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Warp and weft

Over the last few months, I have been hitting the loom pretty hard (which loom? This loom.) My friend was getting ready for her first baby, and requested one of my woven baby blankets. I used to make them pretty regularly; there was a period of a few years where many among my acquaintance were spawning. However, I hadn’t made one in years, and there was a pretty major hitch – my loom was already occupied with another project, which had been there for many, many months (*cough*years*cough*). It was one of those unfinished projects that seemed like such a great idea when you started, but eventually got chucked into the too-hard basket.

However, with the new impetus of my friend’s biological deadline, I dug up the yarn, set up the loom in front of the TV and got to work. The process of weaving the scarf was as horrible as I remembered. For future reference, do not use a fluffy yarn for the warp, no matter how good it will look in the fringe. And if sanity escapes you, and you DO use a fluffy warp, for goodness sake, don’t use a fluffy weft as well. Seriously. I’m not kidding.

In due course, and with attendant curse-words, I completed the scarf:

It really is hellaciously fluffy, but beautifully soft and silky. I gave it to my Mum for Mother’s Day, and she was really pleased – she loves the Silky Faux Fur yarn I used. Can anyone say: two birds, one stone?

With the scarf out of the way, I warped up for the baby blanket. It occupied the entire width of my loom, which made it a challenge. The wider something is, the more effort it takes for me to weave. The fuzzy yarn did not help matters – it was pleasant in comparison to the fluff, but still harder to work with than a smooth yarn. Eventually (which is to say, several days after my friend gave birth to her daughter), the blanket was complete, and on its way to its tiny recipient, where the fuzziness will keep her safe and warm in winter.

 

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Posted by on May 13, 2012 in Craftiness

 

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Weaving. (It’s not actually like knitting at all.)

Long before I learned how to knit, or to crochet, I taught myself how to weave. I basically sat down and thought out how it could work, and then I made myself dinky little looms and heddles out of cardboard boxes. (It was a means of saving my sanity during year twelve.)

However, this is a totally non-sustainable way of weaving. I soon got extremely frustrated, because I couldn’t really make anything bigger than a coin purse. Not Cool. So I was really pleased when my parents gave me my very own loom. Best Christmas present EVER.

LOOM:

As far as looms go, it doesn’t really do a lot – it’s a rigid heddle loom, so there’s no complicated patterns. It’s just a dead basic loom. Which is actually a very good thing, because you can do interesting stuff fast, just by choosing nifty and different yarns. Like these:

But in any case, back to the original point of the post. I make a lot of woven items, especially scarves, but practically everyone who saw them asked me “did you knit that?”. At which point I would patiently explain that, no, I had no idea how to knit, but I did weave. This mostly got me blank looks.

SO, I just thought I’d say: knitting isn’t actually like weaving, except that you start off with yarn and end up with fabric. Knitting is a complicated way of looping threads around sticks. It’s stretchy, easy to make in weird shapes, and unravels like a bitch.

On the other hand, weaving is like what you did with cardboard strips when you were a kid – over, under, over, under. It’s not stretchy at all and doesn’t really unravel at all. It’s also really, really fast when compared to knitting. (Or at least, how fast I can knit.) A scarf that could take days to knit could take hours to weave. I like this a lot.

Sadly, a weaving loom is not very portable, so I eventually did learn how to knit and crochet. But I still have a soft spot for weaving. It’s the first craft I ever actually chose to learn for myself.

.   .   .

I realise that many of you either already knew all the factual content of this, or really didn’t care. That’s OK. I mostly wrote this because I needed something to distract myself. I just stitched a whole row in my latest cross-stitch project – about a dozen letters – which turned out to be ONE ROW TOO HIGH. Perfectionist that I am, I just unpicked the entire goddamned thing. I am very, very cross indeed.

 
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Posted by on February 10, 2010 in Craftiness

 

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