Time to stretch!

It’s an exciting new project!

What's weavin'? 

When I first started the blog, I only focused on my weaving projects. And these days, I’m branching out to include “day in the life of an artist” types of stories. But, I don’t want to cut out all the fun weaving going on simultaneously! So, I think the plan will be to sprinkle projects in randomly, providing much needed color/pattern/texture into our lives. Yay! 

Last week, I wrapped up my green project on the demonstration loom. I had originally set it up for the American Craft Council Show in Atlanta in March. But, it’s been sitting around looking pretty ever since! So, I finally finished it! 

Birdseye view of green project
Cutting off the project

I am about halfway through dressing the floor loom with a new project, which is always exciting! It’s a little red & sky blue action this time! 
Red project on the warping board
Adding choke ties before I take it off the warping board
Sleying the reed
Ready to go into the floor loom

And that, my friends, is what’s weavin’! I’ll keep you posted on how things progress! 

How are your projects going? 

The birth of a project 

Here are the steps I go through to set up the loom before each event!

These were the winning colors!
Measured the yarns on the warping board.
The lovely warp – ready to go!
Sleyed the reed!
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Threaded the heddles.
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Tied the yarns on to the back of the loom. 
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Started winding the yarns through the loom. 
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Tied the yarns to the back.
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Put a few spacers in place (toilet paper) and it’s ready to go!!! 

Reed-y?

You know, thinking up a title for a weekly blog – not so easy! And sometimes, just sometimes, all I can come up with is something sounding ridiculously corny. But, I’m guessing if you’ve read this far, you are OK with a little corn and we can all simply carry on, ignoring the crazy title! And here goes! (p.s. I am up for suggestions, if a brilliant title for a weaving blog comes to you in the middle of the night… just saying!)

And here are the players for today's sleying!
And here are the players for today’s sleying!

Today is sley-the-reed day!!!! Best day ever! I love this part of the process. I’m not sure exactly what makes it so appealing. All I can figure is that sitting at a table organizing hundreds of yarns just does it for me! I like to tell folks that to be a weaver, you have to be a little bit crazy… and I would guess my prior statement puts me firmly in that category! And I’m OK with that!

Lease sticks slide in.
Lease sticks slide in.

To sley a reed, you need a reed (rectangular frame with evenly spaced slots that will fit into your loom), lease sticks (a pair of sticks with holes in both ends meant to be a place holder for the cross that delineates the order of the yarns), and a pair of scissors. That is the bare minimum. But, for me, I always include a cup of tea, my project journal to track my time, and either a TV show or a little music to entertain me!

The view from where I'm sitting (aka, the view from my belly button!).
The view from where I’m sitting (aka, the view from my belly button!).

First up, the lease sticks slip through the cross I made on the warping board. I tied everything in strategic spots so I could locate the cross once I was sitting at the table. (Those ties get cut once I start sleying.) So now, the lease sticks are keeping the yarns in order! The reed sits directly in front of me with an edge hanging off the table to make the threading easier. The trick is to avoid knocking the reed over onto the floor. You can always tape it down if it makes you more comfortable!

Each yarn is placed in a dent of the reed.
Each yarn is placed in a dent of the reed.
Lots of little ends in this project!
Lots of little ends in this project!

Because I had a lot of color changes at the warping board, I have a lot of little ends that typically pull right off before the yarn goes into the reed. (I thought this particular pile was very pretty! And sometimes, that’s all you need for a bit of happiness – a pretty pile!)

Just, yum...
Just, yum…
I made it to the other end!
I made it to the other end!

I like to knot the yarns every inch or so just to double check my math. Like most folks, I don’t enjoy the process of undoing and fixing a project. So, I try to put as many checks and balances in place as possible along the way!

Ready to go to the loom!
Ready to go to the loom!

Next up, I’ll reunite the reed and the loom, bringing it all together! It’s going to be good! Talk to you soon…

Run 14 Sleying 8

Don't mind me while I get dressed…

When a weaver is in the process of setting up a loom, it is called “dressing” the loom! And there is your interesting nugget for the day! Now, on with the show!

Winding on the next chunk...
Winding on the next chunk…
Love the background! A sea of tubes of yarn!
Love the background! A sea of tubes of yarn!

To take the yarn off the warping board, I do a twisty thing. (Is all the technical talk making you woozy?) I’m sure there is a more precise description for it. But basically, you start at the bottom of the board, create a loop and pull another loop through it, and then repeat until you reach the top. With one good yank, it will come undone. I think it’s crochet-related – does that sound right? It took me awhile to get the swing of it. But, it is very helpful in this instance!

Twisting it off!
Twisting it off!

Before I take anything off the board, I mark where the cross is located (see below) and I like to add a choke tie at the top. Choke ties are just what they sound like – a piece of yarn tied really, really tightly around a portion of the project. I like putting at least one in place. And if you are nervous about the yarns shifting too much, you can certainly add more! Weavers preference! (Kind of like what you put on your hot dog… mustard and pickles, of course! Or, if the place does Chicago style dogs, adding tomato and celery salt, too! Makes me drool a little thinking about it…)

Tying the cross
Tying the cross

Once all the parts of the project are off the warping board, they all converge at the table – hopefully in order! It looks the colorful chaos. But, there is a method to the madness – promise!

Let's all meet up at the table!
Let’s all meet up at the table!
Yarn soup!
Yarn soup!

It’s a short one today! But, the break in the action seems to make sense! Next up, I’ll be sleying the reed – my favorite! Can you feel the excitement buzzing? Talk to you soon…

Run 14 Sleying 3