Here we go again, Lessons learned – 1/2/2020

I am a relatively new weaver. Having used a rigid heddle loom briefly a couple of years ago, one that I had help warping. Getting a 5′ Tri loom in 2018 and weaving a few shawls and wraps on it. Borrowing a small rigid heddle loom for a 4th grade demonstration event on spinning, weaving, and colonial clothing in early December, I wove off the small amount of warp on it, warped it myself, used it and wove off the remainder of the warp after the event. For Christmas, I was given a 16″ rigid heddle loom and the announcement of another expected grandchild.

Christmas night, after waxing and assembling it, I warped that loom following my memory with guidance from the booklet that came with it and wove the sampler wrap pattern in that booklet. I felt like I had the confidence to tackle a cotton woven baby blanket. I had only woven wool, wool/acrylic blend up to that point. The cotton was purchased after Christmas and again I warped the loom, using white warp. The weft that was purchased was variegated and about 6 inches into the weave, I realized that the variegated yarn wasn’t strong enough color and the blanket would have looked washed out. Back out the next day to pick up a dark solid from the colors in the variegate and a plan to make the blanket color blocked. As the panels from the 16 inch loom aren’t wide enough alone, the plan and warp was to make 3 panels to be sewn together, hemmed and a crochet edge applied. The weaving was progressing much more quickly than I thought it would and I was marking every 6 inches, checking off my sketch. I was on the last panel and put it aside to go to the New Year’s Eve party at Mountain Lake. Yesterday, I pulled the loom table over to finish the weaving and realized I had a fair amount of warp left. Not wanting to waste it, I put a spacer in and wove a 12 X 12″ wash cloth. Carefully cut everything off the loom and carried it in to the sewing machine to secure the ends before I cut the panels apart, layed it out on the ironing board to cut it and DRAT, I made one panel one color block too short, that is 9 inches. I was disappointed that I had made such an error, but the 12 by 24″ panel will make a small towel to go with the wash cloth. But that meant the loom had to be warped again to weave the final panel.

Since I had to go through the steps again (I’m getting quicker at it and more efficient), I warped enough to make a second towel while I’m at it.

Lessons learned: 1) I don’t like weaving cotton very much; 2) make sure your pattern is accurate and pay more attention to it; 3) practice improves.

Since the loom was requested to take some of the burden off my joints from knitting, to add some different styles of garments and accessories to my shop, and to make some gifts, I guess the extra weaving gives me a head start. I need to get lining fabric and rope or twill to make bags/purses out of some of the earlier wool weaving and finish this blanket, SOON!

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