Swiftly, Swiftly

August 26th, 2021 No comments

Turning skeins of yarn into something manageable requires something other than willing hands. A yarn swift is the answer, but many are huge, expensive, and bulky to store. This one isn’t!

The Woolery says this swift is Amish-designed; it’s branded “ChiaoGoo”. You can see that it breaks down very compactly, which makes it perfect for weavers like me who have infrequent need of a swift. Read more…

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Paper Towel Update

August 20th, 2021 No comments

So I finished weaving the paper towels, but I’m unsatisfied. I don’t think they’re going to work in any way as paper towels.

Untreated, just off the loom.

This is partly because I chose to make the cotton swathes broad enough that the textures — the paper Shosenshi and the cotton fiber — are too disparate to work well together when used in this way; they absorb differently, and they’re a little difficult to handle.

Read more…

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Weaving Paper Towels — Part Two

August 12th, 2021 No comments

With all the prep finished for the paper towel project described in Part One, I began to weave.

The tape measure is looped, and attached, to the loom,
at the right to keep it from pulling at the selvedge,
and the clips are attached about a quarter inch (.6 cm) in,
for the same reason.

As I was reluctant to cut the Shosenshi paper fibre, I hadn’t done any sample weaving. This was less disastrous than it might otherwise have been, since making towels in plain weave isn’t necessarily precision work. Read more…

Categories: Kromski Harp Forte, Other Tags:

A Word About Sourcing

July 15th, 2021 No comments

Part Two of Weaving Paper towels isn’t ready yet, so here’s a little something for intermission.

When I first started to weave, I wanted yarns to play with that wouldn’t destroy my budget, and that I could buy in sufficient quantity that I wouldn’t worry about using them up wastefully as I learned. Now I’m a lot more likely to choose a project, and then look for the yarn, but as a new rigid heddle weaver it was more useful to have several kinds/colors/types of yarns around. I felt freer to experiment, and could focus more on the weaving, instead of the end project.

These are the kinds and sources of fibers I began with: Read more…

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Weaving Paper Towels — Part One

July 8th, 2021 No comments

Tom Knisley, noted weaver, wrote an article for the March/April 2021 issue of Handwoven magazine, describing his experience weaving with paper.

I’m unconvinced that this makes any sense at all — for one thing, it’s expensive! — but, like Tom, once I knew the project existed, I had to try it. How could I not want to weave paper towels? Read more…

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July 1st, 2021 No comments

No, it’s not the fine art of scoffing chocolates on the divan — it’s using a cord/yarn/thread to edge or decorate fabric.

Using a special foot, the cord is set along the edge, and zigzagged in place.

Read more…

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Fringe Twister

June 24th, 2021 No comments

I’m not a fan of fringe, but I like to learn how to do new things, and I had a project in mind that really needed a longish twisted fringe. I also suspected that I might want to make drawstrings or cords in the future, so I ordered a fringe twister made by Fiber Artist Supply Company.

Image from Fiber Arts Supply Co.

This turned out to be an excellent choice.

Read more…

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Kromski Harp Forte

June 17th, 2021 2 comments

I love my Cricket and SampleIt rigid heddle looms, but I wanted to weave wider cloth.

When I saw this 30 inch (76 cm) Kromski Loom set up at Red Stone Glen on a festive day, I couldn’t resist. Read more…

Categories: Kromski, Kromski Harp Forte, Looms Tags:

SampleIt Loom

June 10th, 2021 No comments

This is a quick “catch-up” post to note the acquisition of my Ashford SampleIt loom, now quite some time ago.

It’s a really convenient little loom for testing new types of weaving, experimenting with different yarns, and so on, when warping a wider loom isn’t ideal. Assembly was no problem at all, and the instructions were very clear.

I finished this loom with Williamsville Wax, a beeswax-based preparation. I’ve been very happy with it, and it’s not nearly as agonizing to use as Tung Oil.

Pros for this cute little loom are its portability, its built-in double heddle blocks (!), and its apparent sturdiness. It’s really easy to warp and cart all around! It’s also the one loom which may not tempt you to buy a stand, since it’s quite easy to handle on its own.

Cons potentially include the knobs, which may be difficult for those with hand issues to turn — I strongly prefer the “peg” style on my Cricket and Kromski — but the knobs may not be as much of an issue when projects are smaller, as they generally would be with the SampleIt.

Also, a big “con” for me are those horrible plastic straps for the warp stick ties. I really dislike the inflexibility, and, worse, don’t believe for one minute that these will stand the test of time. Why use plastic when you can use cord? And can I complain about the ugly gray color of all the plastic bits? Why not a soft brown, which would at least be pretending to go along with that lovely wood?

In general I’m not wild about all the plastic on this loom — I’d always prefer wood. Weaving is a tactile experience, and natural materials part of the pleasure. Plastic really isn’t any kind of pleasure, either to touch or to look at, although your mileage may vary, of course. And plastic is forever in all the wrong ways, where wood eventually decays if left out to do so.

Categories: Little Looms, SampleIt Tags:

Tools for a Larger Rigid Heddle Loom

June 3rd, 2021 No comments

These aren’t accessories sold by Kromski, the maker of my largest rigid heddle loom, but those I’ve found helpful when weaving on my wide rigid heddle loom. It turns out that the challenges offered by a super-wide loom are a little different, and the habits I’d developed when using my smaller looms didn’t necessarily translate.

When warping my Cricket or Sampleit looms, I typically used a standard spool holder, or, occasionally, a deep metal mixing bowl. For smaller, quicker warps these solutions were not ideal, but worked adequately.

Read more…

Categories: Accessories, Kromski Harp Forte, Tools Tags: