Saturday, June 30, 2007

Weaving & Unravelling Old Sweaters

I haven't posted in FOREVER, because I've been busy doing knitting projects, and learning to weave, and buying sweaters at thrift stores to unravel for the yarn.

I've started a HUGE project in the Knitting Help Forum, where we are making blankets for charity. Each of us knits a portion of the blanket, then mails it to the next person so they can continue knitting with the same needles. We always include gifts for them also, just because it's fun to do!

Right now, we have 5 blankets in progress, as well as 6 shawls!
There are almost 100 knitters involved in the projects! COOL!!!

Learning to weave has been an interesting challenge. I've been thinking about weaving for the past two years, but didn't think I would be able to afford to do it. The nice looms are so expensive! I've been watching some auctions on eBay, hoping to one day get a floor loom, but no luck so far. I did get a table loom, though! Not a fancy new one, but it still works!

It's a Spears Weaving Loom, Size 4, which will weave items up to 16 inches across. I won the auction, and was able to purchase it for less than 40 dollars, with the shipping included.
Spears Weaving Loom

It was easy for my hubby to put together for me, but the actual weaving has been quite a challenge.
Loom Set Up

I've been trying to decifer the instruction booklet, and looking at websites for the past two weeks. I've also been reading a book I won on eBay a while ago. It has LOTS of great information. I'm so glad I got it.
New Binding on Weaving Book

I've decided to try making a simple cloth, using some cheap cotton yarn I've had in my stash for a while. (Aunt Lydia's Crochet Cotton)

To start off, I had to cut 84 warping threads. They are each 87 inches long. THAT took a while!
Warping Threads Cut

Next, I put all the threads on the loom, according to the directions in the book.
Threads on Loom FINALLY

Threads on Loom

Threads on Loom Loose Ends

Then, I realized that in order to wind up the threads on the top bar, I would have to unhook the threads from the bottom bar! (Oops!)
Winding Top Bar

Finally, I had the warp threads all put on the loom, and tightened up.
All Wound Up

All the work I had done so far took quite a while. It was time consuming, because I didn't really know what I was doing yet. So far, I had spent about 4 days trying different things.

Today, I finally tried the actual weaving of the cross threads (the "weft"). It's not perfect, by any stretch of the imagination. But, HEY! I'm still learning!
Learning to Weave - Not Perfect

Learning to Weave - Twisted Threads
Originally, I was going to use this cloth as a bath mat, but now I can see that it will be too thin and open for that. So, I'll probably use it as a kitchen towel. I will probably have to sew the edges to make it look right.

It's fun to learn to weave! :)

In other news, I was lucky enough to find an AMAZING deal at the Goodwill Thrift Store the other day. A 100% Cashmere sweater!!!! OMG!!!!
Ann Taylor Cashmere Sweater

I also got some other great deals, but this cashmere sweater just blew my mind! My knees went weak when I read the label inside the sweater!
Ann Taylor Label

Now, I'm unravelling the sweater to get the cashmere yarn.
I wonder how many ounces there are?
Unravelling Cashmere Sweater