Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Weaving Part Two

Day Two-

Let me start this entry with an apology. These are probably the worst photos I've ever taken. I can make a lot of excuses. I'm participating, not photographing, the light was less than ideal, I don't have the energy to try to fix them with Photoshop, whatever. Please just understand that I'm completely aware of the poor quality of these shots.

Nuff said.

Boy are we tired!

As I said in my previous blog, we spent yesterday learning terms, winding warp, picking colors, etc.

Today we came in and the first thing we did was to learn how to wind the warp onto the loom. Here's a photo of yesterdays work, where we tied the warp onto the loom. The green is the warp we wound, the other colors are the dummy warp we tied on to.
Confused yet? Join the club.

The warp on a rug or blanket is the wool that you don't see, but what holds the whole thing together. Today we worked with the gazillion feet of warp we wound yesterday.
See how tangled it is?
There's something like forty feet of it!

Here's where we start to untangle it
so we can roll it on to the loom.

See how it's starting
to come together?

Now it's beginning to look like it should.

All of that was just a learning process, something we all did together so we would could understand how the whole thing worked.

The looms we would be using were already wound with the warp.

Since Terry and I are making blankets, our warp is much finer than those who are making rugs. Our yarn is also much finer, so we'll have to work quick!

Here's my loom.

When we came to the class, the warp was already wound on to the loom, but I had to count the threads of warp and tie them off. You start in the middle (there is a marker) and work outwards, first one side then the other, tying off every twelve strings with a hitch knot.

Then we tighten them and weave in rag strips to bring the warp into an even pattern.

While we were doing this,
Sophia (our instructor)
was winding bobbins
so we could start weaving.
And here's a picture of our friend Mike.

He works at Ghost Ranch, but has been volunteering, restoring circa 1800s adobes in the area (another blog entirely). Today, he came by to see how we were progressing on our blankets.

Do you think he left much adobe on the building?

Okay, back to weaving, here's where we ended the day. There are five of us in the class, and I'll try to show our progress as the week continues. I need to apologize to Margaret, somehow, I didn't get a shot of her rug, but will be sure to get one tomorrow.

This is Carol's rug.
She's woven before,
so she's doing a fancier pattern
than us beginners.
Here's Lisa's rug.
She's another experienced weaver.
Here's Terry's rug.
It's kind of hard to see
because he started with black,
but it looks wonderful!
And finally,
here's what I've accomplished so far.
I see all kinds of things wrong. For instance, the warp looks too tight, but I've been assured that when we take it off the loom and block it, it will flatten out.

I'm also unsure of my colors, but the die (dye?) is cast.

I can say that it is a lot more physical labor than I ever imagined. You stand on one shuttle (or something, I'm too tired to look up the correct term), and move the loom up and down, using your arms to push the bobbins back and forth through the warp.

It sounds easy, but it is a lot of work! I understand that after a while, my body will understand the movement involved, but like so many things in life, it's a real learning experience.

If I sound down, I don't mean to, I'm just tired. We're really excited and are just now beginning to believe that we might have blankets at the end of the week!

Another report and more pictures tomorrow.


Jonna said...

They look gorgeous, both of them. You're doing it!!

Suzanne LD Wannabe said...

They're absolutely beautiful. I can hardly wait to see the finished products. Thanks for the really informative post. It makes you appreciate the construction as well as the pure beauty of them.

photowannabe said...

Can't wait to see your final product. The blankets will be beautiful and so special. I'm glad you have the "Freedom" to do so many things.

Linda said...


I think they look awesome! I love the comment you made about being free! We envy you and Terry on the free time you have to enjoy yourselves! You're living the good life.

Mando & Linda