Weaving in Arizona

My new table loom was small enough to bring on our snowbirding trip to Arizona. It was especially nice to work on this weaving project in a relaxing fashion without many other duties calling. Following are some photos showing the first step of the process, measuring out and threading the warp yarns through the slots and holes in the heddle.

Close up of warping the loom

There are four different yarns in the warp. It looks like three in the photos, but there are two different purple yarns because I ran out of the one and then finished up with another.

As in my first weaving project, I used a selection of leftover yarn from my stash. Anyone with a hobby that uses materials has a stash that keeps getting bigger no matter how many projects you complete. Buying more stash has nothing to do with what is already in your stash. I saw a joke on facebook recently that buying stash and using stash are two different hobbies. So true! I like to buy something at the local yarn shop when I travel. When I use it later, or even just look at it, I think about where I was when I bought it.

Using the entire rental house living area for warping the loom

The two purple yarns and the brownish warp yarn are commercially made. The yellow warp yarn is something I had hand spun with my spinning wheel long ago. It was always a small amount and I don’t think I ever used it for anything else. The three balls of yarn on the table are what I used for the weft (back and forth).

Warp yarns on the loom, Weft yarns on the table

For the weft I used more of the second purple yarn, plus some purplish/goldish multi color hand spun yarn, and some gold single ply commercial yarn.

Two of the yarns in this scarf have a story. I spun the purplish/goldish bulky yarn myself using a variety of different fibers that came from different sources. I don’t remember all the fibers used except that the yellow is corn fiber I bought at a fiber festival. You would think corn fiber comes from the long silky threads that you peel away when husking corn, but actually it is made from starch that is extracted from the plant fibers, broken down into sugars, fermented and separated into polymers. The polymers are then made into delicate strands. I don’t understand any of that but you can read about it at the following web site http://knittyprofessors.blogspot.com/2009/12/fiber-facts-yarn-made-from-corn.html. The thing I remember is that the corn fiber was hard to use and I eventually gave most of it away.

I used the purple/goldish yarn that included corn fiber for the cuff on some felted slippers I made a few years ago. The boot part of the slipper was knitted using some commercial yarn (not anything used in the current project), and then felted. The cuff was knitted separately and sewn on afterwards, using my hand spun yarn that is also part of the current woven scarf.

Knitted and felted slippers I made, with cuff knitted from my hand spun yarn

I bought a skein of the gold single ply yarn, shown on the table in the photos above, when I was on a girls trip to New Orleans with high school friends about five years ago. I used it to knit a shawl, but ran out before finishing the project, so I ordered more online. What I am using in this scarf is from the second skein. It is bittersweet because one of my closest friends who was on that trip passed away suddenly last summer, days after we returned from another girls trip. Now when I see the shawl or this woven scarf with the gold yarn in it, I will think about my friend as well as the trip to New Orleans.

Following are photos of the weaving in progress.

Weaving in progress

The warp yarns are threaded alternately through the slots and holes of the heddle. When you move the heddle to up or down positions, it causes one whole group of alternating yarns to go up and the other to go down, leaving a space for the weft yarn to go across between them. The result is the weft yarn woven over and under alternating warp yarns. After passing the weft yarn across, you move the heddle to the opposite position, making the weft yarn go over and under the opposite warp yarns.

The shuttle is passing between alternating warp yarns

My second weaving project was an improvement over the first, but not perfect. The sections with thicker weft yarn are wider, but I do not know how one end of the scarf ended up at an angle. There is still much to learn.

One end is crooked
Finished scarf
Another view of the final product

For my third project I would like to make something with fewer different yarns but a more complicated pattern with the weaving itself. At the moment I have no idea how that happens, but I will figure it out with help from youtube, and Torri Hanna, my mentor in Fergus Falls.

Published by Meg Hanson

Hello. I am a recently retired empty nester. My husband and I moved to Jewett Lake in Otter Tail County, Minnesota, after living most of our lives in the Minneapolis area. I have no trouble keeping busy with knitting and spinning of wool, selling yarn and handmade goods, reading, walking, watching movies, surfing on the internet, traveling, doing bookkeeping for our family cabin, and spending time with family.

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