Warp: Habu A-165-26 1/20 tokken viscose silk
Weft: Habu A-34-7405 cashmere
Scarf: 6 inches x 59 inches
I wrapped this handwoven scarf around my neck this morning with mixed feelings about the resulting piece. The fabric is incredibly soft but I wanted to create a more balanced weave. I was looking to create a piece where the sticky uneven viscose silk warp would play equally with the delicate plies of the cashmere weft to create a balanced weave. On the loom, weft dominated warp. But now seeing the photograph with the scarf worn around my neck, I think there is a hint of my original intention for the piece. The viscose silk is present in a more subtle way giving depth to the resulting fabric.
A few days ago I was nearing the end of the warp when one of the warp threads snapped. I had turned the back handle too tightly and with too much force while adjusting the tension. I fixed the thread by adding a piece of warp and securing it at each end with a weaver’s knot. Apparently this knot is incredibly strong and it’s not noticeable in the scarf. The warp material I used is actually my favorite thus far – a bit uneven, a tad sticky, silk with texture.
My attention now turns to the stack of hats that need to be wrapped….Happy Holidays!
I wanted to learn to weave because I had a clear picture in my mind of how I would use the woven fabrics. I thought of our minimalist living room: two walls had windows, the third a fireplace and door and the fourth – a large blank wall. I wanted to keep the minimalist feel, but at the same time add something to the wall space that would give warmth, texture and interest to the room. Inspiration came from reading about the work of Claudy Jongstra, who designs and produces felt fabrics for residential and commercial spaces. Visits to Habu sparked my curiosity – the big silvery door propped open, leading you into a space with beautiful woven fabrics hanging on the walls. I envisioned my wall with similar textural hangings (and maybe a chunky hand spun hand woven throw on the couch as well) creating a modern yet cozy interior. I had to learn how to weave. And so this is where I find myself, creating and still very much in the learning phase of the art. Although my last two projects focused on hand-controlled weaves like leno weave and Danish medallion, I decided to use plain weave for my next project. I want to let the beauty of the materials do the work while I practice the basic weaving techniques.
I started warping late Saturday using Habu token viscose silk (A-165-26, above left). Warping the loom took me about 2-3 hours. The back of my Kromski Harp Rigid Heddle Loom functions as a warping board – it’s actually a very meditative process of gently taking yarn from the cone and wrapping it around the pegs, crossing at the top and returning to the starting point to repeat the process. I also needed the help of my husband who winds the warp at the back of the loom while I hold and clean the warp at the front to achieve proper tension.
I’m using Habu cashmere (A-34-7405, above right) for the weft – figure-8 wrapped on the stick shuttle. Eventually I would like to get a Swedish boat shuttle that holds bobbins of fine yarn and a bobbin winder.
shuttle full of cashmere
warp tied at the front (cloth beam) of the loom
The light was really beautiful this morning, pouring into the living room where I keep the loom. It’s just the beginning but I’m really excited about this project. On the knitting front, I’m still working on the hats and added some yarn to the stash. After seeing this gorgeous golden skein of Andy’s Yarn, I knew I had to try some. I was at Purl recently and this skein just jumped right out at me – Farmhouse Yarns Andy’s Merino in Tangerine.