Totally Warped


 

My loom is all warped up and ready for weaving! I am making a baby blanket. This is my first attempt at weaving cloth wider than the width of my loom using a technique called doubleweave. I am using the technique to make cloth with a fold at one side that will open up to be twice as wide as the loom. It can also be used to make tubular cloth, double sided cloth, and other interesting things. There is information on how to do this technique available online for free, but I found that I didn’t really understand after looking at the internet resources, so I got this book by Jennifer Moore:

It gives very clear instructions and offers many attractive projects. My project does not come from the book– I got it more for the explanation.

This is what the back of the loom looks like after all of the warp threads are on and tied. By the time this is accomplished every single thread has passed individually through the weaver’s fingers several times. First each thread must be cut, then each thread goes through a single slot in a reed and through the eye of a heddle. This is tedious and sometimes frustrating work. Tangles happen, threads sometimes get crossed, or dents in the reed skipped. It takes hours to get the loom looking so ordered. But the fun part is next!

This is the front of the loom, where the cloth will be created. Actual weaving, after the warp has been set, is rhythmic and meditative. The shuttle is passed back and forth through the warp threads, which can be raised and lowered in different combinations based on how may shafts the loom has. Cloth starts to form as if by magic from what previously were unruly individual threads. Here is my shuttle, loaded with what will be the weft thread, and a hook used to draw individual threads through the heddles and the reed during the warping process:

Now the fun begins! Weaving actually goes fairly quickly. I hope to have the blanket finished in time to take to the birthing center to welcome the baby. We’ll see!

I need to give credit to the generous woman who taught me to weave and gave me my loom. She asked no monetary compensation. She just wanted to pass on the skill to another person, to keep the art of hand weaving alive. The loom she gave me would sell for many hundreds of dollars, but she passed it on free of charge. I would not have been able to purchase a loom– it is a very valuable gift. The skill of weaving that she taught me is, of course, priceless. Thank you, G.C.!

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