Friday, May 24, 2013

sample of leno lace

This is just a beginner sample of what I learned at the fiber guild mtg last Sun.  We were learning how to do some fancy patterns on the little rigid heddle loom.  Still have a ton to learn but like the idea here.

Just took this big 80 inch rug off the loom last nite, still has the filler in place and ends not tied off.  It is actually more gold and browns than the picture shows.
Had a great time Sun doing another weaving demonstration and actually got to sell a few rugs at same time.  Here is a pic of me at my post.
You will notice that my feet got hot!   Also the guy on the left is spinning some nice rose dyed wool into yarn.
Off on a little vacation for a week.  Will have pictures when I get back.

Thought for the day: Blessed are the cracked, for they let in the light

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

How long does it take to weave a rug Part Two

I managed to get a little work done in my weaving "studio" (that would be the living room that we never use so I took it over:)  Here is a picture one end of the room where I try to keep the majority of my "stuff".
I managed to finish threading the warp thru all the heddles and then get it rolled onto the back beam,  I forgot to take a picture of it as I started that process but here are 2 pictures I took of another wrap I did on same loom last winter.

In the lower picture here you can see the warp being warped onto that back beam (on the far left)  It is all wrapped onto that back then the ends in the front are tied onto the front beam and you are about ready to weave. The first pic below shows that back beam on the right. So the warp will be pulled toward the front with a hand crank as I weave.
I am weaving this rug from a batch of selvage  that I order from a company.  You can see it wrapped on the stick that is laying on top of the loom.  It is the cut off edge of fabric that a factory has left over when they weave huge bolts of fabric or blankets, afghans and such.  It is stringy looking but packs in and makes great textured rugs.
If you see the "rag balls" in that first picture you will see the "rags" that I create to weave into rugs.  These may be denim jeans, sweaters, t-shirts, sweatshirts, or old sheets.  I have been known to pick up a yardage of fabric at garage sale and cut it into strips.  All this has to be laundered prior to cutting or ripping into strips, then the strips are sewn together with the seams trimmed, then rolled into balls.

So you can see it may take me from 1 to 2 hours to WEAVE a rug but the prep time may run into days, with actual hours not possible to count accurately.
As with all fiber arts, it is a thing you love to do and you don't count the amount of time involved.
As I said before it is all a labor of love. 
That can not be measured or priced.

Friday, May 10, 2013

How long does it take to weave a rug??

I get asked this frequently.  I usually just smile and tell them about an hour of actually weaving.  BUT  here is how much work really goes into weaving a rug.
I borrowed this pic from the Internet but have one just like it, but didn't have a picture of mine.  This is the first step, it is called measuring the warp.  The warp is the "string" that runs the length of the rug.  Each cross on this is one yard, so if I am counting this right there is  about 9 to 10 yards of warp so will make several nice size rugs.

The warp is taken off the warping board by making these loops over your hand to sort of hold it all together then where the cross over is, you slip the lease stick into it. See how handy that folded up tread mill is??  That is my little table top loom sitting on the floor.  But I am warping up the big floor loom for my instructions here.
This picture shows that lease stick tied to the front of the loom.  By the loops being crossed it keeps them straight so you can thread them thru the beater bar that you see here.  There are little slots and each 320 ends are threaded thru. I really like to warp my loom from the front to the back.  So much easier when doing it by myself, and I get an even wrap which is extremely important in weaving.
You can just see to the left of last picture the wire heddles, each one has a hole in the center and you thread the warp thru these heddles in a certain sequence depending on if you want a pattern to your weaving.  So now I have 320 ends to thread thru these.
I have been a couple weeks puttering with this so far.  I will add a couple more pictures as I progress with the warping of the loom that has to be done before you ever weave at all.
So what do you think I should say when someone says "how long does it take you to weave a rug?"
I do have to say that most weavers would never complain about all this work as it is a labor of love and each step is important for the end results.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Fabric bowls

Been working on fabric bowls to sell at craft shows this year.  This is the first time I have made such large ones and I like them alot.

This is a pretty orange/white fabric.  I am weaving a set of matching mug rugs to go with it. 

This one is 12 inches across and 3 1/2 inches deep.  Hope my hands hold up,  twisting the fabric on tight is rough on my arthritis I am getting in my thumbs.

So this is what I have been up to this week besides getting my looms warped.  The 18th of May I am doing a weaving demonstration at a local (40 miles away) Civil War deal.  They are raising money to renovate an old school house.  I get to set up a table, with my table top loom  and sell some of my rugs so that is good.  Will be wearing my prairie dress.  Then in June I have another one a little further away (will stay over nite as it is 2 days)  It is a living history farm festival that should be fun, again in costume.  Going to be hot hot hot... Sister going with me and a big booth set up, share motel expense.
Needless to say I have had to change my store hours.  They were interfering with my activities.  LOL  So no more Saturdays.  I picked up Tue. instead.  It will work out as Sat. is usually slow and I have had to be closed several times on Sat. so folks prob don't know if I am coming or going.  There is a sign on a coffee shop on main street that says:  Always open except when closed!  Thats ME!