I decided to learn how to weave on a whim. No one in my family had ever woven anything and, while I have one sister who is a wonderful crochet artist, no one in my family is particularly into traditional arts like I am. Basically, I just woke up one day and decided I wanted to take a weaving class at a local yarn shop in downtown Lawrence, Kansas (visit the Yarn Barn‘s website!)
After that first class, I quickly took another and was officially hooked. I loved everything about weaving: the fibers, the process, the tedium, the planning and dreaming, the weaving, and the resulting textiles. I started scouring the internet for a used loom and soon scored a used LeClerc Nilus II 45″ loom on Craig’s List. I couldn’t really afford the loom at the time, but it was a great price for such a great loom, which will last a lifetime, and I’ve been weaving ever since.
Here’s a project I wove for my mother for a Christmas present this past year. If you’re not familiar with weaving, this will give you a basic “lay of the land” as to process, and maybe have you seeking out local weaving classes in your area (and no, you don’t need to own such a large loom to weave great things)!
The first step (after you plan your project) is to measure your warp on a warping board. The warp is the vertical threads that will be loaded onto your loom.
After you measure your warp, you transfer it to the loom and start loading your loom by pulling each thread through a slit in the reed. Loading the loom can take longer than actually weaving your project.
After the threads are pulled through the reed, the warp is then threaded through individual heddles.
Yep, one thread per heddle...like threading lots of individual needles. If you do not enjoy tedium, you will find weaving difficult since much of your time will be spent doing this.
After the warp is all threaded into the heddles it is tied off to keep the yarn from tangling!
After the warp is loaded onto the loom, you attach the warp at the loom's front and back beam to secure it. Here the warp is all wound onto the back beam of the loom.
Finally, it's time to weave by throwing the shuttle, which contains your weft (horizontal) threads.
Tamping the threads with the beater and reed.
A basic weave pattern is the strongest weave. The more intricate you get with your patterns, the more delicate the fabric becomes. But it's fun to play with yarn color!
Looking closely at the threads is very rewarding!
The finished scarf is a beautiful (and very warm) thing!