Sunday 14 August 2011

Hands that weave

Meg put up a post on her blog, 31st July, "Calling all Hands".

I remembered it today, whilst making an alteration to my inkle loom warp.  This is what Meg said in her post:
"Anytime on Saturday, August 13, take a picture of your hand/s; spinning, knitting, weaving, baking, reading, holding your child's/grandchild's/long-time-love's hand/s, whatever. It doesn't have to be craft-related...."

Above is my inkle loom, originally made by Michael Crompton (best known for his tapestry weaving) but recently modified to make the tensioner and pegs stronger.

Below is the warp, which was slightly more assymetric than intended.  I wanted to put in two more of the darkest green threads.  I have found that starting off with three little sticks in the warps helps to spot problems before I start weaving (acting like the header row on my floor loom) and also enables me to bunch the warp threads tight so I start weaving the band at near to the width I want.

Tying tight knots for my inkle loom warps is a little tricky, I use one finger to hold a slip knot, whilst manipulating the threads for another to make a knot that will hold tight, and then I tighten the second knot without shifting the finger that holds the first knot from slipping.  I'm lucky to be ambidextrous, but having double-joined digits doesn't help.

Today there was someone else around to take photos (thank you Bob!) so you can see both my hands.

I'm happy with the way this band is weaving.  I drew the edges in a bit tighter in the first few inches, when it is finished I will take out the first two inches of weft (possibly then using the free warp ends as tassels).

Resting in/on the warp you can see my homemade thread bobbin and separate shuttle that I use only as a beater.  I can't work as fast or get as neat results without the separate beater.  I used to wonder if this was because other people are better weavers, or more practiced at working with the shuttle/beater.  But today I had a new thought - is it because other people are not ambidextrous?

Meg asked for some words too:
"Also, give me a title or description of yourself; whatever best describe how you saw yourself as at the moment the photo was taken, i.e. "Mama, Yarn collector, Weaver, Neighborhood Weaving Teacher"."

A description of me? I don't know how to do this. I was so absorbed in what I was working on, there was just me and the threads and the loom.  So quite simply:

Dorothy, weaving a linen inkle band on her 44th birthday.