2013-01-08: A Taste of Weaving

Trying out yet another new craft.

Lawland lassie, wilt thou go
Whar the hills are clad wi' snow;
Whar, beneath the icy steep,
The hardy shepherd tends his sheep?
Ill nor wae shall thee betide.
When rowed within my Highland plaid.

- Robert Tannahill, aka "The Weaver Poet"
Hand woven scarf - start

So it's not exactly plaid or tartan that I've woven, but it is a simple twill check pattern which is similar to how one would produce plaid. The thing that I'm referring to is my first handwoven garment, a wool scarf.

In January of 2012 I took a class through the Hand Weavers and Spinners Guild of NSW's summer school program called "A Taste of Weaving for Beginners." I spent five days learning how to weave with a four shaft table loom.

When I was very young, I remember my mom had a loom, even when we lived on a sailboat. It was a small one that folded away and I don't recall much else about it other than watching with fascination as she made a belt for me and begging to learn how.

As an adult, I can kind of understand why she never showed me, I think a 5 or 6 year old is going to struggle a fair bit with a loom, but I remember asking, and asking, and probably driving my mother insane. So finally being able to make my own fabric with a loom was pretty exciting.

Hand woven scarf - finished

I didn't make much time for weaving in 2012, so the scarf lay largely dormant until I finally managed to get myself in gear and finish it off over the Christmas/New Year break. It's not perfect, but I am pretty happy with how it turned out! And it's long! It took me a year to complete, but the actual time I spent working on it was less than if I had knitted a scarf that was half the length.

Alas, I was only renting the loom (my packed to the rafters tiny house does not yet have an appropriate space for my very own loom), hence my hurry to wrap up the project and stop costing myself $20 a month. However, tomorrow I will finally dip my toes into card/tablet weaving which will not require a loom and looks to be potentially as gratifying. And when my house is finally fixed up & there is extra room, I think I'll blow a ton of money on one of these, oooooh…