I haven't made a post in this space for a long time and I doubt I'll be returning to any kind of regular posting schedule but I wanted a space to share some photos and links about weaving, something I've taken up recently. I mostly wanted to share some photos of things I've been working on and links to resources that I've found useful, if only for my own future use.
I decided to teach myself to weave because I wanted to make my sister in law a nice house warming gift. I'd never seen anyone weave before and had no idea what it entailed so I started by watching some videos - I took Rachel Denbow's Skillshare class Weave Your First Woven Wall Hanging and also watched Annabel Wrigley's Weaving For Beginners Creativebug videos on Youtube. I recently borrowed Rachel's book DIY Woven Art from my local library - while it's a largely a beginner's guide (and I think I've graduated just past that stage), it has some really nice projects and easy to follow technique guides.
I assumed I'd make my own loom using an old wooden canvas frame with the canvas removed and attach tiny nails, but decided this was going to be a hobby I could justify spending a little extra on and I bought this medium sized loom from Spotlight (it's 39cm x 26cm).
Most of the yarn I've used has come from opshops and a couple of splurges at Spotlight - it's fun seeing the variety at opshops, I've found some really unique yarn there. My favourites are usually natural fibres but I don't mind an acrylic mix. I find that synthetic fibres don't look or feel as nice and can look too shiny. I love laying out a selection of balls or skeins of yarn and choosing colours for a project.
I have admired a number of fibre artists on Instagram - such incredible work! Here are some of my favourites.
Learning new techniques as I go has been really fun - The Weaving Loom has a great collection of technique tutorials as does Loom & Spindle. I love rya knots and soumak stitches and have recently tried my hand at a double warping my loom. I found it surprisingly challenging to work on - I kept missing warp threads and wouldn't notice then I'd have to undo some of my weft threads to fix the mishaps. I'd really like to try a shag weave sometime and use different coloured warp.
At the time of writing this post, I've made 8 weavings so far. I finished up the last one a few days before Christmas for a friend. I've given all 9 weavings away, mostly as Christmas gifts. I've got one more to make for a friend and then I might make a few to sell. I've got a long to-do list before I start my Masters of Teaching in late Feb, and I'd like to fit in making as many weavings as possible before I become very time poor. Here are some photos of them - they're in the order that I made them, so hopefully it looks like I was improving!
It's quite nice putting my loom on my lap and watching TV while I weave (not great for posture though). I've been watching a lot of The Crown Season 2 while I weave lately. I should really make myself some kind of stand so that I'm not constantly hunched over.
I feel as though I'm just about outgrowing the medium sized loom and would love to try my hand at making a larger sized loom for bigger projects. Fall For DIY's Giant Loom post seems like a good place to start. I recently unearthed the electric jigsaw my neighbour gave me several months ago and replaced the blades for a small project and would love a reason to use it again (<3 power tools). If I attempt making one I'll post how I went about it (if it's a total failure I might not post about it, ha).
I'd also love to try making a latch hook wall hanging. My mother in law gave us an enormous latch hook that she made before she got married (30-something years ago) and had in storage (see below + my dog and new bed). A little ambitious for my tastes.
The 'tools' I use other than my purchased wooden loom are just a large metal wool needle, a shed stick that came with my loom (a stick that is placed over and under the warp threads to separate them to make it easier to weave over/under) and a pair of scissors - simple! My loom came with a heddle bar, which I've not used and have since misplaced. I don't think weaving tools have to be fancy to get a nice result, howeverI thought I'd post a few of my weaving wish-list items here as well.
I'd also love a proper pompom maker as the ones I make with a piece of cardboard are just never as perfect as ones made with a proper maker.
Here are a couple of books I'd love to have a browse through for inspiration.
I'll finish up with some yarn I like from my stash. Rachel Denbow refers to them as 'yarnicorns' - the balls/skeins you hold onto for just the right project.