Just take a “weft” at the light…

Weaving humor is not always great… you are welcome to groan…

A view from inside the belly...
A view from inside the belly…

So, we’ve left the browns and reds, and are not heading into the oranges and yellows! Nice, sunny, cheery colors! My brother would approve, considering he’s in favor of all shades of orange! He would wear glow-in-the-dark orange frequently, if only his corporate gig would allow it!

The orange phase...
The orange phase…
Multiple yarns in the weft
Multiple yarns in the weft

These days, we call the yarns in the loom the warp yarns. And, we call the yarns in the shuttle, the weft yarns. Way back when, weavers would call the weft yarns, the “woof”. In a similar train of thought, the shafts that move up and down in the loom used to be referred to as “harnesses”. I suppose that’s what happens when you have an art form that is a trillion years old!

Running through the shed
Running through the shed
Yum... just, yum...
Yum… just, yum…

The process of weaving can be very relaxing – meditative almost. There are plenty of moments during the set-up that I have to be completely focused. But, at this stage, it’s awesome to just watch the colors blend together and let the mind wander…

Coming around the bend
Coming around the bend
Ah, sweet progress!
Ah, sweet progress!

I guess for someone who’s not a weaver, the constant clanging of the shafts might be loud. The metal heddles sliding along the shafts creates a bit of noise! There are other types of heddles that are quieter, I’m sure. But, the truth is, I don’t hear it anymore! I just slide up the volume on the tv (2) notches and I’m good to go!

Shafts are always in motion
Shafts are always in motion
Profile shot!
Profile shot!

Weaving is a brilliant mix of realism and magic, structure and creativity, left and right. When folks ask me about being a weaver and all the time or detail that goes into it, I typically respond with, “Well, you have to be the right kind of crazy!” But, I think that’s true for any artist developing their craft. It takes lots of passion to carry you through hours of detailed work that leads you to something new and exhilarating! So, a big cheers for all the artists out there! We’ll all be crazy together!

And p.s., I’m almost done with this one! Next week, I’ll cut it off! Talk to you soon…

Run 10 Weaving 77

Give me a “W”! Give me a “eaving”! What’s that spell?

Hi! Last we chatted, I was weaving away! And the fun continues on…

A little color-blending for you!
A little color-blending for you!

For this project, I am using a rag shuttle (in the photo above) for the body of the fabric, along with a boat shuttle (in the photo below) for a natural-colored accent yarn. And believe me when I say that no matter what, I always seem to need just one more shuttle! Thankfully, once you buy one, it’s yours forever! They don’t go bad or out of style!

Go shuttle go!
Go shuttle go!
Coming out of the shed!
Coming out of the shed!

When weaving, you have warp yarns (the yarns in the loom) moving up and down. The shed space is the tunnel created when the yarns are separated. So, weavers will often talk about looms that have great shed space, meaning there is plenty of room to slide the shuttle through! (You never know what you’re going to learn! Wow your friends with that one tonight!)

Some up, some down...
Some up, some down…
A little accent yarn to add interest!
A little accent yarn to add interest!

I’m gradually moving away from the reds and into the oranges and yellows. Seems appropriate given the time of year, I think!

Wrapping around the loom...
Wrapping around the loom…

I have this sweet, little accent yarn that I’m laying into the fabric every so often – about 6″ apart. I’ve decided to add it in mostly because I have a bit of a masochistic streak and can’t have a project that’s too straightforward! But, it also reflects the dual lines in the warp! So, there’s a design reason and a personal one! Two for one!

Love the measuring tape!
Love the measuring tape!
What is better than a close-up?
What is better than a close-up?

My grandmother on my Ma’s side was a home economics teacher and it’s amazing the random items Ma inherited! A couple years ago, she gave me a bag full of fabric measuring tapes! I’m not exactly sure why I need a dozen. But, you never know when the laundry gremlin who steals just one sock might also need a measuring tape!

Easing into yellows & oranges!
Easing into yellows & oranges!

Because I take all the weaving photos, I don’t have multitudes of pictures with me in them! Matter of fact, I have about 2 – mostly because they’ve been requirements for something. But, I happened to have another body close by who could snap one for me! And voila! So in another 2 years, I’ll throw in a new one. That’ll work, right? Have a great week and I’ll talk to you soon!

Run 10 CA 3

It’s a good time to weave!

Without further delay, let the weaving begin! First up, a little toilet paper to space out the yarns. (The cheap stuff works great!)

TP to start the show!
TP to start the show!

When dealing with a material that I can’t easily wind on a bobbin (ex. TP, or neckties), I use the rag shuttle. It’s easy and quick to hook the material and send it through the loom!

Boat shuttle takes the TP through!
Rag shuttle takes the TP through!

Each loom design has it’s own charm! One of the things weavers will look for in a loom is what kind of “shed” does it offer. The shed is the space between the yarns when some are resting in the down position and others are lifted. A good shed space will cleanly separate the yarns and give the shuttle lots of room to slide through! The photo below shows the shed space on my Schacht loom – perfect for me!

Peering into the shed space
Peering into the shed space

For this project, I’ll be using neckties AND yarn for the weft (the weft refers to the yarns/materials in the shuttle, versus those strung through the loom). So, prior to weaving, I had many, many ties to cut up! (I recommend multiple cups of hot tea and lots of episodes of Big Bang Theory to keep you company while mindlessly slicing neckties!)

Lots of necktie bits!
Lots of necktie bits!
Like necktie soup, right?
Like necktie soup, right?

Because the project has a focus on the color blue, I tried to select ties that were blue-related!

Necktie mayhem!
Necktie mayhem!

It’s not pretty, but I dump all the ties on the floor next to the loom and then sort through them as I go. Hopefully in the future, I’ll find a better system for managing the neckties. But for now, I wade through the lovely, silky mess on the floor to pull out the desired ties necessary for the project!

We're weaving!
We’re weaving!

In the past when I’ve done a project using ties, I’ve organized them by color. And that’s a fairly intuitive process for me. (I’m the one that has to put the crayons in order like the rainbow. It’s a weird compulsion, I know…) So this time around, even though blue is common throughout, I’m still going to attempt to weave in groups of colors. I’m starting off with all the gray-ish blues I can find.

Gray-ish blues first!
Gray-ish blues first!

When using the ties to weave, I like to use a yarn in between the ties to reinforce the fabric. I’m not really planning on someone yanking out the ties. But, if they did, it would still hold together! With the gray-ish blue ties in the beginning, I chose a pale blue yarn to compliment them.

Hmm, happiness...
Hmm, happiness…

There is much more weaving to come, don’t you worry! Talk to you soon…

MyTy Run 3 Weaving 8