Saturday, October 10, 2009

Small Weaving Tools & Resuming Weaving

Over the summer, I didn't weave much, but I did pick up two small tools to help with weaving.

My huck towel project stalled last spring. First, I got busy with the color workshop I took, and then summer hit. All semblance of a schedule went out the window.

Plus my studio was super hot. Even though I have a window air-conditioner, it required more coordination and forethought than I was capable of to go up and turn it on to cool down the space with the looms so I could weave a few hours later.

Also, the design for the project had four towels, but I had 7 or 8 towels worth of warp on the loom. The article in Handwoven that inspired the project suggested that I do some designing of my own for any remaining towels.

My problem isn't a lack of ideas. It's that I have too many ideas....and I think and ponder and add more....So it becomes totally overwhelming to choose.

One good thing about vacation is that it takes me away from my usual thought patterns and routines. On vacation, I decided that I really wanted to get back to a solid studio practice, and that one of the simplest ways to do that would be to start weaving the warp that's already on the loom. Weaving. Not endlessly wondering which of my ideas would work best.

So I'm taking the easy way out and just repeating the first four towels in the article. I've already got towel 5 from this warp almost finished.

More weaving. Less thinking.

Now, about those tools.

From a tip in an old Handwoven, I read about these cross-stitch rulers.

The lines and numbers (10, 11, 14, 16, 18, etc) on the bottom of the ruler are stitches per inch.

When you hold it up next to your weaving, you can tell if you're weaving the desired number of picks per inch.

It took me a day or two to get used to using this ruler instead of counting picks, but it is much quicker once you're used to it.

My other new cool tool is this pair of curved scissors. I can cut close to the warp without the tip cutting something unexpected. Love them!

Related posts:

Taking this towel to meet the towel designer
Cutting off a single towel: One Stick Trick
Worrying at the start of the warp
More start of warp worrying
The beginning of this project


Theresa said...

What a super idea with the cross stitch ruler! The towels look great and hooray you've finally started to work in again on the warp. Now, what's that sweet little loom, a Norwood? Whatever it is, it looks like a nice size for workshops.

Jennifer said...

I completely understand the gift and curse of too many ideas! Good for you being able to push through! The cross stitch ruler is a great idea!

Life Looms Large said...

This loom is my baby wolf by Schacht. It's got 8 shafts, so it's kind of heavy, but it is possible to take it to workshops.

"Gift and curse" is a good way to describe having too many ideas. I have to remind myself of the gift part sometimes!!


Susan said...

So nice to see you back in the saddle again!

Love that ruler! Now to find one of those up here....


Delighted Hands said...

More weaving. Less thinking....Love how you have just dove in on the towels! Nice benefit to your cooler temps!

Janice Zindel said...

I know what you mean about too many ideas. My mantra now is just keep weaving, sometimes just winging it at the loom instead of planning borders out. They were the first ones sold!

Next time I'm at JoAnne's or Michael's, I need to look for one of those rulers, great idea. The
scissors, too. I haven't cut a warp thread yet, but why continue to risk it?

Leigh said...

What great new toys! I love that stitch ruler. The towels look great too, and it's comforting to know that I'm not the only one who's been slow on the weaving front.

charlotte said...

What a smart tool this cross stitch ruler is, I'm sure going to look if I can find one, too.

Sharon said...

I didn't even know a stitch ruler existed. Another new thing learned. I love the towels and have discovered how heavy multiple shafts are and how much my back knows it too.

BTW, I've left an award for you on my blog so the next time you pass that way, pick it up :)

Life Looms Large said...

I'm glad I'm not the only one who slows down her weaving over the summer. (And sometimes I'll use other excuses too!)

I had to unweave some today, and I love those scissors for cutting anything on the loom - or for finishing. One of my sewing friends showed me hers, and I really love them.

The stitch ruler was hard for me to find. I couldn't find it at Joann Fabrics near me, but eventually I ended up in a cross-stitch shop and they had them. (It was the cross-stitch shop next to Keepsake Quilting near Lake Winnipesaukee.