One thing leads to another

It’s no surprise that practicing one craft can lead to an interest and desire to learn another, especially with fiber related crafts. Many people who started with crochet have learned to knit and many who started with knitting have learned to crochet. There’s a lot of crossover between the two. My love of spinning definitely arose from my love of knitting, and more importantly, knitting with natural fibers. From there I have developed a healthy appreciation for the art of carding and combing spinning fiber to the point where I’ve invested in tools to help me with that task. I've even dabbled in dyeing yarn and fiber, but I'll leave that for folks with a greater passion and skill for it than I possess.

So where’s a crafty guy like me to go next? What’s left to learn? Actually, lots! Some of you sharp readers might have picked up on the hints I dropped in last week’s Rhinebeck recap and if you guessed weaving, then you’re absolutely right! This past Sunday was my birthday (no, I’m not telling how old I am) and I got to pick up my birthday present at a Touch Of Twist’s booth last Saturday at Rhinebeck!

I have been thinking about trying my hand at weaving for quite some time, and I chose the 24” Kromski Harp rigid heddle loom. It’s the same one my friend Dave (Stargazingchild here on MWK and Ravelry) got when he came to visit in July. We only got as far as putting his together then, but he’s been sending me pictures of his projects ever since.

That pretty much sealed the deal for me, so I figured since Rhinebeck was the week before my birthday it would be the perfect time to get one of my own. Dave brought his loom back with him the week before Rhinebeck and showed me how to warp it and get started. I chose some lace weight yarn that I did some dyeing experiments with and immediately began to practice.

It took some effort to find a balanced weave with this yarn, but I still had fun with it. The piece I wove is full of imperfections, but it’s a practice piece so it’s sort of supposed to be. I love it just the way it is, and I’ll keep it as a constant reminder of where I started from. Much like I have kept my very first handspun yarn full of thick and thin spots, coils, and all its other beautiful flaws.

This weekend I finally got to try out my own loom so I grabbed some more yarn to practice with and got to work. Warping the loom is somewhat of a tedious task, but a necessary one. You really can’t weave on a loom with no warp threads.

The heavier yarn I chose for my second practice piece, which is a bit of a sampler, is a worsted weight and much easier to create a balanced weave with. After working a plain weave for a while I added in another color and practiced working with two colors, creating all sorts of pattern combinations. I also tried using the pickup stick to create floats in the weft threads for even more pattern combinations. It was all great fun!

My second practice piece is almost done now. There’s not much warp left to weave. So when this comes off the loom, I can start planning a “real” project. You know, something that’s actually meant to be…something!

I know what a lot of you are thinking. That I already have enough going on with the knitting and spinning, right? Well, perhaps. But this new venture will give me another use for the handspun yarn that I’ve been accumulating, and that’s a good thing. Right?

Have a great week everyone!



smalltownknitguy's picture

Love the pics. My wife and I would have to add an extra room on the house if I took up another fiber craft.

Aaronknits's picture

I will finish the basement and expand there first, and then if I run out of room I will probably have to add on to the house.

Joe-in Wyoming's picture

Happy late birthday, Aaron. I had a dear friend who mainly used her handspun [very prolific handspun!] to feed her weaving habit. For first projects, those look great. Looks like you are a natural when it comes to loom craft. Does the Kromski set up to be its own warping board? If so, that is a great feature. Enjoy!!

Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

Aaronknits's picture

It sure does. That was a major selling point for me. Just turn it over and put on the stand, pop some pegs in, and there's your warping board.

Joe-in Wyoming's picture

That's wonderful. I have a small loom that serves as its own warping board but it isn't very easy to wrap onto. I end up setting up a makeshift warp measure out of clamps along a countertop.

Books, knitting, cats, fountain pens...Life is Good.

Weaving DO have its own charm. I dont know if it is still in print, but there is a little book/booklet called CUT MY COAT TO FIT MY CLOTH. Show several ways to make the most economical use of hadwoven cloth with a minimum of cutting and shaping. Also works for contriving basic knitting patterns. Have a LOT OF FUN!!!!!!

Bill's picture

Happy Birthday!
I used to weave, years ago...and miss it.
Been thinking of buying or making a table loom, wide enough to weave vest fronts. I have several handspun yarns that need to be woven, not knitted.

Tallguy's picture

Oh, yes, weaving will use up your handspun much faster than knitting will. I think it takes at least 4 spinners to keep up with a weaver! I need to get my loom set up so that I can use some of my spinning -- this knitting is just taking far too long! I am spinning faster than I can knit! LOL

You will love working with your handspun. There is a different quality to it that you just do not find in commercial yarn. I'm sure you have already felt this just with knitting with your yarn.

Crafty Andy's picture

Nicely done. I got myself a Schacht 25" for my Christmas Gift this year, after looking and studying for about a year or so. I liked the Kromski, but the Schacht was my choice. I don't really need a warping board as I am pretty good using the warping peg. Weaving is a lot of fun and I am hoping to have some fun creating blankets with double weaving, but one step at a time. I liked Weaving on a Rigid Heddle Loom by Jane Patrick, the DVD is very good and the "Weaver's idea book" is also fantastic. I have some nifty patterns from online that are great for MOHAIR, very clever. Have fun and hope we can weave some cool stuff soon! The sampler and testing gauge sort of speak are essential to understand if your weaving idea is going to work.