Sunday, March 18, 2012

Emily Starts Weaving a Scarf

A couple weekends ago, the weekend of the big snowstorm, our granddaughter Emily was over, and asked if she would be able to weave a scarf.

She picked out some pretty chenille yarn, and I helped her design her warp.  She picked white, a varigated purple, and mint green, and got most of it on the warping board before she had to go home.

Emily was back over this weekend, so I showed her how to tie her warp, so it could be removed from the pegs without becoming a tangled mess.

Here she is starting to wind the warp on the back of the loom.  She's  learning lots of new terminology along the way.

Here she is with the warp almost all wound onto the back.  Three pound weights helped keep everything under control.  No glitches so far!

I helped her with the threading, with one of us on each side of the loom.  We did half the warp on Saturday night, and then today, we reversed positions, and finished the threading.  It gave her some experience with choosing the next yarn from the cross on the lease sticks, and then choosing the correct heddle and threading it with the hook.

I showed her how to tie the warp onto the front of the loom, but did it myself, since she hasn't mastered the tight knot-tying skill yet.

Here Emily is starting the weaving.  This is an odd little loom (a Leicester Dryad, 4 shaft countermarche), with no brake release. While she got started with the weaving, I set up the live-weight tensioning on the back (note the bar-bell weight dangling down on the rope).  With the live-weights, this has been an ideal loom for the kids, since they can easily wind their work forward without help.

This is an easy weave, with just plain weave, so she can concentrate on learning the proper way to hold and throw the shuttle, and where to put her hand on the beater.

 I'm having her use paperclip temples to help keep her edges straight.  She was able to get about 5" woven before we had to stop for dinner, and go home.  Hopefully she will have it done soon, or at least by next winter!


  1. That's fantastic Jenny. Aren't we the luckiest of grandmothers?!! I'll show this post to Alexia tomorrow. I know she'll be excited.

  2. She has the weavers' touch - notice she is touching her woven material - don't we all do that?! Great job Emily - and to you Jenny for passing the torch!

  3. Yes, she does have the weaver's touch, and even though she loves touching it now, she also knows how much better it will be after it is washed. She loves the rayon chenille!

    We do need to pass the torch. Someone recently asked on a weaving list if kids have the concentration to be able to become weavers. Yes they do! I say that if we show our love for the craft, the kids pick up on that and as long as we don't require long times at the loom for them, they will keep coming back. I like that you let Alexis pick her yarn colors. That is part of how it becomes their own project. Let's keep teaching!

  4. Looking forward to living closer to my Granddaughter, too, when she is of an age to begin weaving. Luckily her Mom weaves, so perhaps she'll have "been passed the torch" earlier rather than later. ;)

  5. How does the live weight work? I own this same loom and also live in Michigan but haven't quite gotten it warped and working yet.

  6. I would like to say how much I appreciate the pictures of your Dryad loom. I recently purchased the same loom and realised quite quickly I would have to replace all the ties. I was struggling to get the Texsolv through the jacks. When I saw that you had managed it, it gave me the incentive to carry on. Thank you.

    1. Hi Val,
      Don’t be afraid to make alterations to your loom to make it work for you. When I first got the Dryad loom, a lot of the original cords were broken and repaired. I decided to replace them with Texsolv cords. I found that the holes were drilled for a much finer cord, so I had to drill them bigger. If you have a set of drill bits, test one hole a step at a time until the hole is big enough to accept the Texsolv. A friend and I are working on another one currently. The first thing we did was drill larger holes in the jacks. They are pretty narrow, so don’t go any bigger than you have to.

      Have fun with your loom. I don’t know where you are located, but if you are anywhere close to Charlevoix, Michigan, I would love to have you bring your loom to my studio for a visit to get it up and running. If you write me again, we could private message and set something up.