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Anni Weaves for a wedding Part 2

I had bought a dress on impulse without trying it on. Once I got it home it fitted perfectly but there was one problem, it was sleeveless. Despite weaving making good use of our arm muscles in all sorts of ways I have reached the age when my upper arms are past looking their best, baggy or bingo those wings needed covering!  As usual I was pushed for time but a friend had woven 2 crammed and spaced shawls for herself and sister in law for her daughter’s wedding a couple of years ago. She had bought Garnhuset 40/2 linen and 30/2 mercerised cotton from us for both and they were beautiful.

So I set to work planning a warp, luckily I had some of the Garnhuset yarn she had used in my stash as well as some 60/2 silk that I thought might also be useful in the required colours, but I also knew that if I ran out or the colours weren’t right I could get speedy delivery from Weaving Yarn who have continued to stock Garnhuset’s beautiful yarns.

There was no time for proper sampling but I had allowed for some extra warp to be able to check the sett and the colour combinations on the loom.  I also had the benefit of Jacky’s experience of weaving something similar with the same yarn. Happily, my choices all worked! 

The warp was wound using black 40/2 linen for the crammed stripes with 2 shades of 40/2 linen alternating with the 30/2 mercerised cotton for the open sections. I took care to ensure the warp was wound evenly and made sure that the paper between the warp layers was wide enough to protect the warp threads from slipping down at the edge of the beam as I was using the full width of the loom. For the weft, the cotton, linen and silk with the addition of a natural 40/2 undyed linen were used in a planned colour rotation. 

Anni coped with the linen as well as she had done with the wool. The tension was even, the shed large and clean with no problems at all. Other than remembering to change the colours in the right order and watch the beat in the open and crammed spaces these fabulous yarns behaved beautifully.

The finished weaving was hand washed and pressed whilst damp with steam. After lightly twisting the fringes it was washed and pressed again. Finished with a couple of days to spare before the happy day! 

The weaving was quick and easy and I was very, very pleased with the result! An added bonus – linen will keep you warm as well as cool, when the sun went down the shawl literally doubled up as a warm scarf and kept away the chill!

Shawl in progress

It seems like a long time since August but Anni came into her own again to weave this shawl. She’s since woven another blanket, which I will share another time.

Wedding Shawl
shawl close up
Shawl close up
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Anni weaves for a wedding

A wedding invitation usually means a woven gift needs to be made and an excuse to leave other jobs to weave is never passed up!

With a warp in progress on my floor and table loom I decided that with a weaving width of 55cm; wider than my rigid heddle loom and able to take a much longer warp Anni was the obvious loom choice.

Happy with my choice of colours from a somewhat limited stash I set up Anni with a long warp and got weaving. I cut apart the three pieces I had woven on the warp and used my preferred method of wet finishing New Lanark Wool which I know works well.
The first process is to scour out the spinning oil with 2 wool washes at 30 degrees in the washing machine, drying them outside on the line. After joining the 3 pieces together and plaiting the fringes it had another 30 degree wool wash followed with some supervised tumble drying until I was happy with the finish. This finishing process closes up the weaving and the cloth develops a lovely fuzzy nap, just the job for a snuggly blanket.

Incidentally this project gave Anni and excellent work out. I pushed her to the limit with the long warp in a thickish wool that can be a bit sticky if the tension isn’t quite tight enough. She coped really well and the weaving is always so much quicker when your feet rather than your hands change the shed. This has been the start of a bit of a love affair between myself and Anni! She will be appearing again soon in the next blog post.

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Thanks for waiting!

So much for new year resolutions, I have failed miserably to regularly post, but I will keep trying!

Stock and website updates.

We have made good progress with moving our stock into the Toika Loom Studio. Next to be moved in is Jaana with a 16 shaft ES, but that will take some planning and some extra hands. We are expecting another delivery of reeds etc from Toika in the next couple of weeks. We will update the website and get in touch with those of you waiting just as soon as it arrives. We have also added an announcements page to the website where you can find information on any events we may be attending as well as details of our planned closures. A link from the banner at the top of each page will take you to the page.

What’s on the looms?

Since the last post I have been weaving on Eeva’s smaller sisters. I have woven a blanket strip on on Siru and the loom is warped and ready to weave another. It’s folded and ready to go just as soon as I have finished the warp on Anni and will be my current take to Weaving Group/Guild meeting loom for the next few months. I have just started yet another blanket warp on Anni, and have been playing with the tie up on Laila. More on those looms and projects next time.

Anni is a 2 shaft jack loom with a 55cm weaving width. Delivered with minimal building required. Anni folds up to be small enough to go through a door when not in use and a couple of wheels on the rear legs aid moving the loom around if required.   Metal pawls mean keeping even tension is a cinch, Texsolv heddles and a beater that takes stainless steel reeds means Anni has the ability to cope with different yarn weights without needing to double up threads or use a second heddle. Sturdy wooden warp and cloth beams allow plenty of space for long warps and the resultant long length of cloth.

As all weavers know there is nothing plain about plain weave! Try colour and weave, textured yarns, crammed and spaced, thick and thin and more, the choices are endless! I can highly recommend this brilliant book; Plain Weave by Tina Ignell.  Showcasing 60 patterns with a full page colour photo of each one it’s a great source of inspiration.