Wide-ranging weaving

The weaving projects I have worked on these past couple of months or so have been kind of all over the place.

First I used my rigid heddle loom, which is a simple table loom that requires a lot of manual work to do anything fancy.

First I did a simple basic weave with two different kinds of yarn. One was a variegated yarn and one was a mohair yarn.


These are the two yarns I used.


This close-up shows how different the two different yarns are.


It was definitely the most frustrating weaving project I have ever worked on. The mohair stuck everywhere and every time I tried to weave the yarn across, I had to lift each string individually… for every single row! After that I vowed never to use mohair as the warp yarn ever again.


However, the finished product turned out not too bad.


I used my iPhone for scale to show how it looks.


After that I tried another kind of yarn, Wisdom Sock Poem. It is a yarn that changes colors even though it is one ball of yarn. It makes for a very nice look!


Mr. iPhone is on display for scale again.


This was the second-most frustrating project because the yarn kept pilling and then breaking. The first half looked awful but by the end I had figured out how to prevent it from breaking so much. And from the back, everything looks lovely.


Until you turn it over and see the first half where I had all the problems. Ugly dust yarn bunnies reside on my wrap. 🙁


The last project that I did on the heddle loom was called leno lace. This is where you use a stick and your fingers to pick up individual threads and cross them over each other to create a lacy pattern.


iPhone for scale.


It makes a very beautiful look!


But my edges looked a bit rough. I also did not really follow any logical order and just made random patterns throughout the scarf, so it is not symmetrical.


After all this time-consuming effort, I gave up on my rigid heddle loom. I had already outgrown it because everything I wanted to do was too complicated. For Christmas, Albert got me a floor loom! I shall blog about the loom another time. Basically the loom makes things a lot easier because it has different shafts that go up and down (you use your feet to lift them) that let you create patterns in your cloth. Everything looks a lot more even. Here you can see how the yarn goes through what looks like hundreds of little white strings (called heddles). These strings go up and down, bringing the yarn up and down as well.


This was my first effort. It’s called “twill,” which is a type of fabric that has a diagonal pattern.


Look at how even the edges look compared to my previous work on the rigid heddle loom! I love the floor loom!


iPhone for scale. The floor loom lets me use much finer threads. This thread is 8/2 cotton. The first number tells the size of the thread — the larger the number, the thinner the thread. I realized after I took the pictures that the photos above show the back of the cloth and the photo below shows the front. The front has a more distinct diagonal rib than the back.


My second project used chenille. It was a bear to work with because the chenille yarn was so slippery and kept falling loose. I was also figuring out how to use the loom (still am!), so it literally took days just to tie up everything and put the project ON the loom!


But in the end, it turned out ok too. My first plaid project!


Weaving is fun in that you never really know how it’s going to end up looking. When you combine colors of yarn going vertically (warp) and horizontally (weft), it always comes out interesting!


iPhone for scale.


My most recent completed project was made of 20/2 cotton (much finer than the 8/2 cotton above).


iPhone for scale.


Up close, it’s got a really nice diagonal pattern. This was totally unintentional. Due to my not knowing how to read a weaving pattern very well (called a “draft”), I accidentally tied my shafts and heddles all wrong. But it came out nice-looking anyway!


Weaving is very relaxing, something I need to do more of these days. I suppose some people would consider it torturous given all the work given in prepping the project, but I really enjoy it. In a future blog I’ll show the process, once I actually figure it out myself! I’m trying new things every time to see if I can find a system that works for me, as there are many different ways to set things up.

A Yee

Angela Yee is a professional designer (graphic design, stage design, interior design — angelayeedesign.com) and teaches leadership skills at strategysketchnotes.com.

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