Are you getting into the madness? My bracket was shot from pretty early on. Last year I won the office pool and used my winnings to buy a lovely swift. Not what most people would spend their winnings on, but it was one of the best investments I've ever made.
I'm getting into a different kind of madness.
At the beginning of the year I saw a plan to try a new craft every month. It sounded like fun but also ... overwhelming. Since I use craft as my primary means of relaxation, it didn't seem to be the best idea to build overwhelm into my year on purpose.
Still, I'm interested in building skills and always, always, always learning new things. So I signed up for two concurrent weaving classes this month. (Plus the weekly agility classes I do with the dog.) Hence the madness.
In the first class, I'm weaving yardage to make a summer blouse. It's going to be the widest I've ever woven (but not the whole width of my loom), and it's my first multi-color warp. The warp has 8 different types of yarn in it, and thank goodness I had help winding on the warp - otherwise I probably would have given up.
Even so, warping hasn't been the easiest thing ever. At the suggestion of my teacher, I designed the warp in the reed, then we wound the warp onto the back beam. then we moved the reed to the back, and as I thread the heddles I take each end out of the reed. Once that's done I had to re-sley the reed.
Only when I started threading the heddles I forgot my teacher's advice and did the exact opposite of what I was supposed to do. I didn't take the ends out of the reed, and I only realized my mistake because I ran out of heddles a quarter of the way through. Whoops.
The way the reed was tied to the loom, I had to carefully take everything apart and gently move the reed...hoping the ends didn't all fall out.
Luckily it worked with a minimum of angst, and I figured out a better way to sit when I'm threading the heddles - if I remove the beater, I can sit on the treadles and be in the perfect position to thread heddles all day without hunching over. Which is a good thing when there are 700 ends to deal with.
Then at the next class, we tied on the warp by lashing it to the cloth beam - also a new technique for me, and definitely a great way to make sure I'll end up with an even tension on the warp.
Now it's time to start weaving, only the warp doesn't want to rest on the shuttle race. According to the loom manufacturer, this is because there's too much tension on the warp ... I do like to weave with a fair bit of tension. Currently, I'm trying out some fishing weights to add weight to the harnesses to see if that will fix the problem.
And all of that is just the first class.
The second class is all about weave structures. We started with summer and winter and profile drafts, and my mind was blown.
I've just about got the homework warp on my second loom, and then I'll actually weave it. But I've got to scurry because it's due tomorrow...
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