Friday, February 27, 2015

Warp Speed

For Valentine’s Day, S1 totally surprised me with a 15” Schacht Cricket loom! We put it together that day and warped it the next day. For my first project, I used the yarn that came in the box with the loom: 2 balls of Nature Spun Worsted (100% wool).

The instructions that come with the loom are okay, but not awesome. I supplemented with YouTube videos… also helpful, but not awesome. But still, I got it warped up and started weaving: 20150215_142343WHAT FUN! I could not believe how fast it went. I pretty much immediately wanted to know more, and I recalled that Caitlin watched this Craftsy class before buying her Cricket: Rigid Heddle Weaving with Angela Tong. Craftsy was having a Valentine’s weekend sale so I got the class for half off – bonus! Almost as soon as I started watching it, I wish I had done so before warping, because Angela is so much more clear and the “view” is perfect on those videos. IMG_5587I finished my first scarf when I ran out of the green weft yarn. It has lots of things wrong with it – the edges are wonky, I didn’t beat at the same rate throughout so some parts look more purple than others, and the width of the scarf changes. But I made a scarf! Just as with my first skein of handspun, I will save this so I can look back on it and chuckle later.

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Immediately I began thinking about my next project. The loom came with an 8-dent heddle, which is perfect for worsted yarn. So I knew I needed a strong (plied) worsted yarn for the warp. I pulled out the “share bag” of Cascade 200 Superwash leftovers (from Jess’s blanket and Caitlin’s blanket and my blanket) and handed it to S1. Her job was to choose a warp color that I had enough of (I could weigh the yarn to see if I had enough to make a 55” scarf, which is what she wanted) and choose a sock yarn from my stash to use as weft. The idea was to choose a fingering yarn that I would never make socks from. She chose a great one, this Fleece Artist Sock which is hand-dyed but unfortunately on 100% superwash merino. It is one of my oldest stash yarns and I’ve been avoiding it for years (at least for socks) because I predict it won’t wear well. IMG_5594And look! I made a scarf! I warped the loom and wove this all in an evening! It went at WARP SPEED! I did it so fast I never even took a picture of it on the loom. IMG_5597It is soft and drapey (thank you superwash merino) and the edges are nice and straight. Angela Tong’s course is excellent and I recommend watching it BEFORE you warp your first loom.

Then I bought Rigid Heddle Weaving: Beyond the Basics (while the half price sale was still on) and am partway through watching that. Watch out because there will be more weaving to come.IMG_5599My biggest problem right now is resisting the urge to buy different yarn to weave with. I want to use stash yarn, at least for a while. But I also want to make kitchen towels, which requires cotton, and I have no cotton in stash. I don’t care to knit with it.  So we’ll see how long that holds out.

3 comments:

Bonny said...

Warped and woven in an evening is warp speed and both scarves are really lovely. I've always thought that kitchen towels would be one of the best reasons to own a loom, so I hope you give in and buy some cotton to weave with in the near future!

craftycaitlin said...

Yay!!! Isn't it addicting? Can't wait to see these scarves in person. It's amazing how quickly I got better at weaving...just takes a couple scarves. We'll probably have to take the cotton buying plunge together...

Steven said...

You've gotten so good at this so quickly! Can't way to see what you come up with. And I love that yarn you wouldn't want to knit with can be the perfect thing for a different craft altogether.