Friday, April 30, 2010


I volunteered at the Great Midwest Alpaca Festival last weekend. I was in the fiber demo area spinning all weekend, and there were all sorts of other fiber arts demos. One of my friends taught needle felting, another friend taught drum carding and a woman from the local spinning guild was demonstrating weaving. I stopped by to see how to weave on square and triangle looms, but missed seeing how to start the process. It was a busy weekend with a lot going on, so we made tentative plans to meet and do some weaving. I also managed to win a volunteer raffle gift certificate, so I used it to buy two weaving books. The stage was set..

Last night I went over to my new friend's house to learn to weave. Her studio is a dream come true. It's like a weaving and spinning art gallery married to a yarn shop. She showed me how to weave on a Hazel Rose diamond loom and I took one home with me. I also got a brief overview of floor looms and general weaving tips. It was very inspiring and a lot of fun. I came home and wove a few diamonds last night and made some more this afternoon. It's very easy once you get the hang of it and it only takes 15-20 minutes to make a small diamond.

For me, weaving is faster than knitting and the color effects are different. I'm using my Phat Fiber yarn samples from past boxes. I can weave sport, dk or worsted as is, or I can double up a fingering-weight yarn to make my little diamonds. I'm going to save them up and sew them into a small blanket or perhaps a bag. I'll see what I think when I lay them all out. It's a very portable hobby if you're working with the small looms and there's no binding off. It's kind of like spinning and works great when I don't want to follow a complicated pattern. The yarn colors do their own thing, so each diamond comes out a little different.

Five of my fleeces came back from the mill on Saturday too. I have a few more to pick up in a couple of weeks, but these were enough to handle. They fluff up so much after carding and I had to work hard to find space to stash them. I've already started spinning the Romney fleece and it's a joy to work with. I spun about eight ounces in two days and it practically drafts itself. The colors are more evenly blended than they were when I flicked locks and drum carded, but it's a nice shade of grey and should be very pretty when it's plied.

Last but not least, I've also sort of learned to tat! My Great-Aunt showed me, my mother and one of my aunts how to tat two weeks ago. It's harder than it looks. I think magic is involved, because she would move her hands in a blur and out would come perfect little knots and picots. There's a right way and a wrong way to wave your hands around and they look nearly identical. One little move (that I have yet to master) is the difference between gorgeous lace and a mess of knots. For most of my lesson, I couldn't even SEE that little move. I thought I was mimicking her exactly, but I missed "flipping the knot". I've ordered a book and will be sitting down to make a determined effort to learn the different techniques. We didn't have enough time to go over everything and she lives out of town, so I'll have to sort out some of my mistakes on my own. I'm excited about it. Tatted lace doesn't look that exciting in photos, but when you handle it, it's wonderful. I had no idea it was so pretty until I saw some up close.

1 comment:

  1. Hi there, thanks for the comment on my blog. I love your blanket, the colours are fantastic! I know I did mine in pink, but I'm not really a pink person. I had to force myself to buy that yarn! LOL. I'm sure I would have finished it much quicker if I had done it in the blues and greens. I was quite surprised at how light they are, great for blankets!