. I can talk, I don't need to concentrate too very much, but the place I have chosen to weave (in my "studio") isn't really set up for entertaining. There's no chair (besides mine) and no real space to put one.

I'm hoping to rectify that very soon.

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I think its very nice, first piece or not. I love woven things, and would give my eye teeth to have a loom. Would have to give up the marriage, tho. So guess I'm doomed to no weaving. LOL
Hugs, DJ in SW MI
Wow, that's not merely very pretty - it's gorgeous! I see a great future for you in weaving (and a huge demand for woven items, LOL). But don't neglect your knitting, we like to see that, too!
Wow!! It looks amazing for your first weaving project. Way to go!!!
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