Weaving in the sun

I dug out my Glimakra weaving loom …

and put it outside in the sun:

(you understand I have people for this. Robert did all the lifting. Thank you, darling.)

There’s commercial sockyarn going up and down and I weave into it a weft of handspun singles made from a very soft BFL, wrapped around that stick.

I’ve had that handspun for a while now and I didn’t know what to do with the singles. It’s 765 meters of fingering weight. Or sportsweight, since this is handspun (it will bloom a bit).
Soft and thin and a bit fragile, what was a girl to do?
(anno 2014 I’d say: Brioche! But last year I didn’t know)

I played around with the handspun a bit. I didn’t like the way it knitted up and also the knitted fabric was too fragile to stand up to wear (like in a blanket or hooded shawl (for which it is the wrong colour)). Also the colours were biting each other a bit: they were washing each other out.

However, combining them with saturated sock yarn and allowing the singles to display their colours in long lines instead of short intertwined dots (=knitting) brought out the colours and provided some strength.
Also: it is very pleasant to weave with happy coloured yarn.

This is how weaving works:

I’ve put the plastic grate with all the sockyarn that’s going up and down in the lowest position of the holder you see on the left. Now the sockyarn threads are divided and I can put the wooden stick through them, from left to right.

The stick comes out on the right side, leaving behind a trail of yarn. This thread is not pulled tight, it is left very loose. In an arc often:

Now I take the reed from its holder and pull it towards me:

I use it to push the thread into place, nice and neat against the previously woven threads. This is called “beating” I believe.

You don’t beat very hard. I leave a considerate amount of space between the previous horizontal thread and this new one. After all, this yarn will bloom. I aim for little squares of space between the threads. It’s a very open fabric at this stage… we’ll have to trust it will grow into a good fabric once it gets its final wash.

Now I place the reed back in its holder but this time in the up most position. The sockyarn is divided up and down but reverse of what it was previously.
I can now bring the stick with the handspun through again, this time from right to left.

After that I’ll beat again with the reed and replace it in the lowest position and start from left to right again.

It’s a very pleasant craft. And actually goes quiet fast.
Every now and then I release the rolled up, prethreaded sockyarn on the beam in the back. The beam has a gear that releases and locks.
I then roll up the beam in the front, it has the woven cloth on it. It too has a gear that locks.

This loom is well thought out and well designed.
It’s a scandinavian design: Glimakra. This type is called Susanna. It is a rigid heddle loom and it is very good for weaving with handspun. It fits on your table or on your lap. It has no foot peddles and is not typically used to weave patterns and such. (But it can be done, you then put a second reed behind the first one.)

I like the scandinavian connection. I like that it’s wood. I like that it’s a no-nonsense and sturdy design.
Today I got all “alternative” using it: I dug out my worn straw hat and my sheepy mug and my sandals

I really didn’t care how I looked and how easy it would be for people to put a label onto me. I’m Pippi Longstocking’s sister, I don’t care!

Almost all of my maillots have their feet cut off (how else am I going to wear them with handknit socks in shoes?).
Today I even cut off the lower parts of these: bare legs in the sun. And sandals. And a rolled up skirt with pockets, made from sturdy canvas and allowed to get dirty or ruined by a happy treadling cat.
Pippi rules!


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