Weft Blown

Posted on 05 May 2014

There has been a bit of a delay since my last blog post as I have been rebranding and overhauling my website.
I’ve decided to change my business name to Weft Blown, as Ange Sewell – Knit 1 Girl 1 was getting far too complicated, and didn’t really say anything about weaving.

Weft Blown is the new name as weft is the yarn that is used to weave with a shuttle on a loom, and blown relates to my love for weather and climate that stems back to my university days that was then followed by my brief stint as a weather forecaster for the Met Office. The weather and climate is a major source of inspiration for my weaving as it shapes the landscape and affects the light and colour in the sky and ground.
So, that’s the reason for the major change and I’m feeling much happier now that it’s all changed.

The website also has a new online shop where you can buy my handwoven items, and also book classes at my studio in West Kilbride. I’ve also widened the range of classes so there are now next stage weaving classes for those wanting to explore what else they can weave, as well as taster days for table and floor loom weaving.

If you’ve any comments about the site then do let me know as I’m always looking at ways to improve things.

Apart from rearranging all my business stuff, I have been doing college work and finally got my first piece for the final collection woven.
I started out winding a long 11m warp on the warping mill that has been lying unloved for many years.

warping mill

warping mill

You may be wondering why there are two stools with yarn on them at the bottom. Being the thrifty person that I am, I got two big skeins of 4 ply yarn from New Lanark and wound the warp straight from the the skeins. I would not recommend this as it took forever as the yarn kept tangling. There is a very good reason why weaving yarn comes on cones and it would have taken me 2 hours instead of the 4 if I’d done it that way.
After I wound all 320 ends of yarn it was then time to put it onto the loom.

spreading out the yarn in the raddle

spreading out the yarn in the raddle

winding on

winding on

wound on and ready to thread

wound on and ready to thread

This bit took about 2-3 hours to do as it was long and needed close attention to ensure the yarn wasn’t catching on itself.

The threading bit is the bit I like as it’s when the mass pile of spaghetti finally looks all neat and tidy.

Threading through the heddles

Threading through the heddles

Threaded through the heddles and reed

Threaded through the heddles and reed

Threaded through the heddles and reed

Threaded through the heddles and reed

All nice and orderly

All nice and orderly

Tying up the treadles

Tying up the treadles

Tied on and ready to weave

Tied on and ready to weave

The width of this warp is 42″ in the reed, the widest I’ve done on my floor loom, but it was surprisingly quick to thread and tie on, only 2-3 hours, and then another hour crawling underneath to sort out the treadles which drives the pattern. The threading is important as it helps to define the pattern as each piece of yarn is threading through one heddle on one shaft in a specific order. I’m going to be changing this and the tie-up throughout the project to vary the patterns for each piece.

I finally did get weaving, and after about 12-14 hours of weaving I finally ended up with my first piece, which is 1m by 1.5m.

Weaving with many shuttles

Weaving with many shuttles

Sky project Blanket 1

Sky project Blanket 1

Again, I did things the hard way trying to weave several colours at a time with an undulating twill pattern (what makes it look wavy). It sort of works as it’s meant to show a snapshot of the sky, hence cloud bits in the corner. Not so sure I’d like to do it again, and I have complete respect for tapestry weavers now.

It’s survived being washed so all is good on that front, and all I need to do now is concentrate on weaving the rest of the pieces, which should be a lot faster to weave.

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