I woke up this morning with art on my mind…I was obsessed with potholder looms
You know the kind you use to make those girl scout craft potholder, that uses loops of knit fabric. I imagine for many of us it was the first kind of weaving we ever did. For me it was not so much about the potholders as much as it was about the small loom and all the other possibilities I was imagining I could create on the little 7x7 loom. This has been an idea festering in my head for months now, and I was sick of not acting on it.
Okay maybe it was a little bit about the pot holders…
I love the asymmetrical designs that remind me of Gee’s Bend Quilts.
So after my day of pot holder obsession, I began to play with some possibilities working yarn on the little loom. Now I know it seems counter intuitive that I am moving away from say a table or floor loom. Here are some of the reasons I am actually looking to go with a smaller loom as opposed to moving to a bigger more complex loom.
I hate warping. The bigger and more complex the loom, the longer it takes to warp. In fact once you get to something like an 8 heddle floor loom, you could easily spend more time warping a loom than actually weaving. Now granted a Saori loom does have a feature that allows one to easily warp their loom by using a rewound warp and changing out the removable beam. And there are also tricks of tying a new warp onto the end of the old and advancing the ties through the heddles. But for the most part. I am just not a fan.
Looms are expensive. Maybe when my profit margins are bigger, I might consider a bigger loom. And in terms of teaching others to weave, it just makes more sense to help others find their art without such a hefty financial commitment.
Art weaving is best in small doses. This is totally my opinion. My short stubby body can not pull off too much lock spun without looking like Fred Flintstone. If I want art weaving to be a focal point, the best way to do that is by surrounding it with a contrast of smoother textures.
Instant gratification, diving deeper into study. My ceramics teacher recently said, “When you get an idea, exhaust it. Don’t just make it once, make it 10, 20, 30 times. Explore it deeply.” YES! This. When you do a technique just once, it remains just that. A technique. When you do it over and over and over again, each time you are adding you own style to what you are making. It becomes your art. Working on a smaller loom takes way less time to to finish a piece than a length of cloth. You can blow through a series in no time. I find myself flush with new ideas when I am working with smaller weavings.
A different approach to construction. Nothing makes me want to drink wine more than having to cut fiber art. And If I am making yardage of hand woven cloth for a garment, that is exactly what I would have to do. In my reference library, most of the garment books specific to hand woven cloth spend a lot of time constructing garments with the least amount of cuts possible. I have been toying with ways to piece a garment as you would in freeform crochet of working with granny squares.
So, this week I am working through the quirks of this loom, exploring different ways to warp, different ways to finish. I am really hating the gap of “teeth” in the corners. But once the square is off the loom, It seems to close up naturally. I can feel this frustration dampening that fiber obsession with my pot holder loom, just a little bit. So I am looking for a win to get me back in the drive. And that is what fiber obsession really is, a drive.
So what is rocking your creative juices right now? what are you working on? You know I love to hear about your work. It inspires me so much. Leave me a comment below, or head over the the FB page and/or FB group(Sign up below!) and share your work.
Like my spinning WIPs, the weaving WIPs for the most part are just a freeform, on going kind of thing. I do however have a couple of projects.
As I mentioned in yesterday’s post this is my current working bin.
By no means is this the only yarn I am using on my current weavings. I tend to collect bits and toss them here.I do have just a couple of weaving projects in the WIPs
The lap loom prototype
This is another project under deadline. Consider this a sneak peek at a live one-day workshop coming to my LYS as soon as I nail down this prototype.
Hand woven zippered pouches.
If only I can get the materials for thes 2 zippered pouches in the same place at once. In fact, the woven part of one of these is actually missing. I have bought zippers and lining material TWICE. GRRRR. It will come together eventually.
The other fibery art I am just starting to dive into is felt. I intend to use some of my vast collection of fleece in projects. Both wet and needle felting is slated for studio time in 2017. I am really exploring the idea of nuno felt scarves, as well as some hats and slippers.
So, there it is the fibery WIPs all catalogued and ready for storage. I am in the home stretch of the studio re organization and purge. I would love to say I am in the middle of a nice neat space, but honestly it appears to be a hot mess worse than before. But It is all over the place because I am mid organizing it all. Okay…we are gonna finish strong… WOOT!
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Today, I have a video demo for you! (woot!) It was a question that came up in the Fiber art collective…How do I finish my art weaving? let me first say, there are probably dozens of ways to finish your piece once it is ready to come off the loom. In this video I am going to show you how I finish most of my scarves and shawls…pieces that I will use as lengths of fabric to wear as is.
So, my question for you…What are your favorite finishing techniques for art weaving? leave me a comment below. And if you like this video, please subscribe to my YouTube channel and share this post on you favorite social media.
Love this video?
Check out my my course of advanced art weaving techniques.
Ask any serious knitter, and they will ALL agree…fiber arts can be a slippery slop into crafting ADHA. Knitting leads to spinning leads to dyeing leads to felting leads to weaving. It seems that there is always a new and more interesting technique just around the corner. And because the fiber art community is such a tight knit group online, it is easy to get caught up in the frenzy of wanting to try them all!! Heck, just this blog makes me a serious enabler.
This week in the Fiber Arts Collective, Helen mentioned her struggle to resist picking up weaving(I guilty of trying to enable her with my seductive art weaving videos). And I too, spent months anguishing over dropping a couple of Benjamins on a new loom for a craft I was not sure I would love. I also spent an entire weekend researching alternatives to a rigid heddle loom. And there are quite a few out there. So today I give you a few links to get your DIY on instead of buying a bunch of new equipment.
You can spend a week looking through all the fiber equipment DIYs on Pinterest. And yes as far as getting started carding/spinning/weaving this will save you in equipment that you might not end up using long term. But just know, I have yet to have a DIY solution work smoother and more efficiently than getting real equipment. So try the DIY and if you are feeling the love, then start saving up, and combing for used equipment like here and here. Or just buy the equipment new. Fiber art equipment, when kept in good working condition, does not depreciate. Seriously, most used equipment is not that much cheaper than new. Unless of course you find someone who has no clue what to charge for what they found in their attic. That alone is worth keeping an eye on craigslist. It is how I got my $50 4-harness vintage table loom. If you decide to resell, you will get your money back, and even in some cases be able to charge a hair more than what you paid for it.
Do you have a method you have been dying to try, but have held back because of the equipment cost? Leave me a comment below. And if you like this article, please share this on social media.