A few weeks ago, I visited Avalanche Looms and came away with this locally-produced wool. The yellow was dyed with goldenrod, the blue indigo. I discovered an unused hank of red in my stash, too, which was also a local yarn, and so I put them side by side on the table and thought, “Maybe.”
For this scarf, I used a 10 dent heddle on my Ashford folding table loom, and I skipped every other slot to make it 5 dpi. Just for fun, I wove a bunch of different twill patterns and some colorful plain weave stripes. I’ll admit, when this was on the loom I wasn’t certain what to think of it, especially because, once again, I forgot that a floating selvedge can be a friend. Off the loom, washed, dried on the radiator, and with the fringes twisted, I suddenly liked it. A lot! It’s my happy January scarf, something that adds a splash of color to the wintry world.
Moral of the story is to weave with wool. It’s always fun. I really like wool. And the local flavor makes it even more delightful.
Here’s a useful, soft, and warm scarf woven out of a single ply wool called Manos Maxima. I wove it very quickly on my Ashford Sampleit over the weekend. The Sampleit has proven its worth as a portable loom as I brought it to work on Friday. Several of my coworkers knit or crochet, and now I can weave. The loom tucks into a medium-sized duffle, and I actually warped it and wove a few inches. Over the cold weekend, I finished the scarf while under a blanket on the couch. My other looms are getting jealous.
This ranks as the warmest scarf I’ve ever made. The brown and natural wool is from my amazing find at Goodwill. I’ve made three items (this scarf, the triloom blanket, and the triloom bias shawl). Believe it or not, I still have enough for one more project. The brown wool is denser and scratchier than the natural. I don’t mind, but I can’t imagine many people would seek it out.
This scarf was warped and woven in one day. I used a single warp float pickup pattern from Jane Patrick’s book. Because this is wool, I assumed it would shrink, but even in the hottest water, it only lost an inch in width. I suppose that it shrunk more with the open weave of the triloom.
The temperature is supposed to be below zero (F) this week, so maybe it’ll be woolen scarf weather, even if it’s a little scratchy.
I finished weaving the log cabin scarf in just one day. The little Ashford Sampleit is a great loom for me. It wasn’t that easy to put together because the instructions were pretty minimal. But once assembled I was able to quickly warp it using some cotton I had on hand, and I wove this cheerful blue and white scarf. The loom comes with a 7.5 dent heddle, so I’m looking through my stash for worsted to bulky weight yarns.
This loom is so tiny (18″ long by 11.5″ wide) that I do use it as a lap loom. I also bought an inexpensive duffle so I can take it along on trips. The shed is great for such a tiny loom: 1.5″. The up and down sheds both stay put. The weaving width is about 8″.
This loom has the new Ashford clicker pawl system, so you can can advance the warp easily. I dislike plastic pawls and ratchets, and these are plastic. Hopefully they’ll hold up to a lot of use, because I can see I’ll be using this loom quite a bit!
Why? Hmmm…. Can I come up with a reason?
Oh yeah! I don't have one to take to work for lunchtime weaving–doesn't everyone have lunchtime weaving?–until now.
It's on its way… a teeny tiny rigid heddle loom, brand new and from Ashford, called the SampleIt. With only an 8" weaving width, I think I can actually carry it in a small bag (like the one I bought years and years ago for knitting) and store it in a drawer. Not that I'll keep it at work all the time–I may need it for weaving while watching a movie (it fits on a lap!) or bringing along on weekend trips (too small to say nope, that's too big to tote along). Somehow, I avoided Cricket fever, even though I had come up with a list of reasons why a small rigid heddle loom was right for me. But with Christmas right around the corner, my husband bought this one for me as a gift. So, there's yet another reason–it's a gift! I have to accept it.
And so the year ends with the addition of four looms, some used, some new, some gifted: the Ashford 4 Shaft table loom (gifted), the Schacht Inkle loom (used), the modular triloom from Dewberry Ridge, and this teeny Ashford SampleIt Rigid Heddle loom. I added up all the $ spent, and was relieved to realize that all my looms (all of them, not just the 2012 looms) only add up to maybe 1/3 of a new floor loom. Whew! Still…
… it's a slippery slope!
But it may become a pillow. The cotton (I Love This Cotton from Hobby Lobby) is very soft and squishy. It would make a nice pillow, I think. This was a fun, fast project. I had a nice moment when I successfully took the warp off the warping board and transferred it to the raddle. Didn't miss a thread! After that, I didn't mind the small challenges, like forgetting to have a floating slevedge. Oh well!
Have you ever ventured into the garage to search for a piece of scrap lumber, found one, marked it up, pounded about a couple dozen nails into it, trimed off the edge with a saw, only to hear your husband say, "That was the board I was saving. It was a very expensive piece of wood." Ooops.
Oh well. I really like this homemade raddle I made in about five minutes. Yes, the nails are a bit sideways, but this very expensive piece of hardwood was just what I wanted, and I can't imagine it cost more than $49, which is what the raddle kit runs nowadays. I've promised to buy another oak board for my husband, who wasn't really all that troubled, and so it works out fine.
This warp, Noro sock yarn (Taiyo), will be tricky. It's slubby and I've heard it can snap, so I'll be careful. I'm wanting to weave a lightweight scarf using a crochet cotton weft in black and a spot Bronson weave.
A very kind relative gifted me her unused 4 Harness Ashford Folding Table Loom (16"). It was very special how it was delivered, a bright spot during a dark time. I think it's a beautiful loom, and I have an idea brewing in the back of my mind to add the treadle stand to it, making it a little floor loom. She also gave me a warping board, which I put to use this weekend. I've always thought Ashford table looms were very cleverly designed, and I love how tidy and portable it is folded down flat. I've also watched and recommended to many people the three Ashford "warping your table loom" tutorials, which were done using this model. Now I have one. 🙂
Isn't it pretty? Of course, the kitty agrees.
The Ashford loom company has some wonderful how-to videos on warping a multi-harness table loom. There are three sections: one on winding the warp, the second on transfering it to the loom and using a raddle, and the third on sleying and tying on. I picked up a ton of great tips by watching them.
So, the question is, why would I be watching tutorials on multi-harness table looms? Hmmmm…
Stay tuned for the answer! (And if you're trying to guess, the answer is not an Ashford… )
In the meantime, enjoy these videos:
- Winding the Warp: http://www.ashford.co.nz/newsite/tutorials/video-tutorial-winding-a-warp
- How to Put a Warp on Your Table Loom, Part 1: http://www.ashford.co.nz/newsite/site-pages/video-tutorial-how-to-put-a-warp-on-your-table-loom
- How to Put a Warp on Your Table Loom, Part 2: http://www.ashford.co.nz/newsite/site-pages/video-tutorial-how-to-put-a-warp-on-your-table-loom-part-2