Saturday, May 30, 2009

My first woven project from June 2007 - mini rug

This was my first woven project from about June 2007.
Mini-rug 10"x12" hand spun wool, brown alpaca, handwoven on a loom made from a picture frame.
Actually, I bought a canvass on a stretcher frame and removed the canvass.

The wool is 3 plied using the navajo plying method. The alpaca is 2 ply using outside and inside ends from a center pull ball.

I warped it continuous warp style. The fringe occurred when I cut it off the frame. I used little string loops called string heddles and a shed stick on the loom.

After studying the Marla Mallett site and the Taos Trading Post site, I was inspired to weave the tiny rug. It was fun!

A Simple Frame For Weaving Experiments (!)

Awesome pictorial of Navajo Loom Weaving

Have a good day!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Navajo Way collides with high tech

(click picture for larger image)
I've been reading Noel Bennett's "Navajo Weaving Way" about Navajo weaving and all the work that goes into their weaving. Bennett describes how the wool is spun on a Navajo spindle made from a dowel and piece of wood.

Wonderfully low tech.

I wanted to try out the long spindle style. So I have some 36 inch by 3/8 inch diameter oak dowels that I was using to make compact disc or CD drop spindles. I take a rubber grommet that is used by electricians to run wires through the side of a metal box. I used a grommet with 3/8" ID x 5/8" OD, which fits inside the CD hole and over the 3/8" dowel. I can put two CDs in the groove around the grommet. So usually I cut the dowel to 10 or 12 inch for a drop spindle. A cup hook in the end finishes the drop spindle.

This time I did not cut the dowel, but left it 36" long, and I did not put a cup hook.

Sitting in the chair, I rolled the spindle along my thigh, just like described in the book. After a little practice of the spin and scoop move, I started a fold of carded wool on it. It started to twist and I was spinning. In a fairly short time, I had a few yards of spun wool on the spindle. Because I did not have a hook on the spindle, I used to half hitch to fix the yarn near the spindle tip.

I asked my lovely wife to snap a picture.

The spindle is imperfect. The top needs a point and the bottom needs to be rounded to spin smoother. I think 3/8 inch is very thin for this kind of spinde. The two CDs are perfectly balanced discs, but they do not have a lot of mass to keep the spindle turning.

On the other hand, the Navajo style of spinning Bennett describes is much like park and draft. I put spin into the wool and stop the spindle. Then, using my fingers I kind of follow the twist up into the fiber one inch at a time.

I have absolute control of the spin so I have no one else to blame if I don't like the yarn. I kind of like my yarn.

(edited 5/24 to include)
Please check out Rosemary Knits blog to see her Navajo spindle made from arrows and a stroller wheel.

And this link to how to use the spindle

It has also been suggested to cut down the length to 30 or 32 inch or just a few inches above the knee.

Have a good day!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The gumdrop towels

These towels were finished in January 2009.
(click on picture for larger view)

Woven on Beka 20 inch rigid heddle loom, 8 dent (threads per inch warp),
wet finished (wash & dry), hand hemmed, finished size 14 x 24 inch.

This is woven with peaches and cream cotton yarn,
the worsted yarn weight, not the heavier double worsted.

No. 1 white, I bought a 14 oz cone at Walmart about $7
No. 205 gumdrop, 2 oz ball, $1.75 ea, two balls

That should be enough for 4 towels altogether, I wove two at a
time on the loom.

It takes most of one colored ball to warp for two towels.
Here is the pattern, 128 ends wide, 8 dent heddle
8 white, 8 color, 96 white, 8 color, 8 white

I warped with about 78 inch threads, allowing 15 inch for cutoff.
Your yardage may vary.

Wet finished means after weaving and cutting off the loom, I put it
through the washer and dryer.

Here is a video that showed me how to hemstitch with the fringe.

hemstitch video by Cherri Hankins

My fringe is almost all three strand, but there is one two strand
fringe because 128 is not divisible by 3.

The pattern should work with any variegated color yarn that you
think would look good with white.

Have a good day!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

A look back to my first dishtowel

(click picture for larger view)

14 x 20 inch dishtowel, made from peaches & cream #133 Shaded Denim variegated color cotton yarn, handwoven on Erica rigid heddle loom, Sept 2008, hem is hand sewn.

The cloth feels kind of heavy because I beat the yarn (weft) pretty firmly as I wove it. Since then I learned to "place" the weft rather than beat it.

The cloth is very sturdy and is seeing regular service in our kitchen as a dishtowel, although it could be pressed into service as a place mat if needed.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Finished woven scarf

This is the latest weaving finished project.

This was woven on a frame loom using chopsticks to hold the ends for weaving. The goal was to produce a usable scarf without the usual 15 inches of warp wasted on the loom that I get with a rigid heddle loom.

This piece was supposed to be 48" by 4". I measured the warp at 48" but the warp shrank a little during weaving, so it finished at 44" long.

The weft spacing is uneven, the edges are uneven, and the ends are not terribly pretty. The weave was more warp faced than plain weave. But it showed me that I can make a scarf on a frame loom without all the waste. Now I have to learn how to make the next one pretty.

Edited to add: This was made with acrylic yarn from the Vanna White products, with tan yarn for warp and variegated tan/blue for weft.

Have a good day!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Links for Weaving Info

(4/13/08) Weaving for children. Try the notched cardboard loom ideas from These projects have a simple set up but can be fabulous!
Great ideas for little hands. It even works for grownups!

Or the paperbasket weaving

Basic weaving info

(Apr 1 2008)After studying the Marla Mallett site and the Taos Trading
Post site, I was inspired to weavea tiny rug. It was fun!

A Simple Frame For Weaving Experiments (!)

Awesome pictorial of Navajo Loom Weaving

(Mar 21 2008) The Journey Loom (USA)Small Frame Loom, very portable

(Mar 15 2008) Wayne Schmidt's Triangle Loom (USA)How to make a triangle loom and weave on it Be sure to also look at Wayne's main site for other subjects

(Mar 14 2008) Tape looms, Paddle looms, Band looms, Medieval looms and Card looms by Jonathan K Seidel

(Feb 20 2008) Meanderings/Tapetry Links Jeanne B's page of links to other tapestry sites

Have a good day!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Weaving On A Longer Chopstick Loom

I built another chopstick loom.
(* you can double click on the picture to get a larger view, then "back" to return to the blog)

We had a wooden x-frame stand from a clothes hamper. I removed the bag and cut off part of the x-frame stand. I used a couple of pieces to add height to the face of the loom.

The loom frame is about 28 inches long. I warped 48 inches of acrylic yarn. I hung it on the loom, over wrapping the 28 loom so I could get the longer length on the small loom. I'm using wooden rulers for shed sticks. The shuttle stick is from a 20 inch Erica loom which is why it is so long. The comb is a steel tined comb used for grooming angora rabbits but I'm "borrowing" it for this project.

The weave is somewhat uneven, but I hope it will tighten up after I finish it in the washer.

I'll post another picture when it is finished.

Have a good day!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Finger Weaving, Peg Looms, & Weaving Sticks

*I am gathering articles that I've posted in various places and re-posting here.
This is an article that was posted by me on forums and yahoogroups in Jan 2009,*

Finger Weaving, Peg Looms, & Weaving Sticks

I remembered seeing a website with someone making a rag rug using
something called a peg loom. I thought it was like a knitting loom.
It turns out the peg loom is actually weaving, not knitting.

Finger Weaving is more like a knitting loom. - Scroll down the page for Finger Weaving

Here's what I found after the last couple of days of searching.

(search for "peg loom" "pegloom")

There are two kinds of peg looms. Most people are familiar with looms
that have pegs or pins to put your warp on. Like the little weavette looms,
or pot holder looms, or the student type frame looms with pegs.

The other kind of pegloom has movable pegs. You weave the warp around
pegs set on a frame, the lift the peg to slide the work down the warp.
This is a larger version of the even simpler Weaving Stick method.

How to make your own peg loom (blog with links)

Good tutorial with pictures! (updated link)

WEAVING STICKS are about the simplest loom I've ever seen.
(Search for "weaving sticks")

Finniwig Studios - Stick weaving instructions

Stick Weaving For A Quick Homemade Gift

Weaving Sticks, Finger Weaving & more

Also visit their Native American crafts files!

The Craft Ark - Weaving Sticks Video!

Northwest Journal - Finger Weaving (more like weaving than knitting)

I enjoy researching primitive fiber crafts and this hunt was a lot of fun!

For other fiber links check out my web page

Edited to add other links
Northern Calif Angora Guild: Peg Loom/Weaving Sticks

Stick Weaving/Peg Loom - German site

Maple Corners

Have a good day!