I know, it's not a picture of weaving, but the boys took me up to Burnham on Sea for supper on Saturday, the tide was out and I couldn't resist. I'm playing with the Sweep Panorama setting on my camera, considering I have difficulty holding my hands steady, I'm really pleased. The colours are some of my current favourites as well, so it's pretty much a win/win.
I've been spending the last week or so trying to weave a little every day. Whilst that means the 8 metres of fabric is now growing as I watch, it hasn't actually turned out as the main point of this particular exercise. I have to concentrate on the weaving far more than my spinning (can literally spin myself to sleep!). But it's the odd stuff I have found myself concentrating upon.
As there is no pattern as such, I don't have to ensure I treadle in a particular order, the tie up has been rearranged so that as I move across the pedals left to right, I produce six even passes.
I have to ensure that the tension is just right, so that I can throw the shuttle and not loose it down through the warp. Too tight, and there is insufficient shed so the shuttle snags and fouls on the warp and get stuck in the middle. Too loose, my shuttle takes a nose dive into my loom. Again. (I have found that a pair of rubber ended cooking tongs - Ikea's finest - are just so useful for fetching it back). I have also found that I don't mind snipping the weft to release the shuttle, fetching it out, and re-throwing it as if it were starting a new bobbin. It actually is so much easier than trying to feed the shuttle back up from whence it came, better for the warp too.
I think, what I'm trying to say is, that by weaving plain cloth I'm finally getting the feel for my loom. I know I've had it a while, but it hasn't been the happiest of relationships, she has been neglected for months at a time, and I have threatening her with everything from kindling to EBay. I have discovered many things about myself and Loom whilst getting to this point. One of the major ones being, I like weaving tea towels as much as I like knitting face cloths.... another, what a 4 shaft Jack loom is really capable of! And that is the mind blowing one. I no longer yearn after an 8 shaft or a Dobby. The combinations and permutations of the one I have are enormous! I have also discovered that I love weaving fabric. Fabric to then full, cut and sew into garments. Far more interesting and fun than tea towels and it gives me the opportunity to plan a piece of clothing from the beginning. To decide what it is going to be used for and weave it accordingly. I feel in a way as if I have finally taken that step forward that I have been missing for a while.
It's a little step though, but at least this one seems to be in the right direction. And to add to this, my selvages are now amazing!
(I own a Leclerc 60" Colonial VI floor loom.)