Let the games begin!

Let the games begin!

Time to weave, kids! Now, weaving is a fairly controlled process. I plan exactly how many inches, how many yarns, where each one goes, etc. So, by the time I get to the actual weaving process, I’m ready for a little anything-can-happen!

Everyone in the pool!

Everyone in the pool!

Because I am weaving fabric for handbags, it’s not as critical that the inches be precisely planned out. My goal is to make sure that no matter how the handbags are cut, no two will be alike. Beyond that, I don’t keep many rules!

So many yarns, so little time!

So many yarns, so little time!

Cotton and wool and rayon - oh my!

Cotton and wool and rayon – oh my!

So, generally the weaving process begins with me clearing out my shelves! I pull out all the yarn that I might possibly be inspired by, and create a little yarn camp right next to the loom. For this project, I’ll be loosely using the colors in the warp (the yarns already threaded through the loom).



I love the blending of colors and textures! The good and the bad news is that nothing is off the table! So when perusing the sale closet at Tabby Tree Weaver in Arcadia, IN, it’s all fair game! I almost always use cotton for the warp. But, I love using wool in the shuttle! Plus, a little something shiny like a rayon or a silk is a great addition to the overall look and feel of the fabric!

TP to start it up!

TP to start it up!

I like to use toilet paper to start the project. It’s a cheap resource, it’s perforated (easy to remove later), and it’s bulky enough to fill in the space between the yarns quickly! Recently, my family mistakenly bought really cheap toilet paper – the see-through kind. Funny how it all ended up in a bag by my loom! It’ll get used eventually, I’m sure!

Spreading out the yarn

Spreading out the yarn

It usually takes 5-6 rows of TP to spread out the yarns so they are evenly spaced. Then, I’ll bring in the main attraction!

Hmm... dark pink?

Hmm… dark pink?

So like I mentioned, I want to use yarns that roughly mimic the colors in the project – green, purple, brown, black. First up, diving into some purple! I happen to have this cone of a bright, purple-ish/pink color. Now for those of you who don’t know, I am not a fan of the pink. Not even a little! But, I figure I’ll try to expand my horizons a touch! The funny thing is that my Dad comes over, looks at it and says, “That doesn’t look like you!”… mission accomplished…

Shuttle's running through the yarns!

Shuttle’s running through the yarns!

Here comes the rag shuttle!

Here comes the rag shuttle!

Have you ever made a pot-holder? I love those things! You weave the cotton loops through each other – over, under, over, under. Well, a floor loom is created to make that whole process quicker! So, when I depress a pedal below the loom (like playing an organ), some of the yarns lift up and I send the shuttle through. Switch pedals, different yarns lift up, and the shuttle goes back the other way. Repeat until you run out of yarn! The pictures above are trying to give you a little perspective of what that looks like!

Love the rich texture!

Love the rich texture!

I like to group yarns together in the shuttle. So, at any given point, I’ll have 4-8 yarns traveling together to create the fabric. This technique makes it much more seamless when changing colors. I can keep 1/2 the yarns and change the other to gradually alter the overall look. Below, you can see the subtle change to a darker purple…

Moving into darker purples!

Moving into darker purples!

Isn’t this fun? There will be much more weaving to come! Talk to you soon…

Run 9 Weaving 8

By |2013-05-30T09:18:05+00:00May 30th, 2013|Art|0 Comments

About the Author:

Chris Acton is the President, Chief Weaver, and Jack-of-all-Trades for Acton Creative, based in NW Indiana. When she isn't weaving away, you can find her absorbed in a book while slurping gallons of hot tea.

No Comments

  1. Sherron Pampalone May 30, 2013 at 9:26 am - Reply

    Love it!

  2. Sonja Milojevic May 30, 2013 at 10:06 am - Reply

    This fabric is beautiful. I know the bags are going to be beautiful as well.
    And I love the colors. ūüôā

    • Chris June 2, 2013 at 10:34 am - Reply

      Hey Sonja! Thanks so much! With a project like this, you hope the end result stands up to the hopeful expectations in your head! We’ll see! Have a good one! chris

  3. Elizabeth Frenzel May 30, 2013 at 5:38 pm - Reply


    LOVE your captions and narrative, Chris! You are a born writer…and weaver…and educator…and photographer!!!!


      Wishing you peace, love, light, and the joy living of an Inspired life!


    • Chris June 2, 2013 at 10:35 am - Reply

      Thanks so much, Lizz! You are so supportive! chris

  4. mosaicthinking May 30, 2013 at 10:26 pm - Reply

    Toilet paper- now there’s a thought!

    • Chris June 2, 2013 at 10:37 am - Reply

      It’s funny how you learn something and figure everyone does it exactly like you! Not long ago, I mentioned the TP tip to my local guild and for some folks, it was a complete game changer! Who knew? I hope it helps! Take care! chris

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