Friday, December 27, 2013

Loom Work

 After months of the yarn just sitting around and gathering dust, I got the Northern Lights scarf woven and off the loom in less than a week.  It was an easy one to weave (threading the reed with all those narrow stripes was a bit of a bear, though).

It's always with a feeling of great satisfaction that I finally take a project from the loom.  First it's cut from the back beam...

Then I go around to the front and pull all the yarn through the reed.

I release the brake and gently unwind the scarf from the front beam.  It's suspenseful revealing the earliest weaving which has been rolled up and covered away since I began.  A master weaver's work looks the same at both ends.  Mine rarely does -- I either beat the yarn down more loosely as I go along, or else pack it down more tightly.

This project was no exception.  Nothing too terribly noticeable, but the far end definitely has a looser weave than the beginning. Ahh, well.

I untied it from the front and then rigged up my little fringe-factory on the dining room table:  cutting board, rotary blade, scissors, tape measure and a wide ruler.

Also two kitchen griddles to weight everything securely down, plus one Snowshoe Siamese on my lap and a cup of coffee near at hand.

Making twisted fringe is sort of fun, although I'm always impatient to finish and glad when the last group of threads has been counted, twisted and knotted.

Here is the scarf before washing...

And here it is after.  After scrutinizing it closely I could find no glaring flaws -- always cause for celebration.  I'm happy with how this came out.

I bought more of the silk/alpaca blend yarn in similar colors and have already warped up enough to weave three more scarves in the same pattern.  This time I'm going to play with using different colors for the weft, plus beat the yarn just a little more firmly to pack the weft down a bit.

There is something about weaving that's very healing.  It's a kind of very quiet therapy.  The repetition of movements, the need to focus on the moment so as not to lose track of the pattern, and the interplay of colors as they cross each other is very soothing to the soul.  And then at the other end, here is this lovely scarf created from the hundreds of intersecting threads.  Amazing.

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