Studio visit

Recently I had the pleasure  of showing off my fiber studio to a friend. She isn’t a weaver so we talked about the basics, how I get from yarn

Hand dyed alpaca/silk yarn
Hand dyed alpaca/silk yarn

to a finished scarf

Alpaca/silk and tencel scarf
Alpaca/silk and tencel scarf

and how much automation there could be in that process. For instance, I get the alpaca/silk from my dyer in 8 oz hanks. I load it onto the swift and wind it using the electric ball winder. I can set that going and let it run while I do other things, just watching to make sure it doesn’t get stuck. When I did this using my hand-cranked ball winder it would take me more than an hour to wind. The electric winder can do it in about 15 minutes.

Swift and ball winder
Swift and ball winder

As this will be warp, the next station is the warping reel

Warping reel
Warping reel

Then getting the warp onto the loom

Threading heddles
Threading heddles

After sleying the reed, each warp end gets threaded into a heddle, one thread per heddle and on the correct shaft so the weaving pattern will come out right. These steps are all manual, but with my electric bobbin winder I can speed up the last step I have before I can start weaving. I use an end-feed shuttle, so I’m winding my weft yarn onto pirns.

Winding a pirn
Winding a pirn

And finally — weaving

Shuttle with pirn loaded for weaving
Shuttle with pirn loaded for weaving

I love being able to speed up some steps that aren’t so interesting which gives me more time on the loom, happily treading, throwing the shuttle, beating in the weft threads and making something wonderful. I just rearranged the looms in my studio and the loom I use for my scarves now faces my wall of scarf yarns. As I weave I am happily pairing yarns in my mind and deciding which combinations I’ll use next.

wall of color
wall of color
Advertisements

Author: Jennifer Kortfelt

Owner, Heron Pond Designs, a fiber and textile exploration.

2 thoughts on “Studio visit”

    1. I warp front to back, so for me it is probably sleying because I’ve got that handful of warp ends and I can’t move until they are done. Threading does have its challenges though. I can’t get quite close enough on the baby wolf, so my upper back gets sore from the reaching.

      Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s