Tag: backstrap weaving

The long, long warp

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  • image from www.flickr.com
  • image from www.flickr.com
  • image from www.flickr.com
image from www.flickr.com

Have you ever seen the 1953 movie, "The Long, Long Trailer" starring Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz? You haven't? Well, why not? It's a charming story about a newlywed couple driving their way across America towing, you guessed it, a long, long trailer. The anxiety it causes smacks of real life, somehow, and even with the stereotypical roles, I find the movie funny, sweet, and worthy of re-watching.

So, why am I recommending a movie instead of writing about weaving? Because, part of "The Long, Long Trailer" revolves around the problems dealing with a very long and complicated trailer… and somehow I've created a very long and complicated warp. It's bothering me. I mean, it's like nine feet long! And this is on a backstrap loom!

I don't know what got into me. I have this old acrylic Red Heart that I've used for a few small projects, but I'm starting to think it's cursed. Everything I try to make out of it fails, so I can't explain why I kept on warping my 10" Beka 8 dent rigid heddle with this long, long acrylic warp. I just kept on warping! And I didn't even have a project in mind. I just wanted to weave.

So, now I'm stuck. I have a few feet finished with multiple color changes and some really lovely, bumpy edges (yes, that's sarcasm), but due to my newness with weaving and using a rigid heddle, I've found it easier to roll up the entire thing and leave it where it all started, firmly attached to the radiator. Once I unroll it again and start weaving, well, it'll turn into the movie for me… "Always think of the trailer as a train behind you… Forty feet of train!"

Okay, so maybe you need to watch the movie to understand what I've gotten myself into. And if you do watch the movie, think of me during the scene where they slowly and painfully drive their way up a twisting and turning mountain road. We'll see if I make it down the other side in one piece.

Dead of winter

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During this quiet time of winter, I've been spending much of my time doing things other than knitting or weaving, but I still have a few projects to blog about. Coming soon: the story of "The Long, Long Warp," and exciting pictures of onion skin dyed socks. (They're orange.) Stay tuned!

Merry Christmas!

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Backstrapmat2
Backstrapmat1
Backstrapmat3

The big snowstorm turned into freezing rain, then slush, and now plain o'l rain. It's a slushy Christmas, but it's Christmas nonetheless. The weather kept us indoors, and I finally had time to play with my new 8 dent rigid heddle, my new shuttle, and my backstrap loom.

I don't keep a lot of yarn on hand. I tend to buy it only with a project in mind. I don't have a complete skein of anything (except some old Red Heart and Homespun), so I scrounged some Sugar and Cream cotton and warped the loom. I had just enough for about 30". It was fun and a little frustrating, too. Then, I found some slubby cotton I had tucked into a basket, and used that light green for the weft.

I have trouble with pulling the weft too tight, but other than the occassional bumpy edge, I'm very pleased with this little mat, just right for the snow globe. Using the rigid heddle is great fun, and I'm getting closer toward a balanced weave. Next, I would like to do a longer project with the 10 dent heddle, so when the stores open back up, I'll probably be there scouting out some sport or worsted weight yarn for a scarf.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Christmas + three year blogiversary

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Christmas2009a
Christmas2009b
Rigidheddle

Happy blogiversary to me! It's been three years since I first looped yarn around a knitting loom peg and discovered I liked it and wanted to blog about it. There have been lulls in knitting, and I've ventured into other fiber arts, but I still like my little blog and will continue to write about my successes and failures.

Speaking of other fiber arts, I received part of my Christmas present yesterday, all items chosen for backstrap-looming fun and ordered from The Woolery just a few days ago:

~ 8 dent Beka 10" rigid heddle

~ 10 dent Beka 10" rigid heddle

~ Three shuttles: a Kromski (also acts as a beater with its sloped edges), a Beka, and a Beka belt shuttle (with a beater on one edge)

I did make my own rigid heddle out of popsicle sticks (the bottom photo), but after a bit of experimenting, I realize it's meant for weft-faced projects with strong warping thread, like jute. The rough edges will fray any other type of warp. I was using alpaca here and it didn't do very well. My finer Beka heddles can be used for balanced weaving–hopefully! I'm very excited about the shuttles, too, since I've been using a piece of cardboard with my projects so far.

Please note that in the post below, I added Laverne Waddington's new blog on backstrap weaving. Hooray!