Thursday, February 19, 2015

a winter weavers window

This winter, there are attempts being made to achieve the goal of weaving with my handspun linen. Samples have been woven on a 4 harness table top loom that sits in a somewhat south/west facing window. The light is at its best in the mid to late afternoon, and the room is situated on the second floor, above the woodstove. The cabin has the old "gravity feed" vents in the floor, and the warmth radiates upwards. It is a pleasent place to be during these very cold days.

From my vantage point, I see the slope of the snow covered road.

If I look through the trees, I can see the river winding its way through the valley.

There is the old maple that has been severely trimmed this past fall. It holds a bird feeder, and late in the day, the turkeys come down off the mountain to eat the seeds that the smaller birds have dropped. Turkeys are normally very shy, and it is hard to get close to them. They do not notice me looking down on them from above. It is remarkable how much their behavior is like the chickens we keep. Or maybe it is the other way around.

The warp that I have dressed the loom with, is made from commercially spun cotton. Pulling one or more strands through the dent will allow me to decide what sett I will use for the final piece. I used a handmade mini-triangle loom for a raddle, but I'm not so sure it was the best idea.

The heddles are threaded for plain or tabby weave. I must remember to take notes about what I think works well, and what does not. Surprisingly, the weave structure that happened due to a threading error, is a favorite. I am learning and enjoying the process.

My inspiration comes from these towels (shown above), work of my Grandmother's and Great Grandmother's.

As you can see, there is still much for me to learn. The weft for the samples is my handspun linen singles. The singles were spun with Z twist.

Next, I plan to try the handspun hemp singles for warp. I don't mind telling you that I feel a bit daunted by the idea.


Cathy said...

Love the view from your room - especially the turkeys.

I love your weaving and thoughts - and to see the bands woven by your foremothers makes me smile.

Valerie said...

Congratulations!! You are making wonderful progress on your weaving goal!!

The weaving is wonderful!! I'm sure you are very gratified with the use of your handspun.

My weaving room faces south, so I can relate to weaving in the afternoon sun. On the days that I spend an hour or so weaving, I sleep like a baby.

Lisa Greenbow said...

I have to look up most of the terms you used for this post about weaving. Wow if you learn to make this towel, what an achievement this will be. I can remember a visit to a girlfriends grandparents home and there was a HUGE loom in the kitchen where the table should have been where her grandmother would sit and send that shuttle (?) back and forth. I don't know the terms but I remember being mesmerized just by the loom. You have a wonderful winter project going here. Have fun. I can't wait to see the results. I know you will master this in no time.

Judy said...

Beautiful. Stay warm

Anonymous said...

My sister is awesome! Great work Cyn!

Anonymous said...


I suspect sizing and/or keeping the warp wet while under tension and working, and without tension when you're not, will help. I have some linen singles that I want to use when I get more flax spun up.

Leslie Shelor said...

Good work and wonderful views!

Goatberry said...

I want to get back to my loom after a 10 yr break. It calls to me from the shed.
I'll begin w an orange slubby wool.
Next, I plan to work w linen. I'd thought I had some linen in my stash, but, no. 😏.
Can you point me to some linen spinning? Anciently, the stems were joined w saliva &, when long enough, were plied. I'm not seeing how to draft flax!

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