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To weave a web, a cloth

May 29, 2011
Completed backstrap band

Completed backstrap band

Yesterday I embarked upon another project, a simple one that entails learning additional skills, and will only distract me for a little while from those things that are actually more important. However, this little project has the advantage of giving me some satisfaction.

I am using a backstrap to weave a wider-than-usual band that will become my permanent backstrap band.

Those of you who know me also know that I prefer tablet-weaving with a backstrap. However, those have been relatively narrow bands, easily and quickly made. And you also know that I have woven narrow bands on an inkle loom, bands technically called ‘warp-faced plain weave’.

This project is different because it is wider, it is shorter, and it has a gazillion sticks and a lot of handling of the warps.

So, I sketched out a pattern (do a plain color?! Never!) in a sort of toothed pattern, and pulled out all the heaviest crochet cotton I could find. I spent an hour last night measuring out the blue and ecru warp… oops… the warping reel is still packed, so… let’s wrap the warp thread around some furniture. Wind color 1, then color 2, then color 1, then color 3 (a white accent thread), etc. Don’t lose the cross. Tie knots at every color change. OK… 92 warp threads. Bed-time!

This morning, I did much else, and tried to ignore the warp. This evening, I went looking for sticks of suitable size for their various purposes: “cross” sticks, “loom” sticks, heddle stick, shed stick, shuttle, beater. Thankfully, I’m not doing more than the threaded in pattern, or I’d need more sticks. But I need a new broom because the broom handle was the -only- stick of the correct size…

I transferred the warp onto the loom sticks, made a continuous string heddle on the heddle stick, tied in the shed stick, took out the cross sticks, and started weaving. Oops… I needed one more blue thread! Argh! Oh, wait… I meant to do that! (I learned that from a cat.)

So, I’m about one-quarter done, when I took this break to tell you about it. I now know that longer heddles and a thicker shed stick would be better. And I am having a -splendidly- satisfying time!

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