23
February
2006

Weaving Along

I played around with my Weavette a little more. I’m to the point where I’m able to weave the basic square without looking at the instructions. And I’ve taken it a couple steps beyond.

At first I made a handful of squares in some acrylic sport weight pastel yarn I had left over from long ago:

After making several, I thought about a way I might join them while making a new one. So I used some white yarn for contrast to see what I was doing, and joined two pastel squares on sides:

Unfortunately, as a joining technique, it was painfully slow and not all that elegant-looking. The way the Weavette works is that you simply wrap yarn around the pegs in 3 directions (vertically, horizontally, vertically) and then you weave in the last direction (horizontally), locking all the yarn in place before popping it off the loom. By joining the other squares, I had to make a stitch each time I wrapped around pegs, which slowed me down a lot.

I had also heard that if you use variegated yarn, that you end up with plaid. I decided that the sport weight stuff I’d used might have too long a color run, so I tried with a small remnant of Koigu KPPPM I had left over from Charlotte’s Web. The pink and purples stood out clearly, but I think the 2-inch square is a little too small to really see anything.

However, given the thin weight of the Koigu, I decided to try doubling it. But I’d already done the first weave, so I simply rewove again in all directions. It was a little tedious, but it looks really neat. I used up this ball of Koigu, so I’ll need to dig out another to try it the easier way of holding two at the same time.

Next I tried it with some worsted weight yarn to see how that worked and whether I could get a tighter weave with only one strand. This worsted was on the lighter side, so it’s still somewhat looser than I expected. However, it (and the double-strand Koigu) showed me the challenge of weaving without splitting strands. On a larger loom, you can offset warp threads from each other to run a shuttle through without difficulty. And switch the offset to return. With this loom, you have to use the needle/shuttle to wind over and under threads. And they naturally want to not go where you want them to. I think having a slight bend in the tip (like a Chibi needle) would help the weaving process be more accurate. I sent Buxton Brook an e-mail suggesting it.

Finally, I got thinking about how I might incorporate beads. I realized I had to add them to the yarn before I started winding. I couldn’t add them after I was weaving. So I did a little counting and a little math and I strung up a bunch of beads on some sport weight. It was definitely fussy, but had a neat result:

However, I strung one too many in one direction, so it doesn’t line up nicely at one end (the top). It’s hard to see in this photo because my camera refused to focus on the shine:

So, Julie asked me if it was fun and if she should get one. Clearly, I’m having a good time experimenting with it. I’m not sure what I’d actually do with the squares yet. I don’t think the 2-inch ones are all that useful, so I ordered a 6-inch loom today (from Spinning Wheel Yarn Shop — free shipping!). I’m sure you’ll see more photos of weaving projects here in the future.

MAILBAG
Jocelyn suggested using a toilet paper tube to wind the microfiber ribbon yarn. I’ll have to save one and try that. I was just using my handy Wool Winder and that wasn’t very happy.

23
February
2006

More Consumerism (Stitches West market, part 2)