I finally got my loom “dressed” and started weaving.
Dressing a loom takes several hours and is a bit tedious. All the warp yarns have to be threaded through the reed and through the heddles, untangled, and then tied to both the back and front beams.
In this case, I threaded 142 ecru-colored cotton threads onto the loom. It took me a few tries before I got it close to correct. I had a few twisted threads and at least two places where I double threaded the reed. In the end, I decided to accept the imperfections and get started anyways.
My weft (the cross “threads”) were made from cut up jeans. I never found my box of jeans that I saved years ago so I settled for a trip to Goodwill, where I bought someone else’s old jeans. I would have liked to weave from old jeans once worn by my family, but settled for soft, worn jeans that had belonged to someone else.
I used my rotary cutter to slice the jeans into strips anywhere from 1/8 to 1/2 inches wide, as long as possible. These I stitched into longer strips on my sewing machine, and then wound them on to long thin shuttles, sticks with slots cut into the ends.
I am not sure if I really like making rag “rugs” (or more likely, placemats or a table runner.) I do like the speed of weaving with rags and I like the long thin shuttles. I’m just not sure if I like the finished product.
But I’m kind of hooked on weaving. Tomorrow I am going to visit a weaving conference in nearby Milwaukee, mostly to 1) see a wide variety of weaving styles and 2) decide on my next project, and 3) shop for supplies. Weaving stores mostly seem to be online so this will give me a chance to see (and feel) a variety of yarns all in one place.
There’s something soothing about weaving. I think it is kind of like making bread at home. Banging the beater bar is a bit like kneading dough, a little chance to bang or punch out stress. It’s relatively slow, rhythmic, and rooted in history.