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Tag Archives: weaving

Weaving a Beautiful Scarf

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!

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Posted by on January 25, 2012 in Hobbies and Arts

 

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Maggie’s Farm

Barbara givin' some well-earned love to one of her sheep.

Maggie’s Farm is a magical place, and epitomizes what I am working towards to create my own little piece of Nirvana. Friend Barbara (Maggie is the family dog) has created a modest operation supplying fresh produce to the weekly farmers market, and sheep-to-scarf wool products for purchase. Barbara and her husband raise a small herd of sheep (Lincoln x CVM), where each one is named and loved, and the flock is sheered twice a year to supply Barbara with the wool that she cleans, dyes, and spins into wonderful yarns. The yarn is available for purchase on their website, and Barbara also weaves the yarn into beautiful shawls, which are also for sale.

 

Barbara has been practicing her craft for 25 years, and several years ago she decided to take the leap and bring sheep onto the land to close the supply loop. It’s not only wonderful to visit her cute-as-heck herd, it’s also inspiring to see someone who can weave their own blankets, clothing, shawls, and more in a completely self sufficient system. And not only is her system self sufficient it also follows organic principles and standards, from the wool she supplies to the vegetables she sells at market. According to Barbara, the sheep are especially fond of the garlic she grows, and so are we at Rural Spin! It is delicious.

Check out the Maggie’s Farm website if you’re interested in purchasing one of Barbara’s beautiful shawls, or some of her yarn.

 
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Posted by on January 7, 2012 in Farm Profile

 

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