Wednesday, March 26, 2014

the bandwagon

A couple of years ago, I hopped on the band-weaving bandwagon. My efforts were stymied by not having a good band lock. Since I made one a few months ago, I've been doing more weaving. It really is amazing how having the right tools for the job can make such a big difference.

Warping my Double Hole tape loom has become easier since I've enlisted the help of my husband's old wooden C-Clamps. Set up on either side of the loom, they hold it in an upright position and I can see both sides of the loom. I use my handmade threading tool to pass the warp threads through the slots and holes. Once I have it warped, I can move the C-Clamp over to the shelf near the window, and it becomes an anchor for one end of the warp.

I've been weaving with different size DMC cotton, and silk, playing around with what works best. So far, I like the results of the #5 the best.

Keeping the wpi in mind, I've been spinning my own silk to use for weaving. I hope to use it as pattern threads for the linen tapes I will make. It has taken me longer than it should to learn some of the finer details of band weaving, but it is starting to come together. This past week I tried warping for a simple back-strap loom.

It is very interesting to compare the Double Hole Rigid Heddle Loom with a Backstrap loom, and the ways that patterns are achieved. Now that I've gotten acquainted with the basic set up, I'll move onto trying to do some patterns.

From where I sit when I'm weaving, I have nice light from the window and warmth from the coal/wood stove. The view out the window lets me take notice of the slowly disappearing snowbank, and snowdrops that have started to grow. They are more like "snowdrips", as the blossom is still closed up tight against the cold. They seem to know that the temps are still too cold for the pollinators.

The chickens are very glad to find areas where the sun has melted away the snow to expose the dry dirt!

Nothing like a good dust bath after a long winter.

They dig their holes and kick the dirt up. The kick it all around and over themselves. Then they bask in the sun and dirt.

Other signs of spring I've noticed include: skunks and skunkcabbages, redwing blackbirds, and chipmunks. Still no Eastern Phoebe. We are expecting rain on Friday. They should be along soon after that.


Anonymous said...

very nice looking band heddle and beautiful bands! I like the interior of your house around it all too - with canned beans and pumpkins.
it's my dream to sit and weave near the woodstove, the only thing I miss in our otherwise nice house.I almost didn't have any snow this year, but out hens would totally identify with yours when it comes to dustbathing.

Vlaďka Cepáková said...

You have Spring at last. Everything is better, isn´t it?
I like your bands. Especially the green. I also tried it a long time ago. But I had a wrong tool.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

You make magic with that weaving tool. I know nothing about it but it looks pretty and useful.
It is a hoot seeing such large birds (your chickens) taking a dust bath.
It is raining here today, supposed to turn to a wintery mix soon. UGH, enough already.

Judy said...

Well I hope you put that fiber up high and dry. I heard 3 inches of rain and with the additional melt you might need your canoe. I will toss a line out to you as you are floating by!!!! Don't forget to grab your chickens too!

Cathy said...

Love the weavings - and seeing the chickens, too.

Cassidy said...

I want to raise chickens when I have a house of my own! interesting to see pictures!

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