Weaving small – between shots

Early last week packed a 2-day hard stop but all is thankfully well, back on track. Weavers know that sometimes even a small project can sit “between shots.” A shot is the pass of weft across the warp.

It all started so well at the start of May. I was just fresh off my first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine, and had energy for this long-delayed idea of making a bag to hold my keys, phone, etc. when moving quickly with Ty & Spark.

Erica small table loom viewed from the back beam with threads in a cross held by metal loom rods and spread in the black built-in raddle to set-up for weaving.  The threads are a gold cotton, and the loom is on an oak floor.  Two weaving books can be seen bracing the warp for winding-on.
Erica loom needed dusting-off

The colours are shamelessly those that Ty would like, and I am using 5/2 cotton for the whole project. It worked! As I cut, rolled the sample off, Ty looked over and said, “Oh! I see! You made a test sheet!”

Yes! “We” were testing lift plans for 3-shaft diamond twill in Erica de Ruiter’s “Weaving on Three Shafts.” It was quick, fun, and let me fix a threading error, dent closer.

Handwoven narrow cloth on a small Louet Erica table loom.  The vertical warp threads are gold cotton, and the weft is the same size, white cotton showing a small diamond motif in twill by irieknit.

It could use a lining, and I took a long time thinking about the band options for a strap. What shifted thoughts from the Erica loom is how little space it has on this folding table. The feet canter off!

Just having sprung for the matching stand, received the yarn part in the mail, I was surprised to learn that the stand delivers months later in mid-July, 2021.

Tip: ask your supplier when Louet drop ships even small equipment. There may be an un-flagged delay.

Backstrap Loom to the Rescue

As I absorbed the setback to patio weaving thoughts, a fresh approach came to me. Well, I could warp this band on the backstrap loom couldn’t I? Pros:

  • Backstrap weaving gives the best tension of all my tools;
  • I am very behind on practice; and
  • June. June is a good time for lots of things (anniversary, birthday, 2 family celebrations).

It turns out that I could.

Irieknit is sitting in a backstrap body-tensioned loom with a narrow band in 2 shades of yellow and white.  A small weaving sword is in the shed and a shuttle with gold cotton yarn rests on irieknit's thigh.  She is wearing blue jeans and a red cotton t-shirt.
New weaving spot

The barrier (apart from being rusty) was where to set up? Nobody liked me as loom across Ty’s screen-time – least of all me.

Finally, it came together. The lip of this pine hutch could hold my C-clamp! After that it was a matter of quick winding, floor sweeping, table shoving, and I was learning kh’ata (plain weave) again.

Detail of irieknit weaving a narrow cotton band on a backstrap loom shows a small weaving sword in the open shed and a storage unit in front of the loom.  A handcarved shuttle with gold weft thread is lying in irieknit's lap on her blue jeans.

Where I straighten both edges at the same time!

Do you know what? Nobody interrupted. I had enough time to work on my edge control. It was good to loose the weft. The band itself looks too narrow for my bag but I can warp wider.

The guide for weft control will be “Secrets of Spinning, Weaving, and Knitting in the Peruvian Highlands” by Nilda Callanaupa Alvarez. The passage is on p. 47, and the better technique will save my hands.

This warp is long enough to allow me to grow with it. The very next morning, I was ill.

Irieknit backstrap weaving narrow tanka cho'ro double motif band with blue Andean crosses and yellow shells white border.  A mahogany sword rests in the shed and a narrow shuttle with white weft is to the right.  The cloth sticks are resting on a handwoven patterned cloth with handdyed yarn.
A 2017 narrow band, same threads

This older learning piece is a simple doble cara (complementary warp). You can see that the borders are loose, especially on the left. I could have used this step back to plain weave from way back. It will also help my hand position.

Louie Garcia’s work that I mentioned in my last post is a welcome encouragement. Someday I may also warp handspun cotton for backstrap loom weaving. It takes you into the work, feels right.

Flax Plant Update

The weather has been wet then hot, and I think the flax is growing nicely now. This afternoon was positively stormy.

This morning, I saw a bee inspecting. Bloom time should be close!

The Shots to Bookend the Weaving

This fairly plain weaving of a small thing has happened squarely between my two vaccine shots. The sticker & certificate that followed are a huge help but immediate family is still waiting.

Sticker that reads I got my COVID-19 Vaccine hashtag HaltonON in green text on white background above a blue stylized band-aid and a green stylized syringe rests on a cloth drawstring bag with pink background, white polka dots and knit sock monkey motif inside a larger bag.
May it be without side-effect

.I also spoke to friends, tied-off an important loose end for Ty last week.

Slowly but I hope surely barriers are removed where they need to be for you & yours. Check on people if you can, and when you do go lightly with the judging. I assume everyone is an iceberg of emotion right now.

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Lara is a spinner, knitter, natural dyer, parent abandoning a certain fear of weaving. Jamaican-Canadian; she/her in the Greater Toronto Area; we have a Jellicle cat, Melvin & a Double Doodle, Spark. A spindle is usually close to hand!

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