Thursday, December 7, 2006

How I Make a Shawl - Part 6: Finally the Weaving

The act of weaving is simple and quick: I stepped on the pedal;

waited for the shafts to lift, (this photo is crocked, but the shafts lifted evenly, or else I needed to tweak the height of the shafts);

threw the shuttle between the lifted and the not-lifted threads, (this space is called the "shed");

and brought the reed forward to position the weft, (this action is called "beating"). Every few inches, I advanced the warp threads and continued weaving.

I wove two pieces of samples, fringed, washed, pressed and dried them to test six weft candidates and five weave structures. I decided on the weft and the weave structure for the first shawl, and wove it, which took a little less than three hours. I decided on the weft yarns, color schemes and the weave structure of the second shawl while I was weaving the first; the weft color distribution took about half an hour to calculate, and the weaving time was a little over three hours on the second shawl.

After I wove the length of the shawl, I advanced the warp enough to get fringes, and cut off the woven shawl. I checked for mistakes or bits of yarn sticking out of the cloth, cut then off, and hung the shawl overnight to rest.


  1. Brings back memories; I used to help my mother thread her loom because she had rheumatoid arthritis and I, a little girl, helped her out. You have a beautiful loom!

  2. Hello, Minnesotans!

    Kate, that reminds me of the countless hours and days and weeks I spent holding skeins of yarns for my mom to make into balls for her knitting. In my young adulthood, I found she had the umbrella and a ball winder all along and couldn't believe she forced us into slave labor.... She didn't like us watching the TV while helping her thusly, because we didn't turn our arms in tune with her winding, which, AGAIN, I discovered later SHE could have moved her arms to suit her... But bless her - she made us so many sweaters I never owned a store bought sweater until I was nearly 30!!!


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