Hamble Campbell's Home Page

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Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Warped - my struggle with a four-shaft table loom.

I feel the time has come to talk of many strings - well, chenille threads, actually. I have these last few days been through my own private hell, but I'd like you to know I remained positive throughout, and let it be known that it is a tribute to my own strength of character that I did so.

The weekend before last I spent with my weaving guru, who instructed me on how to make a warp and then dress my loom with it. She also said that everyone needs a second lesson on this as it is SO DIFFICULT. I've booked a second lesson (not until May) but I thought I would try to make my own warp and do all the dressing, raddling, sleying, thrumming, etc etc ALL BY MYSELF.

I started the process on Saturday, and it's now Wednesday and I think I am just about poised to start my first pick (weft row) of weaving. I have done every process at least twice - first time wrong, and then a bodged attempt to rescue the situation. Everything that could go wrong did go wrong, short of me going mad and attacking the weaving with a pair of sharp embroidery scissors. I even managed to break a warp thread - but when I read the instructions on its repair I disregarded all the rules and fastened the two ends with a knot. This probably means the intended project of a second scarf is doomed, but I am beyond caring.

I was, however, delighted with my first piece of weaving (scarf pictured) which I completed at home on the warp the weaving maestro had helped me with. I chose to start with a checkered pattern, which unbeknownst to me at the time is most unforgiving for a novice weaver as all your mistakes are easy to see. Now really - I am suffused with pride when I survey my handiwork and am driven to try harder with my next weaving mission - I won't let it defeat me. Who knows, I may have found my niche?


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