Tag Archives: Cricket

Weaving Part III: My first ‘Real’ scarf

I found 100% cotton fingering weight yarn on etsy that I fell in love with. I knew it had to be woven, it sort of ‘told me’ that it needed to be woven, not knit. (all of you fiber artists out there, I KNOW you have had a similar experience) I decided to jump right in to weaving a fingering weight scarf as my second project so I pulled out my 10 dent heddle and went to work warping! This time though I had the help of my trusty assistant, The Boy, who was so sweet and helpful as I wrapped what seemed to be a thousand strands of yarn and wound them on to my loom….

2 hours later my loom was warped…

It took me about a week of obsessively weaving and checking my edges to created a very very long scarf, that I LOVE!

I purposefully chose a yarn that made it’s own stripes. It worked for me! I will definitely be doing this again 🙂 I used every bit of yarn! There was maybe a foot left afterwards.

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I think my OCD tendencies really helped with the edges this time. I was very careful to check after each strand was woven to make sure there was no pulling or extra yarn. It took me a bit longer but it was worth it. Who wants to start weaving now!?!?

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The Gateway Drug to Weaving Part 2

Now when the box containing my new Cricket arrived it was HUGE! I mean they could have fit 3 looms in there if they wanted to and I briefly panicked about having ordered the wrong size. Thank goodness they just felt like shipping it in a much larger box. The Boy was in a bit of a snit until I opened it and a small little loom was inside all lonely looking.

Here are all the parts of my cricket all laid out and ready to be put together!

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I spent a while going back and forth about whether or not to stain/paint or seal my cricket before putting it together. However as I was considering this the polymer chemist in me kicked in (and I am going to go all super nerdy on you here for a bit so feel free to skip to the next paragraph if you don’t care). In order to stain my cricket I would most certainly get some on the heddle portion. The plastic in the heddle is ABS – acrylonitrile butadiene styrene – and while this is a very good and strong plastic, it has absolutely ZERO resistance to oils. This means that the oils can weaken the plastic and cause it to crack at any stress points… which for a rigid heddle is basically everywhere… so after fretting for a while I just decided to skip that step and thus my Cricket is naked and probably will be until I get up the courage to dress it up. However after doing lots of ABS failure tests involving stress and oil where the ABS fails in under an hour, this may take a while for me! Also a naked Cricket isn’t a big deal. I don’t leave it out in the sun or pour water on it… at least not on a daily basis.

So I was able to very easily assemble the loom. The instructions were clear and I had a working Rigid Heddle in about 20 minutes. However, that is the easy part! After staring at it for a while willing it to tell me all of its secrets, I gave up and I ordered a class on Craftsy that would hopefully enlighten me as to how to get a warp on to my Rigid Heddle. The warp consists of the strings that run through your heddle so that you actually have something to weave on… and without that, I just had a very cute little piece of wooden art. After watching the course (it isn’t that long and is super informative) I decided I was good to try and I could of course warp all by myself! Who needs a second person??? That would only limit my weaving time right? Wrong! I REALLY REALLY did need my second person but I was seriously too pig-headed to stop after I had started and wait for The Boy to come home and help me.

So I plowed on alone… (and oh how I wish I had photos of this!)

After a few hours of cursing and working tirelessly I did in fact, finally have a WARP! It seemed okay…? I really had no idea though, but I certainly wasn’t going to re-do it! I wanted to weave right then! So I did…. and I wove for a few days and ended up with a beautiful acrylic scarf (who wants to waste the good stuff?) that curves to the left… and really isn’t all the beautiful… but I love it anyways

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Lesson learned – I need help to warp. I NEED help to warp. Other people may be able to do it on their own, but they are superhuman. I swallowed my pride and asked The Boy to help me warp my cricket for the next attempt – on which I decided to use BEAUTIFUL cotton yarn on… because I have several crazy bones in my body.

To be continued. .. Soon!

Scarves – The Gateway Drug to Weaving Part 1

I have always loved scarves.

I really do mean LOVE. When I go on vacation, I don’t buy knick-knacks or post-cards to remember where I was – I buy scarves… and I have a ton of them! My fiancé thinks I’m a bit strange and I am now banned from purchasing more (except souvenirs)  as I have plenty of yarn to make my own with (he doesn’t get it)

Now, I love knitting and knitted items. Don’t get me wrong. However, for some reason, I do not wear my knitting scarves like I do my fabric scarves. My two all-time favorites are hand-woven summer scarves that I bought in Belgium while I was working overseas a few years back.

Here is one of them (and isn’t it gorgeous!):

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While browsing Ravelry one day I came across the Weaver’s Marketplace group and did a little bit of research and found out about Rigid Heddle weaving. This meant that I could use my beautiful yarn to make my favorite type of accessory!!! Hand woven scarves and pashminas and shawls! After a little bit of scrimping and saving I found a great sale on a small Rigid Heddle loom – a 10” Schacht Cricket and snapped one up! As I hit pay I had just the slightest negative thought that went something like “What the heck are you doing!? You don’t know how to weave! And there is no one nearby you that weaves and would be willing to help when you inevitably make a giant mistake. Why are you doing this!?!”

But at that point it was too late and I had already started my way down the slippery slope of weaving.

To be continued soon…