Those of you have been following me on my old blog, Moxie Blue, know that I'm taking a wee break from mixed media, painting, doll making, writing, etc., to learn to weave. I love to weave on the hand held small looms, but hate having to sew them together to make a bigger project, which also accounts for why my crocheted granny square afghan has lain unfinished for several years. :/
After much debating with myself, and with my husband's encouragement, I decided to purchase a Schacht Cricket Loom, which is a heddle loom that can be used on a table or in my lap, and it can handle weavings up to 6-7 feet long. The one I purchased is 15" wide and everything I needed to learn came with it, except that the instructions left out a couple of important things, which I learned by watching Kathryn Jacoby's six youtube videos showing everything I REALLY needed to know, from warping to finishing, on this very loom. I am so grateful to her for sharing her knowledge in such a clear understandable way.
Anyway, below are a few pictures of my first attempt at weaving on my new loom:
The cricket loom after it's easy assembly, all ready for my first attempt at a more complicated process than a pot holder loom. I have it clamped to a TV tray, which is really not big enough, but it worked for the time being.
I got the whole warping done (still around the warping pole), only to discover that I forgot to wrap all those threads around the apron bar. Had to take every single one out, untangle a lot, and start completely over. That's when I went and carefully watched Kathryn's videos. The second time I got it right! Yay!
A close up of the yarn threads through the heddle slots, before cutting them loose from the warping pole.
The warping process is done! I have cut and divided the threads, threaded half of them through the holes in the heddle, and rolled it up, putting paper between the layers to help keep it smooth. It's now ready to roll forward and start weaving!
Half the threads are through the slots and half through the holes. The pink scrap yarn is woven in for a few lines to get the threads more even to start with. I should have put a couple more lines, but I didn't. Another learning from experience tidbit!
Now I'm off and weaving! I used a thicker yarn on the weft (across) than on the warp (vertical), which may or may not have been a good idea. :/ I had to get used to raising and lowering the heddle for every line and using a shuttle to draw the thread through instead of a crochet hook or needle. I also skipped threads or forgot to change the heddle and had to unravel and redo several times. Having to advance the
warping every few lines took some getting used to too, but I did it!
The finished piece of fabric is about 28" long and 14" wide after I washed and dried it (wet finished). The pink thread has since been pulled out. The fringe will be cut off or done away with. I haven't decided yet. There are bobbles in the weaving, but I am doggone proud of myself and my first piece of woven fabric, which I plan on sewing into a bag at some point. I didn't use a pattern and I now know that to make a tote bag (which is what I had planned) it should have been longer. So I will try again!
The cricket loom will take some practice and getting used to before it becomes as relaxing and meditative as the small hand looms I'm used to, but I'm sure, in time, it will be. I'm already looking forward to my next adventure with it!