Friday, July 28, 2017

Standing on my Head

 Last week I borrowed a large Tapestry loom from the Tuesday Weavers and I found a place for it in the Studio and I set it up.  It is built much like my floor looms except that it is a vertical loom and not a horizontal loom.  What that means is that while the warping process is the normal one, all of the angles are all wrong, gravity was not on my side!  I may have to stand on my head!

Nothing and I mean nothing was automatic!  For a minute or two I thought I was going to need to stand on a chair and brave the ceiling fan to thread the thing.  Luckily that did not turn out to be necessary, and in short order I had tied the warp on and was ready to sample.

You do not need to adjust your glasses, this is not a tapestry I am working on, rather I am working on decreasing the excess amount of fleece I have in the Studio.  At the same time the loom and I will have some "getting to know you" time.

I had warped for an 8 epi sett and you can see that at the far ends of the picture.  I quickly realized that it was not what I was wanting for these rugs.  So I did a quick sampling of 4 epi single strand and doubled strand, which you can see at the center of this same picture.  I was much happier with the 4 epi in the single strand sample, and I set to work taking out half of the warp threads.

I took out every other set of two strands that way I could more easily find the cross.  That way I can re-use this nice seine twine warp for the next set of fleece rugs.

After this picture, I threw the extra warp over to the back of the loom and weighted it.  I realize that as I come to the end of this first warp, I may run into serious tension issues since the first and second warp are in fact connected, but I will deal with that when it happens.

I had great plans to process some of the Scottish Blackface that I received recently to use in this rug, but I was not pleased with my processing and I will revisit that at a future date.

I then turned to my next surplus fleece item, and that would be the 6 fleeces I brought back from the sheep shearing at the Museum of Appalachia.

The fleeces are quite uniform this year and I thing they will make a wonderful fleece rug.  I can't wait to get this one off the loom, which by the way is performing wonderfully, and  see how it feels underfoot.  If I really like it, I plan to make 3 or 4 for the fall shows, and if I can get ahold of some more fleece that number might grow.

One of the big reasons I borrowed the tapestry loom is that one of my daughters sent me a picture of a really cool tapestry and we are in the process of designing one for me to make for her.  In this tapestry there are several levels of interest, from flat plain weave, all the way to loops of unspun roving.  I have a long way to go before I am ready to tackle something like that since I have never done any tapestry weaving, but I think since I have been weaving for several years, it may not take as long for me to get the hang of it.

I am also a spinner and have been since 2001, and I got the idea from some of my research on Ravelry that it would be a good idea for me to try to spin a color wheel of yarn so that I could have plenty of colors to work with.  Last Saturday my oldest daughter and I were in Nashville at a retreat.  We didn't actually go to the retreat, she was helping in one of the market booths and I went along for the ride.

I waited around until the public had their turn at the market and I bought a knitting bag from "the Fat Squirrel"  and a couple of stitch marker sets from "Miss Babs" and I thought I was done.  I left the market and went to knit in the lobby a bit while I waited for the time to break down the booth.

I went back in to take them some tea to drink and to see if there was anything they needed, and I was trying my best not to look at anything in the booth, but I couldn't help noticing that Liz of "Hobbledehoy" had some really beautiful handspinning fiber.  (Liz and her Mother "Marigold Jen" have invited my oldest to help in the booth a couple of times, cause she can sell anything fiber!)   I sauntered into the booth and started touching the different blends and when I touched the Merino/Silk/Bamboo, my resolve melted.  I thought about the color wheel of yarn I wanted to spin for my, as yet non existent, tapestry projects......

...... and well this happened, I tried not to have that crazy face that often happens in moments like these, I think I succeeded a little bit.  I got up to the register to find out that the braids were on sale and so I said wait a minute and went back to get a sixth braid that I had wanted to get in the first place, since that fit into my self imposed budget.

I brought the braids to weaving on Tuesday and they were well received.  When I got home Tuesday afternoon there was a package for me and out popped some lovely merino/silk top that went wonderfully with what I had already purchased at the show.

It is very possible that this tapestry thing is not going end up   being "my" thing.   If it doesn't become my thing, and I abandoned the very idea of doing tapestry, I still think I have  come out ahead of the game cause I have these to look forward to.

Happy Spinning and Weaving, Tina


  1. One thing leads to another....right?

  2. Oh my! I too would have been sucked in by that blend and those beautiful colors. Have fun with it!