Monday, 23 September 2013

Pink Surprise!

Spurred on by our visit to The Weaver's House as part of Heritage weekend, I finished my first attempt at weaving on a peg loom, hereby dubbed 'Pink Surprise!'
Finished first effort on the peg loom.
This was a collaborative effort with my three year old daughter M, who helped thread the warp, chose the weft threads and helped pull the warp through the weave when the pegs were full. M tried to weave, but didn't have the dexterity to do it just yet, although she had a lot of fun trying.

I used string for the warp, double threaded and three acrylic DK yarns woven as one for the weft.

A close up...
I've never woven on a peg loom or any kind of loom, so this project was a learning experience for me. I had a quick look at the instructions, then decided to just have a go to see how it turned out. I don't think the piece turned out too badly and I did learn a few things.

First up, the weave grows very quickly, much quicker than a comparative size piece of knitting or crochet but is very yarn hungry. This first test piece measures only 20in/51cm but used nearly 300g of yarn. The weft had to be bunched up fairly snug to conceal the warp, which will have contributed to the amount of yarn used and also how thick the finished piece is. While it does drape, the fabric is rug or heavy blanket weight.

It was difficult to keep the starting edge neat and from fraying or unravelling. In the end I used hair clips to hold it in place as I worked, removing the clips when it was time to pull the warp into the weave.

Keeping an even tension was harder than I expected it to be, with a natural tendency for the yarn to be very tight on the end pegs. I don't know if this improves with practice, but the result was the weave 'springing in' a couple of inches once released from the loom giving a finished width of 14.5in/36cm.

Taking the piece off the peg loom and tying off, revealed there must be an art or a hit of experience involved in keeping the tension even along the length of the warp too. Even though I tried to keep it level and Dave read to M so I had minimal help, it still came off with a definite curve at each end, with it very obvious at the starting end.

Once the piece was completely free and tied off, I discovered a snagged yarn on the underside near the beginning. I think it must have been caught when pulling the pegs or possibly when putting them back into the loom once the warp had been pulled through. It only happened once, but this will be something to look out for in future.

Finally an observation about my choice of warp. While I'm happy with string in this instance it isn't very pretty, so unless I intend to tuck it in, I might need to use something else in future projects.
I'm very happy with how the colours worked together.
Overall though, given that this was a first attempt I'm happy with the result and the colours chosen by M compliment each other giving a pleasing pink. We enjoyed making this piece, although I confess I have no idea what to do with it now!

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