Monday, March 07, 2011


Heartened by Abby Franquemont’s posts – not sure where I read them – about how she learned to weave from the indigenous women in the village where she lived, I have been spending about as much time unweaving as weaving.
She wrote that when she and the other little girls were learning to weave, the women would insist that the girls unpick any mistakes. I suspect in our society today, the kids would be congratulated on their attempts rather than required to undo any mistakes in a woefully mistaken notion of boosting self-esteem.
The satisfaction when the weaving finally comes out right and the knowledge gained about all the possible mistakes one can make and what to watch out for next time are well worth every second of taking the weaving apart.

The issues on the four harness loom came about because I was not leaving enough slack in the white cotton tabby picks and it was drawing in. Then there was the problem that the treadling tie up and directions were for a countermarch loom rather than a jack loom. It took a while before I realized that the pattern would have been correct on the UNDERSIDE of the cloth!

On the rigid heddles are patterns from Sue Foulkes tutorial on the United Kingdom yahoogroup braids_and_bands. Sue also has a book out.

The blue zigzag band on the right is set up in the traditional method and I was finally able to see what Louise from the band_snoddar yahoogroup had been talking about regarding which side of the shed the shuttle should enter to make the most efficient orientation of the pattern threads.
The warping for the blue band is the same as for pebble weave – which I tried thanks to Laverne Waddington’s backstrap weaving Ravelry group and her wonderful blog - and prior to this tutorial I couldn’t seem to get it through my head how pick up would work with it.
My pick up weaving had been on the double hole rigid heddle loom which doesn’t much care which side the shuttle enters. Fred made me a wider double hole rigid heddle so I could try the Sami belt pattern that required 25 pattern threads. It was a challenge to try to graph the traditional patterns shown in Sue’s tutorial, but a thrill when it finally worked.