Saturday, October 22, 2016

Skelly Lends a Hand

I've been so busy lately that my new friend "Skelly" offered to lend a hand. 

This warp, which I've named "Arabian Nights", has a considerable amount of dark brown alpaca in both the warp and the weft and Skelly was happy to help spin it.

The weaving he left to me.

65" later, (not including the fringe lengths), it's time to unhitch the front of the warp and turn it -- 

-- so that the beginning warp ends can then be woven as weft. 

Once they are woven into the end of the cloth the whole thing is cut free, the ends secured with overhand knots, and then the fringe twisted.

Once the cowl was taken care of I moved onto creating the hats from the remaining warp. 36" lengths of weaving (with fringe at both ends) is woven and then the warp ends are tied together to create the tube shape of the hat and those ends are twisted. The outermost warp threads are pulled to gather the crown end into a tight closure, and the "face edge" loosely to a slightly larger than head size circumference. 

Skelly helped with the next step. 

By this point though he was complaining that I was working him to the bone. And I have to agree, knitting the ribbed bands for the hats seems more tedious and less fun than the weaving.

But it gives such a nice finish to the hats that it's a step that I endure.



Betty Sheppard said...

Marlene -- your creations are gorgeous!!! I love your combinations of colours. Betty

Gene Black said...

Nice! I am glad Skelly is helping with the tedious knitting bit.

Marlene said...

Nice to have you drop by to comment Betty! Thanks for the compliment. Appreciation from local weavers means a lot to me.

He does a great job, Gene, but he's rather slow. I end up doing most of the work myself.

steelwool said...

Lovely weaving. I think I understand the hat but do you have fringe on just the ends on the cowl or on two sides or rather one end and a side piece. I don't have a saori loom but I do have an old union rug loom, a 2 harness loom. I've done rug weaving but your weaving looks ...can't quite find the right word, fresh, exciting, less rigid, actually quite wonderful.

Marlene said...

Yes steelwool, it is woven like a 65 - 70" scarf with fringe at both ends. You leave about 32" unwoven at the beginning (this can include your tie on "waste"), then weave 65 - 75". When that is done you unroll your weaving and untie the front, bring this beginning fringe around to the side and weave the beginning warp strands in as WEFT. Of course to do this you must retension the warp. This is done by catching a FOLD of your weaving inbetween the apron rod and the cloth beam then winding that back onto the cloth to a firm weaving tension. A great deal of care must be taken at this point that you don't accidentally wrap your warp around the breast beam or you will have to cut your scarf off the loom or remove the breast beam!

You do not have to have a Saori loom to do Saori-style weaving. A 2 harness loom is perfect! And I agree, Saori weaving is exciting, not just to look at, but to weave as well. Compared to "traditional weaving" I find it far more creative, inspiring, motivating, compelling, addicting, and -- well, FUN!

I've woven far more since getting my little Saori loom than I did in all the years when I had both a large 4 shaft floor loom and an 8 shaft table loom. Although the Saori looms are wonderfully ergonomic and easy to prepare for weaving, it is the free weaving style that really pulls you in.