You’ll often hear people claim that it is impossible to weave anything other than tabby on a rigid heddle. Well, it is true that a plain weave is by far the easiest and perhaps what the rigid heddle loom is intended for, but it is by all means possible to do twill on a rigid heddle.
People use different techniques to do achieve a basic twill on their rigid heddle looms. Some use string heddles, pick up sticks or 2 or 3 heddles. I prefer using 2 heddles. It makes both the set up process and the weaving process a lot smoother.
At the moment I have a 2/1 basic twill on my loom. The warp is a fine linen thread, with a beautiful Norwegian wool as weft.
In a not so distant future I’m planning on posting a brief tutorial on how to thread the loom for this.
A few weeks ago I started experimenting with shapes on my small tapestry weaving frame. The warp is a thick cotton thread, while the weft is a fine Norwegian tapestry wool. This was the first time I’ve used tapestry bobbins, and oh my, they really do make the whole process a lot easier. I love how they double both as a weaving needle, and a beater. What a perfect tool!
It never stops to amaze me how much different such a humble and rustic tool can do in the weaving process. I’m planning to use some of the techniques I have played around with in the small tapestry loom into larger weaving projects.
Inspiration is always around you. This weekend I was flying to beautiful Finland for a wedding. On the way there I was captivated by the fields underneath me, and the clouds submerging the plane. All of a sudden it all started looking like textile patterns dying to be made into life. The textures, colours and shapes really inspired me. So much so that I’m really interested in finding a way to create a series of tapestries based on my impressions.
This week I tired to make a small weaving from my own handspun yarn. I’ve used handspun yarn previously in my works, like this wool chabu, and this silk chabu, but this is the first time even the warp have been made by handspun yarn.
Another unusual aspect of this small weaving is the material of the fibers. The warp is made from handspun wool, but the weft is made from handspun dogs hair. My sister owns a big furry samoyed dog, and the hairs came from brushing her once.
I’ve been wanting to try out my handspun yarn for warps for a while now, but I’ve never dared to do so, fearing it might break. Well, it worked. Kind of. A few warp threads did break. Rather than fixing them like I normally would, I let them be. I think they just added something to this very special piece. The warp was made from a lush wool fiber, while the weft was, as I mentioned in the introduction made from dogs hair. The dog hair proved a little difficicult to spin in the beginning, with a lot shorter fibers than what I’m used to. After a while though, I grew used to it, and it worked out fine on my drop spindle.
After I had cut the piece of the loom I prepared a dye bath for it. Made out of used tea leaves from my previous tea sessions. A good mix of pu’er and oolongs went into the pot with water and salt. I boiled the tea for about an hour, then strained it, and boiled it slightly with the woven piece submerged. Part of this was because I wanted a slight filted effect. Then I turned off the heat and let the woven piece submerge in the tea dye over night. The next morning I rinsed it in running water and hung it to dry. I’m used to using mixed fibers, and I know that different fibers react differently to dye. Especially if you mix protein based fibers like wool with cotton. However, since both of these was (kind of) a kind of wool, I thought they might yeld about the same colour. It turned out that the dog hair was less affected than the wool by the dye. In one way, I think it adds to the piece. Making the texture even more visable with the different hues.
One of the easiest ways of creating patterns with a rigid heddle is with colour and weave. Log cabin is an excellent example of this. Although it is just simple plain weave all over, the end result looks quite complicated. By simply alternating the colours of the warp and the weft you can create an illusion of a pattern.
This was my first attempt ever with this effect, and I think I will revisit it very soon again. This time I went for a quite traditional pattern with squares, but I’m interested to see what other cool effects I can create with this technique.
Warmest seasonal greetings from Norway!
This Christmas decorations was made by my grandmother many, many years ago. Despite beeing made from fragile paper it have survived all these years and is still with us every Christmas. I hope everyone will have a wonderful Christmas, and a very happy new year!
3rd of December. The new year is just around the corner. Time has passed so quickly this year. This blog didn’t get as much attention as I wished it had when I created it earlier this year. Hopefully 2017 will be a more productive year when it comes to writing texts.
I have learnt a lot this year. It is almost 2 years since I started weaving now, and in the short time that have passed since then I feel like I have become good friends with my loom. Hardly a day goes by without me weaving. As I mentioned in a previous blog post, I even found time to do a bit of improvised weaving while on holiday this summer. I want to continue learning and expermineting. One of the reasons why I created this blog was to share some of the knowledge I have gained with others. When I first started out I was searching everywhere for information on how to do the things I wanted. There is a lot of good information out there for tapestry and floor looms, but I feel there is still a bit thin when it comes to rigid heddles, despite its popularity.
Looking back to some of the things I have made this year, it is clear that it have been dominated by patterns. My love affair with krokbragd is still very much going strong, but I have also incoporated other techniques to create patterns in my work. I would love to try and push that even further in 2017. Next year is going to be an exciting year. Already I have several trips planned to new cities and new countries. Hopefully that will help fuel up my inspiration. I will make sure to keep you posted on what I discover.
If everything goes according to plan, I will also be ready to set up a small online shop by the start of 2017. It has been on my mind for a long time now, but finally I feel like I’m at a level where I can sell what I’m producing. I have already made a few comission pieces, and many have asked me through social media if I have a shop, so it feels like it is time.
Despite the year drawing towards an end, there is still almost a month left. Hopefully there will be plenty of time to dwelve into the wonderful world of fibers and weaving in the remaing days too. My head is filled with so many idea of projects I want to do, right now, time is the only problem.
I like trying out new idea and techniques. This months The Weaving Kind challange was to weave a 3D piece. At the moment I’m moving into a new flat, so a lot of my stuff is inside cardboard boxes. What a perfect chance to weave something that doesn’t require a loom. Brass and copper threads is what provides the structure to which linen, jute, paper and leather is woven around.
Ended up as a small piece in earthy colours. So simple, yet I actually quite like it.
Three weeks of summer holiday is over. Visited Finland and Poland, and went on a hiking trip in the mountains here in Norway. Being away from home also means being away from my looms. Still, that didn’t keep me from playing around with weaving.
While in Finland I was sitting on the beach. Surrounded by lush straws and grass I couldn’t help but think how it would work perfect as weaving materials. Being in the Swedish majority part of Finland I also felt like I had to make a flower crown, although a bit late for midsummer.
Recently I have fallen totally in love with krokbragd. Today I cut off two new pieces from the loom. When I weave krokbragd I start by choosing the yarns that I wish to use. Then I start weaving. I usually don’t make a draft for them. If anyhing, the only thing that I decide on before I start is the length and width of the finished product. The ones I cut off today started out with a black and white wool weft, I intended it to be a small table runner, and I really liked the fuzzy yet rustic quality of the Icelandic wool yarn I had chosen. As I went along the pattern that I created didn’t fill the whole warp. Rather than just throwing it away I ended up creating another small krokbragd weaving, this time in green cotton yarn. I will probably sew this one into a small bag.