Thursday, October 30, 2014

Fall Practice

After assembling the Cricket loom, which was straightforward, it took me three tries to warp it correctly. But warp it I did! Rather than use the Nature Spun that came with the loom, I used pale gray Cascade 220 from stash and the 8-dent heddle that comes with the loom, following the Cricket Scarf draft with three added repeats. I wound a stick shuttle with more Cascade 220, only to discover big shuttle, small shed may not be the best combination.

First project on Cricket loom

It was a problem that fixed itself as weaving progressed. I was more focused on gaining familiarity with the weaving actions: up heddle, throw shuttle, oops, reseat heddle, retrieve shuttle, beat, beat, down heddle, throw shuttle, beat, beat. I still haven't quite got the knack of not unseating the heddle in the up position. I was really surprised by how firmly the warp threads locked in the weft threads in plainweave. My consistency needs a lot of work, both in the cloth and on the selvedges, and I'd like to build speed.

Uneven weaving

In spite of my newbie difficulties, in no time at all (compared with the time it took to warp the loom), the weaving was done and the piece cut from the loom. The resulting cloth was strangely stiff, almost like new linen yarn. Off the loom, the weft was easy to manipulate – too easy for my taste. It's clear that unlike a knitting project, where it can be tempting to skip proper finishing, weaving requires a lot more finishing to be presentable. Onward!

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