Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Denim Creation

I've been considering this weaving project for quite some time now. First I had to collect a few pairs of old jeans. Then, as I have to do my warping outside, I had to wait for a nice day. It was still a bit chilly on Sunday but the beautiful sunshine drew me outdoors even if I did have to wear fingerless gloves while warping.

Here's the loom set up on the old door and peg warping station I have improvised.

And back inside where it was warmer I got to work threading every other end into the holes in the rigid heddle, tensioning and tying on to the cloth beam. I'm using an indigo dyed cotton denim yarn.

After cutting old jeans into 1/2" strips I was off and weaving. 2 shots of the denim yarn, one of a bright orange acrylic, 2 more of the denim yarn and then a strip of the recycled denim jeans. Nice, simple tabby weave.

Of course once the loom is warped I become obsessed and weave like a mad woman. I had the whole thing woven and off the loom by the next day --- all 1.7 metres of it.


kristo said...

That looks so cool! I can't wait to see what you make with it.

dragon knitter said...

i love the orange. so reminiscent of the old jeans. i, too, can't wait to see what you do with it!

Rabbitch said...

Ooh, so nice! When I get tired of making bunny saddles and teatowels I shall look to you for further inspiration!

celia said...

That's gorgeous. I love the different blues coming through and the spots of orange. Reminds me of my first pair of jeans (blues with orange sewing). I'll be checking back to see what you make out of it.

Amy said...

I love everything you've done with your rigid heddle loom! The jeans are a great idea. Is your loom a Beka? I aquired one last fall and have only woven two projects so far. I have warped mine pretty much the same way you have done yours but I had a question about the picture after you've tied on. I see two foam type strips and wondered if they assisted in the tying on or whether they were just the first weaving to even the warp. Most rigid heddle looms I've seen don't use the plastic teeth like the Beka and I was wondering if you had any hints to help with even tension. I enjoy visiting your blog to see what you're up to. The inkle loom is tempting too!

Marlene said...

Minnie, I was thinking the same thing when I chose that yarn.

Celia, the vertical stripes are very misleading, even in person. They are not caused by varying shades of blue jeans. The cut blue jean strips are actually in the weft and lie horizontal. The vertical stripes are from the changing colours of the warp yarn.

This weaving certainly passes my old weaving instructors test that a woven fabric should be interesting both close-up and from a distance.

Yes Amy, my loom is a Beka. I bought it second hand from a guild member for only $5. I LOVE those teeth that the Beka looms have. It makes the peg warping method go so quickly.

Those strips you see in the photo are just old nylon stockings that I use in the first couple of sheds to even the warp.

My method of tensioning the warp is a little bit experience on other looms and a little bit "by guess and by golly". What seems to work for me is to take bundles of about 8 warp ends, wrap them around the cloth beam, and then tie a weavers' half knot in front of the teeth. When they are all tied on I go back across tightening any that seem looser (usually the first ones you started with). A weavers' half knot can be tightened without retying the knot. Just pull on the ends. You can detect any loose bundles by patting the taut warp gently with the palm of your hand.