I guess you could say that I did not waste much time. I knew what I wanted… all I had to do was find it. So, I got a little obsessed with the search. I found her on craigslist, and started corresponding with the seller. Things looked a little dicey at first (there was another interested buyer!) but things worked out so well – almost like it was meant to be!
Yesterday morning, Kris and I drove down to DC and picked up my new loom, a Schacht Baby Wolf, the loom I used at The Mannings last weekend. It was a wonderful transaction: the seller was so kind and gave me some great information about the loom. We managed to fit her in my compact car (a feat in itself) and brought her home along with several accessories like the warping board, the shuttles, the bobbin winder, a swift, etc. (Of course, this is not to say that I had very much room for her yet…)
Loom in a little room
Buying the loom was the catalyst I needed to get organized. I agreed to the sale on Thursday night, and I spent the evening culling through old papers and my bookshelves in an attempt to consolidate. Still working on the consolidation bit… and while it is a little tight, the loom is still perfectly usable in this room. It didn’t stop me from warping it up - er, trying to warp it up.
Warping is time-consuming. There is no way around it. However, I realized that when I changed my attitude – ugh, warping to all-part-of-the-process – it became more enjoyable. Knitters can see a parallel here; while warping comes at the beginning of the process, it is akin to seaming up a sweater. It isn’t necessarily fun, but of course, a very necessary part of the craft. Without the warp there is no weave; without the seams there is no sweater.
Plus, I used this time to truly test my knowledge retention. I took the introductory class last week – how much did I remember? How much could I recreate? I used my detailed photoset from the class, as well as the go-to book, Deborah Chandler’s Learning to Weave. Kris was interested in the process too, and helped me with a few of the mechanical bits and using the warp board. Throughout the warping, I realized that I still have SO much to learn. There are so many little steps to remember, but as I go along, I am hoping that they will become second nature. We shall see.
This morning, I finished the last step of the warping – tying the appropriate knots on to the rods – and actually started weaving. I realized pretty soon that I had tension issues, and I tried to rectify them as best as I knew how. My first little sample was not pretty. If I were to grade myself, I would give myself a C. My knots need a lot of work, as they control the tension for the piece. Much like knitting, your tension (gauge) really matters.
… A pretty picture doesn’t make a pretty sample, unfortunately…
I used TLC Essentials, one of the nicer acrylic yarns, for my weaving practice. The color is just too pretty and perfect for Project Spectrum
Beautiful new loom, now I just need to learn all about her! The key is practice, and I am hoping to have some of my issues cleared up soon – at least I know what I did wrong!
If you are knitter who relies on the web for a lot of instruction and education, whether it be knitting-help.com or Ravelry, blogs, or any number of forums or listservs, say a little thank you. I sure did. I have used the web for years to teach me little things about the knitting arts – from different techniques to different yarns. It truly is amazing how much a beginning knitter can learn from the web. This is not the same story for a beginning weaver, unfortunately. I am finding a few interesting websites, but nothing with the same comprehensive approach. This means a lot of practice, and trial and error. Things are much easier when you have an experienced teacher to help you out! I am determined not to let this lack of instruction deter from my passion for weaving. If anything, it will help me truly understand the process…
… and lest you think I left knitting behind…
I cast on for a perfect Project Spectrum scarf – I coined it the Embers Scarf, because the colors reminded me of hot coals. The yarn was a gift from Kimberly a few years back. She bought it on one of her frequent trips to China, and sent it my way. It is Olympus James Dean Road, an aran-weight wool blend. I am using the Lopi Lace Scarf pattern from Weekend Knitting.