Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Weaving Zen

There is nothing quite like weaving when everything is going smoothly.  :)  Today I found myself in harmony with the loom and decided to tape a video clip.  I'd hoped that my left hand would be more visible so that viewers could see how I catch the shuttle between my index and middle finger, then shift my index finger to propel the shuttle back across the web - but there just wasn't enough room between the loom and the wall to get the camera at just the correct distance.  Sorry it didn't work out.

Getting a good weaving rhythm is a confluence of a number of factors.  First the warp has to beamed firmly and evenly so that you get a good clear shed.

Then the bobbins have to be wound well - again with firm tension so that the built up layers can't cut down into the lower layers of yarn.

Holding the shuttle 'underslung' allows it to be caught and thrown in an ergonomic manner.  The shoulders are relaxed and a little bit of a flick of the wrist combined with the push of the index finger can shoot the shuttle across quite a wide web.  In this instance it's not too wide - just 24" in the reed.  This is a width I find quite comfortable to hand throw.  More than 30" wide and I start to feel the strain from having to hold my hands out further from my body.  More than 30" in width I generally switch to the fly shuttle.

You might notice that at a certain point in the cycle my hands are not holding onto the beater at all.  I don't weave with an overhead beater so I'm not sure that this is possible on one of those but on an underslung beater there is a time when it passes the pivot point that it will naturally fall towards the fell or away from it. 

I have a few other video clips on my You Tube channel here where I talk through what I am doing and weave more slowly.

And here is a better view of the cloth:
Here you can see the cut line I weave in on the lower level to aid in separating the towels once they are off the loom.  It's the white line.  One of the advantages of the Compu-Dobby is that I can generate the entire treadling draft and include a blank pick to let me know that the next two picks are to be woven in a constrasting colour for the cut line.

And here is a close up of the cloth.  I threaded the large motif once along each edge of the cloth.  Once the cloth has been wet finished and the brown Fox Fibre yarn has developed the darker colour, the design woven into the cloth should show up much more clearly. 

That, at least, is the plan!


Rhonda from Baddeck said...

Awesome - it put me into a trance just watching! It will be interesting to see how much the Fox fiber darkens.

Laura Fry said...

Amazingly Doug can sleep while I'm weaving, even with the air compressor right under the bedroom! :)

Rhonda from Baddeck said...

That's funny - I guess the loom (and compressor) is his "white noise." He knows everything is fine as long as the sound continues.

Unknown said...

I just showed my ten-year-old the video. She was amazed and wondered why I don't weave like that! Because Momma doesn't have anywhere near that big of a loom.

Dee said...

That is gorgeous! I aspire to weave like you. Someday...