Of WIPs and UFOsJanuary 14, 2010
As usual, I have far too many WIPs* and to be honest, I don’t see the end very near. A reasonable person might decide to tackle these WIPs and UFOs* in an effort to gain some sense of accomplishment, not to mention justification of continual stash enhancement. Not I. No, not I.
Instead, I have tacked on yet another Fiber Art to my repertoire, weaving. My wonderfully enabling husband made my year by gifting me, among other wonderfulness, a Kromski Harp Rigid Heddle Loom this past Christmas. Even though I knew the contents of the colorfully wrapped package, I was filled with the excitement and joy that all five year olds know so well. Of course, I tried to contain my excitement and fought all urges to assemble and use the loom immediately.
Once the holiday festivities, and by that I mean cleaning of wrapping papers, eating of ham and all accompaniments and finally cleaning yet again, I found a semi-quiet spot and assembled the Harp. Once assembled, I simply stared in awe at this very simple yet very useful and beautiful tool. I then placed the Harp on a table, as an altarpiece, and again stared.
The following week I invested time learning to calculate warp* and weft* for a project, warping for a project, dressing the loom and finally weaving. And the next week I began my first true weaving project.
The yarn I selected is a sport weight cotton pearl (3/2, I believe) in a variegated colorway. Initially, after weaving a few inches, I thought my yarn selection was a poor choice for weaving on a 10-dent heddle, as the weave was not ‘firm’, leaving small spaces between each thread. It did occur to me that after a washing the yarn would bloom but considering the amount of space between threads, I was doubtful the voids would fill.
Happily, I was wrong. Immediately upon finishing my last shot* and hemstitching a selvedge, I cut the fabric from the loom. Of course it did not occur to me until this point that the ends were under tension and once released from that tension, would relax and thus, fill in those irritating spaces. And certainly, after a washing, bloomed even more.
I have yet to finish the fringe of my first weave simply because I am not certain if I want the fringe, twisted fringe or perhaps a straight edge. By Sunday I hope to have made up my mind. Though the fabric is not perfect, a wonky warp thread causing a slight wave for a few inches, I am very pleased with my first weave. One area I am especially proud of are the selvedges. I had read for months about selvedges being the bane of weavers but I did not experience any selvedge frustration whatsoever.
As for those WIPs and UFOs, I suppose I will have to fit them into my schedule. Truly, with all these Fiber Arts, I am making a Fiber Arts Schedule! Otherwise, I don’t think I will ever experience that feeling of accomplishment and gratification that each project should bring.
Do you weave? Are you curious? In next week’s podcast I will show you how I whet my curiosity by making some simple looms at home.
* Possible Unfamiliar Terms:
WIP: Work In Progress.
UFO: UnFinished Object.
Warp: The vertical threads (ends) of a woven cloth.
Weft: The horizontal ends of a woven cloth.
Shot: An action of a single pass of weft material during weaving.