Tag Archives: Weaving with handspun yarn

What Do You Get When You Weave With Thick, Bulky Warp?

Thick, bulky fabric!

Like this:

photo showing the off-loom length of fabric woven using  twill tape for warp and fabric strips for weft.

Off-loom length of fabric made with twill tape warp – using fabric strips for weft.

And this:

photo showing off-loom length of handspun handwoven rug fabric

Off-loom length of fabric made with handspun yarns in warp and weft.

Both fabrics were woven on Ashford rigid heddle looms using the 2.5 dpi (dents per inch) heddle.

And FYI:

  • the measuring stick in these photos is 48″ long
  • it takes me a while to figure out how to get even edges
  • and yes, I use toilet paper for headings

The twill tape experiment came first – using a 16″ loom.

photo showing 16" RH loom set up with twill tape warp, using hand dyed fabric strips as weft.

Twill tape warp and hand dyed fabric weft on a 16″ rigid heddle loom.

Then I expanded a bit for the second experiment – using a 24″ loom.

Photo ofweft-faced fabric on a 24 inch rigid heddle loom using handspun yarn.

Handspun warp and weft on a 24″ rigid heddle loom.

The twill tape and fabric strips became these 3 pieces.

photo of 3 pieces of fabric handwoven fabric made with twill tape warp with fabric strips for weft.

Twill tape warp with fabric strips for weft.

Good examples of what can happen when you get overly excited about the middle of the weaving – and don’t pay attention to the beginning or the end (note the curved hems).  Next time –  I’ll be more careful with the hem sections.

They’re also good examples of what I like to call “prototypes” or, even better –  “handwoven samples you can use”.

photo of handwoven potholders 'holding' pot lids on the stove

So – from my first experiment using thick, bulky warp – I got potholders!  And a lot of information about what to do next time.

The second experiment remains unfinished. Super bulky warp yarns aren’t ideal for a folded woven hem.  And I’m not a big fan of fringe on the floor.

Photo of handspun handwoven twill fabric pinned to the edge of a handwoven rug to test it as a possible finishing technique. fabric

Handspun, handwoven wool binding pinned over the end of my rug-like fabric.

So after staring at it for a few days, (with a piece of leftover binding pinned to the edge) I decided to make more of the same dark brown, handspun/handwoven twill fabric that I used to bind the edges of this piece:

photo of multi-color wool rug, handspun and handwoven by Joanne Littler, Pine Ledge Fiber Studio, Fairfax, VT

Multicolored Rug, 41″ x 21″, handspun and handwoven by Joanne Littler, Pine Ledge Fiber Studio, Fairfax, VT

The yarn’s been spun.

Photo of dark brown yarn handspun by Joanne Littler

Dark brown handspun yarn for rug binding.

But I want it to be the first warp I put on and weave off when I’m ready to get back to weaving with a floor loom.  So that’s on “hold” for now.

In the meantime, there are a couple more things I want to try with that big, funky heddle.  And I’ve got lots more spinning to do.  Most of it related to my continuing quest to explore what it takes to make a good rug.

As much as I love the thick handspun fabric I wove on the RH loom – I think it’s best to describe it as being “rug-like” – and not what I would consider “good fabric for a rug”.  (More about that later).

The thing about it is, neither project needed to be anything.
Something else was going on.  Something more than any particular handwoven thing.

What I “got” when I wove with thick, bulky warp was (way) more than potholders and a rug. 

Working with those wide open spaces in the 2.5 dpi heddle helped me think about (and do) things differently.
Exactly what I’ve learned to expect from weaving.

I gotta go do my PT for knees.

Joanne's blog signature, Pine Ledge Fiber Studio

 

 

 

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Weaving With Handspun Yarn – What’s Your Approach?

Do you have a stash of yarn you’ve spun and wonder how you can use it in a weaving project?
Or, do you have a project in mind and wonder how to spin the yarn so you can use it for weaving?

There are different challenges and rewards depending on which approach you choose to take.

If you start with yarn you’ve already spun – the yarn determines the project.

Photo of a variety of handspun yarns, different sizes, different colors, different weights.

What can I weave with these?

If you decide to start spinning specifically for a project – the project determines the yarn.

Photo of yarn spun specifically for weaving

Handspun yarn for a handwoven scarf

I think the second route is easier and more satisfying.

Maybe it’s because it’s easier for me to start with a picture in my mind of the kind of fabric I want to make – and then go do that.

Maybe it’s because I think it’s more satisfying to spin to a standard rather than just hope I have it right – and end up disappointed with the results.

Maybe it’s because I haven’t come up with the ideal project for all (any?) of the yarns I made before I learned how to control my spinning.

What about you? What’s your approach to weaving with handspun yarn?
Are you wondering where to start?

In upcoming posts, I’ll be sharing some of the things I’ve learned about weaving with my own yarns, and offering some tips about how you can start weaving with yours.  Let me know what you think.  What works for you?  What would you like to know before you start warping your loom for handspun handwoven fabric?

Joanne's blog signature, Pine Ledge Fiber Studio