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High Fiber—Sleying the Mighty Reed And Other Adventures

Wednesday, Deanna, my weaving teacher, came to my house to help me set up my loom and give me a lesson.

Here she is showing me how she picks up four separate threads in order as they come out of the heddles and keeps them straight as she threads them through the dents in the reed, (sleying the reed). The reed is to the left in the photo. It holds all of the warp threads in order. It was a great class, and she had me weaving by the time she left. She showed me what to do, then had me do it while she critiqued my efforts. She's much faster than I am, so she did some of it for me.
 The only part I find tedious is winding the bobbins, but DH rigged up his power drill with a dowel so I could use it to wind bobbins. 
I finished my practice piece Thursday night and took it off the loom. It will make a nice towel, I think. I was going to use the same warp to continue weaving, but I thought I might try rewarping the 15 outer threads for plainweave (aka "dobby"), so I took them out of the heddles and inserted them in heddles 1 and 2, alternating. I was fine until I got done with the plainweave border. When I started on the pattern, I saw that I would be weaving only in the middle, and the 15 sts on each side wouldn't get woven at all. So, I took out my weaving and rewarped those sts again, only this time putting them through 1 and 3, and 2 and 4, alternatively. Started over! Plainweave which required only treadles 1 and 2, was gorgeous. Then when I got to the pattern, treadles 3 and 4 wouldn't lift without lifting the other partly, so the shed (space where the shuttle is supposed to go had threads in it. Joanie was visiting me. We couldn't figure out why it wasn't working. After a call to my teacher and finally to my friend Karan, also a weaver, we learned that some warping patterns don't allow for plainweave on the side edges. I had to rewarp those 15 sts on each side again, putting them back where they were. Yikes! Well, now I know a lot more about warping, and I'm pretty warped myself, but here's what I was able to do:
This was Joanie's warp, and she had given me the yarn she had left over from the project as well. After finishing Joanie's yarn, I cut that piece off and reattached the warp, because there was plenty of it left. I started this piece:
The pattern is the same, because I was using the same warping design and treadle order. The weft is Slalom Homebred for Aran Knitting Jacob's Wool from T. Forsell & Son Ltd. in England. It's a natural, medium-brown heather. I inherited it from my MIL, who was using it to make an afghan. I have plenty, but it may be even older than Joanie's warp thread. I managed to get about 40" out of the warp that was left. It should make a nice lap blanket. The warp is cotton, I think. Actual weaving is pretty easy; it's the warping that can be complicated. Other than my excursion into the world of warping on my own yesterday (LOL!), this part was already done by Joanie.
After I cut it off the loom, it looked like this:
I still need to finish the edges. I'm going to have fringe on the ends and maybe finish the selvage edges somehow. The lace-type pattern draws in at the edges, making it look a little uneven. When I finish it, I'll still have to block it. The Knit Picks Knitting Community now has a Weave Along. You can find it here.
Common Threads met on Thursday. Lone showed off her felted flowers to Margareth and explained how she made them.
I was working on my Delectable Pathways appliqué, so Karan brought out some appliqué blocks she has been working on. Here are two of them:
We talked about weaving, too, because several members of the group are weavers or are learning to weave. Karan took a class that teaches students to make pictures. She's working on this:
It was a very busy week, because the pups had their monthly grooming appointment. Sunny and I went to the nursing home in Salt Lake City, which always means some running of errands that can only be done there. Then the lesson, followed by a play in Salt Lake. (I took the Christmas Waffle Cardi to work on in the car and in the theater, try to catch up to where I was when I ripped it out. I had to frog the yoke because the shoulders were too tight.) Then came Common Threads, then weaving at home and a visit from Joanie.
I'm trying to do a lot of weaving right now while it's all fresh in my mind. If I forget what I've learned, I will be really beweft!
What's on my loom: Warped for a scarf using Knit Picks Essential (now called Stroll) sock yarn in "Gold Kettle Hand-dyed" and Chroma Fingering in "New England" (no longer available). Weaving is a great stash buster! Whoo-hoo!
What's on my Featherweight: Still the Delectable Pathways blocks
What's on my wheel: Still the Full Circle Roving in "Pigeon."
What's on my iPad: Listening to the Weavecast podcast, and The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jaimie Ford from Audible.com. Just finished The Litigators by John Grisham on CD from the library.
What's my app of the week: Audible's new app for the iPad! (I've been using the app for iPhone.)
What's in my wine glass: Amberhill Secret Blend Red Wine, Vintage 2010. I've mentioned this wine before. It's an excellent wine at a very good price. Not as inexpensive as Two-buck Chuck, but still a good deal. DH found it in our State Liquor Store for $3 off!
Note: This blog post was produced entirely on the MacBook, using the iPad for photo processing. No other computer was used in any stage of composition or posting, and no Windows were opened, waited for or cleaned.

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Comment by Peggy Stuart on February 26, 2013 at 5:09pm

I managed to finish the warping job and get all the "issues" taken care of! Whew! I can really appreciate the job Joanie did warping the loom for her project!

Comment by colorado13 on February 26, 2013 at 2:19pm

That weaving is so beautiful!!!!

Comment by Peggy Stuart on February 26, 2013 at 5:49am

Debbie, you may be right. I've messed up the warping job enough for both of us! I think I just about have it, though, and now I know all the things NOT to do!

Comment by Debbie Snyder/WA on February 26, 2013 at 5:25am

It's a good thing I'm not helping you.  You and I both would be wrap'd in thread and tied up like a mummy.  You are so amazing....I love all the work you get done and all the photos you post.  YOU are an inspiration.

Comment by Peggy Stuart on February 25, 2013 at 8:36pm
Thanks, June! Most of what I post is done by my fantastic fiber friends here. They inspire me all the time!
Comment by June Johnson/Wi on February 25, 2013 at 8:27pm

My, you are such a beautiful artist.  I love your posts; they are always so interesting.

Comment by Peggy Stuart on February 25, 2013 at 1:06pm

Yes, Mary, Karan's picture was done on a loom. The technique she used was way beyond me.

Barb, I understand that weaving predates knitting and crochet by thousands of years. When you quilt, you're dealing with woven material all the time. I'm just taking it to its source.

Comment by Barb/WI on February 25, 2013 at 11:51am

Beautiful!  Way too much talent in your world!  Puts me to shame.  Whoever figured out that weaving stuff to begin with?  My brain just doesn't work that way.

Comment by Barbara Graham on February 25, 2013 at 10:21am

Wow, you are like the energizer bunny! Gorgeous stuff!

Comment by Peggy Stuart on February 25, 2013 at 9:13am

BJ, my grandkids live more than 1,000 miles away in different directions! Gotta do something with myself!

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