A Moment . . .

. . . I’ve been waiting for!

cutting off loom

When you’re immersed in a project, do you have a favorite moment? Is it casting off the last stitch, putting the finished cake or flower arrangement on the table, sewing the binding on the quilt?

Or is there a step along the way that gives you the biggest thrill?

For me, and I suspect a lot of weavers, the best moment comes when I cut the warp off the loom and unwind the long, long piece of fabric.

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So many steps remain before anything here will be finished! Ends need to be woven in, hems turned and sewn or fringe twisted, various stages of wet finishing and pressing.

But right now, I can see what I have, what I have been working at for these last weeks. Much of what I’d woven had been hidden from me, wound onto that front cloth beam.

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I’d almost forgotten what the first section looked like so this is a sort of unveiling, a revealing of work of my hands.

This length of fabric will become a runner, two towels, and, my favorite, the random-sized piece of cloth at the end. Because it’s random, “extra,”I felt free to play and, off course, I like it best. It’s too small for a towel . . . maybe a bread cloth?

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Now that this project is off the loom, I can get ready for my second most favorite moment–the fresh, tidy new warp, ready for the shuttle to be thrown and the web to be woven.

 

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66 thoughts on “A Moment . . .

    • Thanks! I’m pleased with my selvedges–I switched my weaving style entirely awhile ago, to beating on an open shed and not fussing with my fingers on the edges, and it’s working out far better than I hoped!

      • I took a workshop in “Production Weaving Methods” a long time ago, and had to re-learn how I beat too — I had learned to beat each shot 3 times! It was hard to relearn but it saved so much time and trouble.

      • I beat twice, once on an open shed and once, with a firm flick of the wrist, after changing to the next step in treadling. How do you fit three in?!

      • No, now I just do once. when I learned in college, that teacher thought the more beats the better, and we did three or four, two before changing the shed and two after. so I saved a lot of time going to one beat.

  1. Lovely work. I think the best moment in any practical project is when you’re just getting to the end of the tricky bits. There’s still more to do, but you can see it’s going to be ALRIGHT. You’ve survived!

    • That’s a great point! I had doubts about this project all along, for a variety of reasons, and getting it off the loom and releasing the tension on the fabric showed me that it was, indeed, going to be alright!

  2. In weaving my favorite moment was when I got the ends finished. In quilting it’s when I get the pieces all sewn together for the top. I love the way the design tightens up once all the seam allowances are in the seams.

    • When I get the ends finsihed, I’ll probably decide *that’s* my favorite moment! With quilting, I really like the moment when I’ve finished sewing the first length of binding and can see how DONE that edge makes it look!

  3. I am not a weaver, so please excuse me if this is a really dumb question, but how do you decide what pattern to make? Are you following a written pattern or is this your own design? Beautiful work, that’s for sure!

    • It’s not a dumb question at all! Weaving magazines include detailed patterns of whole projects, if that’s what a weaver wants, right down to thread color and manufacturer. But there are also zillions of weaving patterns (or drafts) in hundreds of books, where the pattern is set but choice of yarns and weights and colors are up to the weaver. They are often categorized into weave structures. For instance, the ones I just finished are in the structure of “Monk’s belt” (and I chose the yarns and colors) and I have done a lot in the twill structure. But there are lots of others–my husband like the overshot types. When I look through weaving drafts, I find I am drawn to some structures and not others. It can all be pretty overwhelming as a new weaver–almost too many choices and this frantic desire to make everything I see. I felt the same way when I started quilting . . . .

  4. Monk’s belt is so wonderful and crisp and I love your colors. Cutting off the warp is fun, but I always worry that it might unravel too much… particulalry if a cat is nearby… But yes, that is a great part. I don’t enjoy the first step of machine sewing a binding on a quilt but I love the hand sewing part of it. And most hookers hate sewing a binding on but I am always so happy to get to that part. I haven’t had the occassion to finish a hooked piece in forever! ;-D

    • Thanks, Deb–this was my first foray into Monk’s belt–I really like the bold blocks of color–must be the quilter in me! And I love the stage of sewing on the binding of a quilt, too–it looks so DONE then!

  5. As my arty friend says: ‘Wowser!’ Fabulous colour combinations and patterns – I can see why this could well be your favourite part of the activity! And aren’t your colours getting a tad bolder along the way? I feel excited too just looking at your photos ❤

    • Well, one of those towels is just navy and white (the real me!) but, yes, I was pretty pleased with myself with some of those other choices and combos! There may be hope for me yet!

  6. Very nice, Kerry..and great information and display of this process. Not a weaver, just a spinner over here on my end, so getting a glimpse of the techniques you use for weaving is appreciated. Beautiful colors!

  7. That is a great feeling, unwinding all that yardage to see what has come before. I love what you did in your random end. I have some of those too. Its a great way to throw some truly different yarn in and see what happens, and maybe get an idea for a future pairing. I was thinking your randoms could become quilt pieces. If you put a monks belt random into a monks belt-inspired quilt would that be self-referential?

  8. You pose such good question! As a quilter, I can say I have many favorite steps along the way, but that first hand-quilting stitch on each project makes me pause and take a deep breath. Of course, taking a freshly washed quilt out of the dryer is wonderful, but I can do that any day. Thanks for teaching me bit more about your process – it is so great to share!

  9. Really wonderful. I can see why that moment is so exciting for you, it’s like opening presents! For me, it’s sort of the same … When I can first tell that my project is going to “work,” that’s the sunshine moment. Now and then that doesn’t happen until it’s almost done. Sometimes it is when I have only a few blocks built. And sometimes it is while I’m still kicking it around in my brain. 🙂

    • Your approach to quilting is so different from mine–there’s a lot more designing along the way for you and I can see how that might keep you in suspense for awhile! But the payoff, when it all comes together, must be huge!

  10. I’m a quilter, not a weaver, and my favorite moment is when I have the quilt top finished and can see the whole design and flow of color – it takes on its own life then, even if it is not quite as I had envisioned (as often happens). The rest of the job of sandwiching, basting, and quilting is satisfying completion, but not thrilling.

    • With my quilting, I like the moment when it’s basted (LOVE to get the basting behind me!) and I am putting in the first stitches of the hand quilting. Then I can see that it really IS going to be a quilt!

  11. Ta-DA! What a great feeling to unwind the yardage and see the full piece! Nice work, Kerry! One of my favorite parts is pulling the finished cloth out of the dryer. It can look so different after finishing, softer and more textured.

    • Thanks, Jean! I’m still at the stage where I’m pretty nervous when I do the wet finishing because I can’t always predict the outcome! But when things come out well, it is very exciting.

    • Thanks! I like that piece so much, too–if I had even basic sewing skills, I would turn it into a little purse or something . . . One nice thing is that, now that I’ve seen how pretty that color combo is, it would be easy to make identical pieces in any size I want!

  12. Wow! What a beautiful bit of weaving. It makes me want to try…one day. Thanks for sharing a bit about the process and the pleasure you get from this stage. I did some sewing today, both by machine and by hand, and I always look forward to the finishing hand stitches.

    • Do you look forward to finishing hand sewing because you don’t enjoy it? I love hand sewing if it’s embroidery or quilting but, I confess, I don’t love hemming and mending much . .. .

  13. First of all, thanks a lot for your nice words on my blog! Second, I love the results of your labour. Red white and blue go so good together. Must be so fun to pick colours and coming up with patterns for weaving projects. I’d love to try weaving one day! I’m curious to what your next project is going to look like.

    • Picking the colors is fun–and difficult for me because I tend toward the very subdued. I need to really push to pick bright and/or unusual combos. I hope you do try weaving someday–it seems to be experiencing an uptick in popularity and it really is a great creative outlet!

      • It’s on my to do list, but I might start of with a small one. I think I’ll start of by making a tiny loom out of a matchbox.

  14. Beautiful! I continue to be in awe of your weaving skill. I don’t weave, but I think that my favorite spot in a project is similar to yours. It’s the point where I know that I will finish it and that it will turn out well. .

  15. Hi Kerry, my biggest thrill is always the start of a (knitting) project – it’s envisioning what it will look like, and I love when I’ve done a bit of knitting and you can finally see what I’m actually making. I also like the bit shortly before a piece is finished, and I have to admit that I’m always kind of sad to see a project completed because I’ve been enjoying the process so much. And that right there is the reason why I still haven’t completed a knitting project that I started 1 1/2 years ago! On the one hand there’s the thrill of getting it finished and on the other the feeling of “what will I do once it’s finished”. A bit crazy, I admit 🙂

  16. Pingback: Our Weaving Ways (Summer 2016) | Love Those "Hands at Home"

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