Sunday, June 28, 2009

Plunging ahead with weaving

Needing to replace the ragged runners in my entrance way brought me to rug weaving. The rug shown above is only my third project, the first being a long twill sampler I did to familiarize myself with the loom I had just purchased from a friend. The second is the first rug on this same warp, shown on the front of my webpage
Essentially, I decided I needed rugs and just kind of plunged ahead. At first, I thought I could spin the warp, but soon abandoned this plan. I picked the 8/5 linen warp out from Yarn Barn samples merely because I liked it. It seemed to be the right thickness. Fortunately the weaving world is a friendly word and I was able to get advice on what to do. This is why I am weaving a warped faced rug with a 4 dents per inch. I started out with a single color weave, but my loom came with Designing and Making Handwoven Rugs by Osmal Gallinger Tod and Josephine Couch Del Deo. This is where I found the idea for the Indian Saddle Blanket motif shown above. With a flurry of activity, I spun up all the yarn and now I am deep into weaving this second rug.
There is a lot to weaving rugs and tensioning the linen warp has proven tricky. My rugs look good on the loom, but I have no idea what they will look like once cut from the loom and freed from tension. Will they be buckled or skewed? I have no idea. One thing though I do know, is that I am benefiting from having plunged ahead. I am learning a lot by just doing which I know will benefit all my future weaving.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Slowing down for better yarn

Posting my yarn on Ravelry soon had me thinking twice about daydream spinning. It wasn’t like I could pass off bobbin after bobbin of gray singles as “art yarn.” I had joined “Yarn Everyday” back in April when it opened with the challenge to spin and post a yarn everyday of that month. I had begun spinning for a weft faced rug project and all I had to show was bobbin after bobbin of utilitarian green and eventually brown yarn. I made four ply but my skeins didn’t exactly rival the bright and beautiful yarn shown by my fellow Ravelers. Seeing my basic yarns in 8 megapixels also had me paying closer attention to what I was doing.
I discovered I was spinning too fast. Considering I had about 12 pounds of fleece to go through, I guess I felt the pressure. I had to force myself to slow down to improve my yarn. And I learned something new—how to savor that production. I must say, I enjoyed spinning every foot of yarn. Above are most of the results of my efforts this spring and represent almost all of four fleeces worth of wool. I’ve already woven about two feet of the rug, and I have some bobbins of the gray waiting to be plied.