Thursday, March 7, 2013

Prep Work is a Constant

These last few months, I have been focusing on getting all of my looms loaded.  That job is now almost complete.  Life has been unusually crowded  lately, and that explains why there has been such slow progress!

I have a list on my phone that lists which project I post about on this blog, and I have to consult it EVERY TIME, or I will mess up!  On this blog I can post about the 2 Hollywood warps I have in progress, the rug warp on the Cambridge Rug loom and the placemat warp on the "8" harness no name loom.  The former is a black and white warp that was 16 yards long, and the later is in blues and a tan, and I don't remember exactly how long that one is at the moment.

Now that those looms are loaded, there is still a certain amount of prep time needed to have something to weave with!  I could  use Sock Loopers for the rugs,  but I have decided that this particular rug warp is perfect for recycling t-shirts!  With that in mind, I have put the word out to a couple of my friends that work with teenagers, and of course to the other weavers that I know.

That means that I have begun acquiring bags of these  t-shirts in many wonderful colors!  I now have plenty to get me started!  While I was at the center on Tuesday, I opened up one of the bags that Carol brought me and pulled out one of the teal t-shirts, and I put it through the rag cutter.  I first took out the hems, then starting at the bottom of the shirt, I spiral cut a strip round and round all the way to the armpits.  Then I opened up the underarm seam, and started cutting strips from sleeve to sleeve.  There wasn't much left but the crew collar when I was finished!  It was cool!  I will sew those shorter strips together before I start weaving.  I like having strips long enough to load onto a rag shuttle.  I can always cut the strips as needed on the loom, if I am doing a hit and miss rug as the red/pink one above.

I am thinking about opening up the side and shoulder seams next time, and cutting off the sleeves.  That would leave me with two square pieces of fabric that I could sew together with others, either of the same color or a color combination that I wanted to repeat in a rug.  The sleeves I could sew together separately, and have small bursts of color throughout the rug if I wanted to.  Christy came up with that idea, and I think it is brilliant!

So, the prep work is constant when you are working with fabric as weft.  For the placemat warp, I have begun to strip the fabric that is light in color.  I need to  weave 3 placemats in this color way to complete a set of 6, then I will do a runner or two, and who knows I may just do another set of six for good measure.  I will also do at least 2 using a dark fabric, and a runner to match it as well.  I hope I put on enough warp!

I was half way through the prep process on this length of fabric, when I snapped this picture!  It was Tuesday night and we were going out to dinner with friends at 5:30pm.  I made the mistake of putting on an audio book and setting to work on this hypnotic chore.  At 5:34pm I got a text, "Are you on your way?"  I dropped everything, and ran out the door!  A few minutes later came the call, asking me if I was on my way, of course, I replied!  He paused, and said, "You forgot didn't you?"  I chuckled and said that I was on my way, and that I had lost track of time, in the time warp of weaving!

That is all I've got for now, tomorrow it is back to work with the rag cutter and shuttle, I love my job!

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina


  1. I love to run a long strip through the's so much fun to watch it fall in the box and just keep going!!!! Getting all the prep work out of the way is such a great idea!

  2. I like that pink rug! And you've inspired me with the tshirts. I wonder if Goodwill has any?

  3. Nice colors in the rug! That's a great idea to work with t-shirts. Do you have recommendations on buying a rag cutter?

  4. Judy, I use a Frazer rag cutter. I have seen some people just use scissors, or you could fold the fabric and use a rotary cutter with the mat and ruler.