Tag Archives: glimakra

Wedge Weave Weaving

I’m using my Glimakra Emilia rigid heddle loom as a stand-in tapestry loom, and it works great. The loom is a super star when it comes to tension–that thick, sturdy wood and metal pawls and ratchets make it possible. If I learn how to warp it better, I can see using this for tapestry weaving quite often. As it is, I started out perfectly with a warp wound on a warping board, but transferring over became very difficult, so I ended up snipping the ends and tying it on. My plan had been to try for a non-fringe selvedge. Oh, well… that’s how it goes.

I had started another project using greens and browns on this warp, but when I discovered wedge weave, I unwove the other project and started this. I’m now sticking with all greens, probably inspired by the ongoing WAL in Ravelry’s tapestry group. The first two months were monochromatic, and I wove a tiny tapestry in blues, but I was never happy with it. So now… greens! These are mostly needlepoint wool found at an antique store:

Greens

The warp is a four-ply Churro, and it’s spaced at about 5 epi:

Greens

The string heddles I rigged up proved to be helpful only when weaving that footer. I don’t think anyone trying something similar needs to go to the trouble if using a widely-spaced warp like this one. The day wore on, and at 10 p.m. I found myself still weaving. Wedge weave is really fun–and fast as far as a weft-faced weaving goes. Now, I’m at a difficult spot in deciding what to do with the pattern. I’d like to make the center area stand out somehow, and the easiest answer is to use a different set of greens. The hardest answer is to inset some type of tapestry design, but I’m not certain how that will work out. Best idea is to try one, and if it works, stick with it.

Night Weaving

Glimakra Freja Tapestry Loom

Did another loom join my ever-growing loom family? Well, yes.

Blocky Tapestry

The Glimakra Freja is a tapestry frame loom, best used while being held or propped on a table. I first ordered the larger size that has an 18″ weaving width, but it’s just big enough that I found I wanted a smaller loom. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I sent it back. And they turned around and sent me this one, the Freja with a 12″ weaving width.

Blocky Tapestry

Because I’m a tapestry novice and this is the only tapestry loom I own, I can’t say whether or not this would be a good choice for someone else. I can tell you that I like it. I find it to be a nice size to hold onto and weave with while sitting on the couch. I’ve also propped it on the table, and that works fine, too. (It’s probably better on my back that way.) The hooks that run on the top and bottom edges are spaced at approximately 7 per inch. This means if you warp every peg, you have a 13-14 epi sett. Every other peg is about 6-7 epi. I’m assuming this is probably a metric-sized loom, and so the spacing makes more sense when measuring with centimeters rather than inches, but it all ends up the same in the end.

There’s a tensioning bar on the top, which keeps your warp nice and tight. One feature this little loom has that’s saved me some cursing is a fitted piece of wood that covers the bottom pegs. No yarn snagging. How nice!

With this size of a loom, I’ve been using a heddle bar to keep one shed open but skipping using string heddles. I did successfully add string heddles, but I found them difficult to maneuver. If I figure out a better method to get the second shed, I’ll post about it on another day. I’ve been using a needle to weave. Along with the loom, I bought a spool of cotton seine twine to use as a warp. I think I prefer wool, but I need to spend more time weaving to figure that out.

Blocky Tapestry

I‘ve been enjoying using embroidery floss, doubled, and some startlingly bright colors. I wanted to weave something wintery, but I couldn’t quite do it. It’s March, it’s cold, it’s snowing. I know, I know! I don’t really need to weave it, too. Colorful blocks. That’s the way to go.

 

Update on Loom Holdings

Quite awhile ago, in fact nearly three years ago, I posted what I thought was an impressive list of all the little weaving and knitting looms I had accumulated up to that time. It was just about then I started becoming interested in weaving, and I was making a pretty clear switch from knitting to weaving. I still do an occasional knitting project, but most of my time is spent in weaving world. So, maybe it's time for an updated list? I think it's interesting that all of the looms from my old list could have probably been stored in one medium-sized plastic bin, but I still thought it was excessive.

Then:

  • The Knifty Knitter round loom set (four looms)
  • The Knifty Knitter flower loom and spool knitter (two looms)
  • The purple Knifty Knitter rectangle loom
  • Five 4" Square Looms: Two 4" Weave-its, One 4" Simplex loom, One 4" Hazel Rose Multiloom, One 4" Wonder Weave
  • One Weave-it Rug loom
  • One Regular Gauge hat loom
  • One 24" Homestead Hideaway triangle loom
  • Two potholder looms
  • One extra fine gauge DecorAccents oval sock loom
  • Three small flower looms

Now… (I've kept every one of those, plus added a few.)

  • Glimakra Emilia rigid heddle loom 18" (with stand, extra heddles, etc.)
  • Erica 25" rigid heddle loom
  • Kessenich 14" two harness table loom
  • Peacock 12" two harness table loom
  • Louet W30 12" eight harness table loom
  • Ashford 16" four harness table loom
  • Soon-to-arrive 7' modular triloom
  • Schacht inkle loom
  • A teeny tiny wooden rigid heddle loom called a Samuel Gabriel loom
  • Two more Weave-Its. (Why stop? They jump into my hands at antique stores.)
  • Two Authentic Knitting Boards (10" and 28") plus the extenders for weaving
  • Another Wonder Weave ($5! I bet you couldn't resist, either.)
  • A 1940's blue plastic EZEE Knitter fine gauge loom
  • A homemade wooden knitting rake
  • A homemade round hat knitting loom
  • A couple more daisy wheel flower looms
  • A backstrap loom, made by me (For the record, this is the only loom I actually made that works, and yes, it's essentially four sticks and some yarn.)

Okay, we've gone way past the medium plastic bin storage idea!

For some reason–and not just because I'm running out of room in my tiny 8'x9' office–with the recent purchase of the 7' triloom, I feel I've actually come full circle. The first looms I had an interest in were the 4" square looms and the little Wonder Weave rigid heddle loom. I then bought my first triloom. Little did I know that those simple looms would teach me the basics of weaving. From there, I let things slide, weaving-wise, until the next fall, about a year later, when I suddenly had an urge to buy a "real" loom. But first, with my inquisitive nature and with some helpful words from a Ravelry weaver, along with Laverne's fantastic series on backstrap weaving at Weavezine, I put together a backstrap loom (and chiseled my hand in the process!), and figured out lifting patterns for plain weave, weft-faced projects. It was about five months later that I bought the Emilia loom.

My looms, every one, are still portable and small enough to fold up and store on a shelf or under the desk. So, my little saying on the top of my blog, "weaving and knitting on small looms," still holds water. (Do I sound a little defiant?) And yet, I think I really started weaving because I wanted to follow the fibers visually and figure out how structure was created. If you've ever seen a triloom, you'll know the weaver walks the yarn from side to side, hooking it onto opposing nails and weaving over and under the horizontal threads that are created in the process. It's called continuous weave, where the warp and weft are woven at the same time. It's not fine weaving with silken threads, but it suits me. (And if I want to use silken threads, well, I just fire up the little Louet W30!!)

With all that said, I have two looms in the mix that will probably need new homes, the Peacock and the Kessenich. Both also need some work, but I'll post more about that in the future if I decide to wave goodbye.

Finished: Noro Scarf

noroscarf3

noroscarf2

noroscarf1

 

You’d think I’d have about a dozen scarves after weaving for about 2.5 years, but I either give them away or decide they’re not quite right. There are two I wear regularly (in the cooler weather). Now, there are three, because I’m crazy about this Noro Taiyo sock yarn scarf. Yes, using the yarn as a warp was a big challenge, but I love the end results. I wove this on the Glimakra Emilia after it started snapping under the pressure of the Ashford table loom. I doubled each end in the 8 dent heddle, often threading the “wrong” end, and so the color scheme didn’t stay true to the color changes of the yarn. I didn’t care one bit, because I was more worried about being able to weave the entire thing without snapping threads than whether or not the goofy colors matched up properly. The weft was black crochet cotton (size 10). I also used a pickup stick pattern from Jane Patrick’s The Weaver’s Idea Book. It’s on page 85,  5/1 warp float.

The warp was sticky, tangled in numerous spots, and often plain old difficult to weave. I made mistakes, too. Surprisingly, in the end, I was so pleased with the lightweight, airy scarf, I didn’t wait for it to air dry after washing it. I placed it in front of a space heater, and 20 minutes later, the scarf was ready to go.

Noro Scarf

image from www.flickr.com

That warp that had the snapping problem (individual strands of Noro sock yarn are delicate!) was transferred in a big clump from the Ashford table loom to my trusty Glimakra Emilia rigid heddle loom. The only thing that didn't go wrong was that I was smart enough to tie a knot at the top so I knew just where to put a warp stick. That's all that I did right. 🙂 But leave it to good ol' Emilia to take a mess and make it work out (knock on wood). Even though the warp is still a mess with tangled threads, I simply wound it on very gently and threaded each slot and hole with two strands using the 8 dent heddle. If one strand breaks, I'm still good to go. I'm using a pattern stick to create some warp floats. I think it shows off the pretty Noro colors a bit more than plain weave.

The weft is black crochet cotton, very thin and strong. I decided to use one of my slim poke shuttles, and it's working out great. Because it's small and nothing catches on it, it's perfect for a sticky warp. So far, I really love how this is turning out.  But I would not recommend using Noro sock yarn as a warp unless you know what you're getting into.