We have had a loom in the family for a few years now. Little Miss and Young Man have been the resident weavers. I wanted to learn, but have been too busy. We recently sold the old, large floor loom and bought a smaller floor room that easily fits in the corner of the living room. In plain sight, all day every day, the loom started calling to me. So Young Man and Little Miss agreed to finish their projects by October 1st, at which point it was my turn with the loom. It was finally time for me to learn!!!
I started by just practicing on some extra warp that Little Miss had left on the loom. I got the hang of tension and such with that practice piece. Then I was ready to jump in and do my first project. I have a hand-woven kitchen dishtowel/handtowel that I really love and decided to copy that design and idea with my first project. Mtn Man helped me with warping – and I am SO glad he did. It was tricky to learn it for the first time and feel confidant as we went. There were definitely some stressful moments, and I felt like it took FOREVER. I am hopeful that we find the next warping to be less stressful and a little quicker now that we understand it better. But I enjoyed watching the yarn pattern build up on the warping board.
Once we got it warped, I used some thicker waste yarn to make a header to finish tensioning the loom and give me a straight starting point, and then I took off with the weaving. I am amazed at how fast weaving goes. As a knitter, I am used to much slower progress. Maybe I am a slow knitter but fast weaver…I don’t know. But I felt like the project was flying along.
I was worried though, the fabric seemed quite open…more open than I had hoped. But I knew that it would do some shrinking and tightening when it came off the loom and then was washed. In what felt like no time at all, my towel was finished. It definitely felt like weaving took about 1/3 the time warping did…but that is probably because since it was my first project I only warped for one towel, not multiples.
I hemstitched the ends (I did the first end after I had woven the first 3 inches or so, and the second end was done once the project was finished but still on the loom).
And I cut it off the loom!
Then I trimmed the tassels. Maybe I should have waited until after washing to trim the tassels – I don’t know, but I was worried they would become a huge knotted mess in the wash if I didn’t.
It looked great, and I was so happy with it. But now for the terrifying part…washing. Images flashed through my mind as I set it into the washer – images of it unraveling and me pulling out a tangled knot of yarn mess…images of it being a messed up balance and coming out all waving and oochy and messed up. I said a little prayer and pressed the start button…then anxiously waited the 50 minutes that my washer took to wash it. I was so excited when I pulled it out and it looked great!
It had tightened and shrunk quite a bit, though I still found the weave to be looser than I had hoped. But I love it!!! Here it is next to the original that I had designed it after.
I like the size and colors better than the original, but I like the thickness of the original towel better than the new one.
First weaving project was a success! Now time to warp again…this time it will be for several towels on one warping, not just one….that ought to make the warping time more efficient.