Tuesday, December 29, 2009

onto the HD

HD does not stand for High Definition in this house! It's stands for Harrisville Designs, the name of my new floor loom. As Harrisville Designs is quite a long name and I don't feel like typing it over and over, it will, from this point on, be called HD.

Today I finished my Christmas table runner. It is much shorter than I would have liked. If I had had two rolls of this yarn instead of one, it would have been a perfect length. As it is, it is pretty and sitting on my dining table with a single candle in the middle of it. My 6 year old daughter asked what a table runner was for. I told it her it is to make the table look pretty and is very nice with candles on top of it. She put on the runner a candle holder she made at school and gave to me for Christmas. It looks very pretty. I'll get a picture of it tomorrow.

So, with that finished, I decided it is time to test out the HD. It was quite late this evening when I pulled out the warping board. I got about 100 warp threads on it right now. It isn't much, and it isn't long, but it will be enough for me to play with the HD and learn how to use it. I can't wait. My first project, when I'm ready will be curtains.

We'll see how long it takes me to thread the HD the first time.....

Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas weave

I've been working on a pretty weave on my Dorothy. With all the kids home for the holidays, I don't get much time for weaving.

This is what the underside looks like:This is the topside of the loom.

What is it? I'm not sure. I think I will weave until I run out of warp. If it is long enough, it will make a very nice table runner that I can use next Christmas.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

My floor loom!

I've got a floor loom and I'm so very excited. Six months ago I was just figuring out how to work my Inkle loom and now, I've got a 36in floor loom! It's put together, but the gal I bought it from must have had the thing stored in a hot, humid place because of few of the boards are a bit warped. It's not too bad, thank goodness, but I won't be able to weave until I take care of those warped areas.

It's a Harrisville, 4 harness, 4 treadle loom. I've never used a foot treadle before. Now I just need lots of yarn!
My dad was here for the holidays. He brought me my loom from where I had bought it. He was pretty annoyed at the loom having to transport it. He thought I was crazy, but over three days he really got to liking my looms and weaving. He said he will build me a triangle loom and an new nicer Inkle loom. He has already commissioned me for a few projects.

I need thread! Big time!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

I've been busy and haven't been able to weave much. I've got my Dorothy out and I have been weaving plastic bags again. Unfortunaly, my one year old got ahold of some scissors and cut a hole in my warp. I had to take what was done off the loom, and re-thread. Thankfully there wasn't too much to re-thread. I learned my lesson with my one year old though.

Friday, November 13, 2009

on the Inkle - Woven Christmas ornaments

I've been working on the Inkle a lot lately for a project. Getting ready for Christmas! I've been enjoying using a red, green and white yarn.

They are little Christmas ornaments! Mini rugs. I've had a hard time deciding how to finish them. They are so small that to knot the ends of each doesn't really work. It's too bulky looking to me. So, I've been using a large needle to hand sew a little seam on either end of the rug. It works well and looks OK. I'm not the greatest at this, but like everything having to do with weaving, I'm learning.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

cute purse and new scarf

I made a new scarf using some yarn I bought. I really don't know why I got this yarn, I don't like the colors much, but there is it. It is about 5 feet long and very soft. Here is a picture of the colors, white, tan and yellow. The scarf:

With the left over warp, I used some super cute yarn I got from the Dollar Tree. It is pink, hot pink and purple. I made a little purse for my 5 year old daughter. She loves it! The bag itself is only as big as my hand, so it's quite small, but it's perfect for a 5 year old's stuff.
I love the things I can make with a loom! My next projects will be on my inkle loom and I'll be puting the Dorothy away for a little while.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Wool, finished product

It took a long time to get the camera working again. First it was wet and then the cord to recharge it got lost. However, after many delays, I have a picture of the wool weaving I made. Thanks again to my good friend for the opportunity to weave with wool. I'll be making this into a bag for her to have. I just need to find a good material for the bag handle.

Ta Da! The colors are great, are they not?

The reds, the blues, the greens, the purples and even a little yellow. It's so much prettier in person.

Weaving with plastic

I saw this on another weaving blog and it looked like great fun - weaving with plastic!

I had to try it. I had a little warp left on my loom so, I got some plastic Albertson's bags and the scissors. I cut the bottom off and then the handles, which left me with a plastic tube. Then, I started at the bottom and started cutting one long, continuous strip. It was about an inch wide. When I had cut the entire bag, I took the strip and wound it around my stick shuttle. Then, I wove it through the warp on the loom. I was very pleased with the way it worked and the way it looked. Most of the strip was white, but there were dark blue sections where the store's name and logo were printed on the bag.

I loved the effect! It took 7-8 bags to get this:
Here I have already sewn it into a bag. Don't you love the white and blue? Aren't the tassels too cute? OK, so, I've created a shopping bag that is waterproof out of grocery sacks. What a way to recycle and what a great free material for my loom. I'll be doing this again in the future. I'm on the look out for different colored plastic sacks now.

Monday, October 12, 2009

no weaving

I haven't done any weaving lately. This last week was so crazy and this coming week will be crazier! I hope to sit down a little this week and weave. I've missed it.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Weaving with wool

I wove the entire skien of wool today. What fun! It was filled with beautiful colors - blues, greens, brown, pink, purple, and yellow. It turned out so pretty. Unfortunatly, my one year old threw my camera into a sink and turned the water on over it. My camera isn't working at the moment. I'm hoping that when it dries, it will work again.

I have plans for this section of cloth I made today. It is 26 inches long. When I can, I'll get photos up.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

A fun gift

My good friend, Rebecca, showed up at my house yesterday to drop off her son to play with my son. She had in her hand a skien of hand-spun wool yarn she picked up at the local fair for me. I was so excited! I've never used wool yarn, much less hand-spun yarn. The colors are pretty. It's kind of like a tie-dyed shirt. It starts out grey, and turns blue, then green, they gray, then pink and so on with those colors. They are dark, subdued colors, very pretty.

I put the entire skien on my warping board and I started to wind it around my stick shuttle. My loom is warped with the pretty grey cotton that I've been using. Colorwise, it works perfectly! I'll start weaving with it tomorrow. I can't wait to see how it works out.

Thanks Rebecca, this yarn is a most beautiful and fun gift!

productive weekend

I've gotten some good weaving in this weekend. I'm getting better! I was using the zig-zag pattern and realized that unless I'm really concentrating, I get lost in the pattern and forget which way I'm going and where I am in the pattern. That being so, my latest projects have some funny zig-zags going on, but it looks ok and fun anyway.

I made two of these things. They are about the size of a place mat - 11 1/4 inches by 15 inches. I used the same pattern on these, but reversed the colors. The first one I made had a dark blue edge and off-white middle. The one I did today has the off-white edge and dark blue middle.

What are they? I don't know. I suppose they can be place mats or dish towels. Knowing what I'm weaving and why I'm weaving something is becoming more important now. While I'm still learning to weave, I'm more comfortable in what I'm doing and am capable of producing more than practice pieces. I really don't know what I can do now, but what I would like to do are 4 place mats, 4 napkins and one table runner to be sold as a set, after I make myself a set that is. :)

Thursday, September 24, 2009

project update

I finished the little dishtowel sized cloth I was weaving. As you can see, at the top, I was playing around with different patterns before I finally decided on one that worked well. It most certainly isn't the prettiest thing ever woven. You can see on the left side of the cloth how much thicker the blue edge is before the off-white and how on the right side it doesn't match. That is where I ran out of room due to all the extra heddles. This next picture is of the project I started this afternoon. I'm using the blue in a "tubular" twill, as my book calls it. That particular pattern makes a very dark, thick weave and it is excellent as a border. Then I began using the off-white in a "left twill" pattern and then reversing it, giving it the zig-zag appearance.

I believe this project will go better because I decided early on what I wanted to do and didn't play around with it. I like the way this one is turning out. Perhaps if I do a good job, I can make placemats out of them....


Crafts and hobbies are dangerous to the pocket book! There are many hobbies I have avoided for just this reason. You always need just one more thing, one more color, one more sticker, one more something.

I'm finding weaving to be the same. I check Craig's List constantly for various things for the house. Craig's List is how I found my Dorothy loom. She is usually $500-600. I got her from an estate sale that I found on Craig's List for $65! What a deal, right?

So, recently a floor loom appeared on Craig's List. Oh, how I want a floor loom. It's a $3000 loom, and the lady is selling it for $1200. That's more than half the price. Still, I would have to take out a loan for that. Someday I'll get my floor loom. Someday.....

Still, I'm working on my latest project of the lovely blue and grey, but I'm already thinking how I need some different color yarn. Oh hobby bug, how you have bitten me!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

on the loom

I started a new project on my Dorothy with some of the cotton yarn I bought earlier in the month. The warp is made of a grey 8/2 cotton and a peachy/off white textured cotton. The weft is a much thinner denim blue 10/2 Astra. It's pretty obvious how much of a beginner I am, but considering this has all been self taught, I think I'm doing alright.

On my warping board, I carefully counted out what I wanted of the two colors. I'm glad I went with a smaller amount of the white. It is very delicate and breaks easily. It will make a better weft thread than warp. After getting my threads off the warping board, I began the tedious job of threading it through the heddles. I'm quite slow at this, but getting better. I really need some help with this job. Although I get it done, it is slow and sloppy.

I planned on using around 180 threads on the four shafts, and threaded 24 of the grey, 12 white, and then a wide patch of grey before ending on the other side with 12 white and 24 more grey. Well, I made it to the last 12 white and ran out of room with all the extra 200+ heddles on the loom that I'm not using. I managed to fit 12 grey, but not the 24, which would have made a matching edge to the other side. So, this ended up being an approximately 164 thread project instead of 176. It really makes a difference.

Oh well, live and learn.

I like the way the grey, off white and blue look together. The weaving is going well, but since the blue is so thin, I can't hand wind it onto the spindle. I've been putting the spindle on our power drill, but it's pretty unstable and I end up with really uneven tension on the spindle. It's also a two person job to wind it that way.

Anyway, I'm having fun. I'm going to make this particular project a little longer and cut it off. I'll see how it works as a dish towel. I would love some red, green or gold thread right now. I would like to make some things for Christmas, but I can't justify spending any more money right now.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


My scarf that I finished on Sunday. It is so pretty. I found the yarn at the Dollar Tree and paid $5 for all of the yarn I needed. I was shocked when, a day after I bought the yarn, I was at JoAnne Fabrics and saw the same yard selling for $5.99 each. That would have cost me $30 at JoAnne's. Thank goodness for Dollar Tree!

The colors are just beautiful. It is as long as I am tall, so it is 5 feet, 6 inches in length. Long enough for a scarf. I really had no idea how long it was getting, I just kept weaving. I don't know how to measure things once I start weaving. I guess I'll need to learn to do that.

I'm learning my Dorothy and I'm glad that my warping job for this scarf worked out perfectly. Let's hope that all warping in the future works out just as well.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

new project

I've got a nice table top loom that I've only used once. It took me three days to warp the board. I used almost all 400 of my heddles. Some parts didn't work so well, I couldn't get the tension right and while it was fun to use, I was very frustrated that the sheds didn't open up properly. There were always 5 or so threads that would get tangled and I couldn't figure out how to undo it. So, I made it my ugly practice weave.

After that, I had a hard time getting excited to do anything again on the Dorothy (name of the type of loom). The loom sat on a table in my living room looking empty and ignored. I finally moved it out of the living room and worked on some Inkle projects.

Then, over the weekend, I decided to give the Dorothy another try. I built a real warping board and I read detailed instructions on removing the thread from the board and putting it onto the loom. I was very concerned with tension issues again, but the instructions looked easy enough. I'm only using about 1/4 of the heddles this time. So, it makes it a very small project, but I have been so pleased. Either because I'm using such a small number of warp or because of the good instructions I followed, or both, things have been going much better.

It only took me a few hours in the afternoon to warp the loom. I know that is still a long time, but I'm new. The tension is much better and I was so excited to see the shafts open cleanly with no snags.

Unfortunately, I don't have much thread. The warp is black and my weft is red and white. I'm trying out different patterns using the shafts and have been so happy to see the patterns forming in my weave. I'll get a picture of it soon. I have no idea what I'll be doing with this little projects. It's width would make a nice children's scarf, so that is what it might become.

Today, I'm a very happy weaver.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Using the Inkle

The Inkle loom, which you can see pictured to the left of the screen here, is used to make bands. Depending on how many dowel are on the loom will determine how long the warp will be. Mine is fairly small and will make something a couple of yards long. I built my loom by myself from looking at pictures in a book. It isn't the prettiest loom and it has a few issues with the tension, but I really like it. So far, I've made belts and head bands with with the bands I've woven. I have some ideas for other projects, and I'm working on a technique called pick up weaving. It isn't going so well at the moment. I'll keep working on it.....

This brown belt is made from regular yarn. The yarn is the type that changes color within itself. I was very pleased with the patterns it made on the Inkle loom.

This yarn is quite fun and fuzzy. It is white with silver. I was playing around with the loom and wondered how this yard would come out. I like the end result. It isn't as fuzzy once woven, but it makes a much softer band than regular yarn.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

2nd Weaving

Mid May
After adding a few more nails to my loom, I was able to thread more warp and I attempted a tapestry type weave. I was starting this in May with the idea that Independence Day would be here in 6 weeks, I went with a patriotic theme. It wasn't pretty, but I learned a lot. It was also just plain fun to do. My husband didn't like it much, but I was proud of what I had created.

My First Loom

This was my first "loom" I built.
I started weaving with 6 cards and using the backstrap method. That is where you tie one end of the strings to something sturdy, the kitchen table in my case, and the other end of the strings to you, with it wrapped around your back. Hence - backstrap. I didn't like that much. With small children around, if one of them needed me, I couldn't hop up and take care of them when my weaving is attached to me. I needed a loom.

I came up with this dandy idea and Hubby built it for me. It keeps the warp (see the glossary on the left side of the blog) nice and tight without it being attached to me.

I made my sister a 4th of July belt. It wasn't the prettiest thing ever seen, but for my first weaving attempt, I was pleased and my sister humored me by wearing it on the 4th of July. She even wore it in public!

Saturday, August 8, 2009


Welcome to my weaving blog. I hope to keep a journal of writing and pictures of my looms and my weaving projects. I'm quite new to this and I hope that I will learn plenty and improve with each pass of the shuttle.