Tuesday, 7 April 2015

My Name is Elizabeth and I'm a Weaver

There, I said it.  I have resisted the appellation for years even though I have had rigid heddle looms for many years, I teach Intro to Rigid Heddle and I've had an inkle loom even longer.  I always saw myself as a capital "K" Knitter and a capital "S" Spinner but a small "w" weaver.  I wove a bit, but I didn't "think in weaving" like I do knitting and spinning.  Somehow, in the last little while that has changed.

It started with this:

Elephant blanket, border almost complete

That would be a blanket in Summer and Winter.  On a Rigid Heddle Loom.  Because I can do tapestry in Summer and Winter with just 2 heddles and a pickup stick. 

I did a bit of it based on an article in the first issue of Prairie Wool Companion (Nov 1981) about 6 years ago.  I made some little "First Aid Kit for Hearts" bags for some kids I was working with

I also made a sampler of many of the possible textures based on the weave structure.  It was supposed to result in an article for WeaveZine, but the on-line magazine ceased publishing before I got it done.

Finally I produced a baby blanket for a friend's first baby:

The Multi-harness weavers collective jaws dropped when I presented this at Show and Tell.  Even their fancy computer controlled 32 harness looms probably don't have enough harnesses to create this. 

And then I let it go for a while.  I didn't produce much, I just taught the intro course.

But then, in January, there was a message from a friend.  Her brand new grandbaby was in hospital and they had run out of suitable Linus blankets for baby boys.  Linus blankets are given to patients at CHEO to brighten rooms and provide comfort.  They had plenty of knitted ones, but they had decided those are not suitable for babies; some babies have caught fingers in the stitches and nearly been injured.  Ann's message was "can't we weave these?"  Of course we can.  So out came the loom and a sense of adventure.  In the process I discovered that the loom might be low tech, but I'm not.  I found a needlework graphing app for my new iPad which set up the graph (StitchSketch).  And I'm using another app to track my place (Knit Companion). 

In the end the elephants blanket might stay with me, as I think it will turn out a bit small, but I have a PILE of other ideas.  So much so that I bought another app.  iWeaveIt is the iPad version of WeaveIt.  It's a drafting program for weaving.  And I really like it, I like figuring out what thread does what.  Which, I think, makes me a Weaver with a capital W. 

Stay tuned.  I have plans.  This loom can do a LOT more than scarves and plain weave and I intend to explore and share.  There will be kits and tutorials.  IF I can keep at it, a tutorial and project kit for Summer and Winter will be ready in time for Twist in late August.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, my friend, you are a Weaver. I can't wait for your tutorial. I don't use my rigid heddle loom as much as I would like to and you're going to help me with that. ;-)