Hello! I am Carlene and a new poster here on the Felting and Fiber Studio blog. I live in Carp which is part of Ottawa Canada. I am a member of the Ottawa Valley Weavers and Spinners Guild; the same guild that Jan Scott, Ann McElroy and Bernadette Quade belong to.
I am interested in a number of fiber arts including: crochet, knitting, spinning, felting and weaving. I will admit that spinning is my biggest passion and where I spend most of my time. I have been dabbling in weaving for a bit, using rigid heddle looms and taking some classes at the Ottawa Valley Weavers and Spinners Guild.
In June 2022 I managed to purchase a used Saori CH50 loom and since then my weaving has really taken off. I love the Saori philosophy and how well designed the loom is. Saori weaving is a free form style of weaving developed in Japan. You can learn more about the history of Saori online from Saori Global.
Here is my Saori loom. It is a cute little 2 harness loom with a small footprint similar to a card table. The official specs are as follows: Width: 69cm (26″), Depth: 61cm (24″), Height: 98cm (38″), Weight: 15.7kg (34.5lb), Weaving Width: 60cm (23″).
One of the neat innovations of the Saori looms is using a square back beam that allows you to slide a pre-wound warp onto the loom and speed up the warping process. You can buy pre-wound warps in a number of different thread counts (50, 100, 150, 200, 250 and 300 threads), lengths (3m, 6m, 12m and 30m) and fibre types (cotton, wool, or mixed fibers such as wool, cashmere, silk). The most affordable warps are plain black warps in either wool or cotton. This is a 100 end cotton warp that I recently put on my loom. The warp threads are taped to the square tube, then wound on under light tension with spacers inserted occasionally. At the end of the warp the ends are again taped down.
After putting the warp onto the back beam, I lifted the reed and beater out of the loom and set it aside. Then I untaped the warp threads from the roll and lifted them up over the back beam, over the middle castle of the loom and taped the threads to the loom shelf using green painters tape.
Next I did some quick counting and inserted some chip clips as markers. I wanted to thread from the middle outwards so that I could easily position the warp threads in the middle of the reed and the heddles on the shaft. After counting out the threads I carefully snipped a single thread from the tape, then threaded it through the inserted eye heddle on the rear shaft. I repeated this process with the the next thread and then threaded it through the inserted eye heddle on the front shaft. I then skipped a heddle in each shaft and then repeated this process to thread the next thread, all the way across the loom.
In this next picture you can see all the black warp threads have been inserted through the heddles. I have used chip clips to keep the threads neat and tidy. There is a spare empty heddle between each of the threads.
I decided to add some supplementary warp threads to experiment with adding a bit of colour to my warp. I bought these Kumihimo bobbins to try. I wound cotton thread in various colours onto the bobbins.
Then I positioned the bobbins at the back of the loom and slowly threaded them into some of the empty heddles between warp threads. The placement of these threads was somewhat random. After adding in the supplementary warp threads I was ready to thread the reed. So I put the beater bar and reed back into the loom.
I used my threading hook to thread the reed and I did groups of 4 threads, then one empty space in the reed, then the next set of 4 threads. Chip clips were again used to keep the threads tidy.
After completing the threading it was time to tie onto the front beam and then start weaving. The warp threads are knotted onto the front beam. The blue yarn you see is a bit of scrap yarn at the beginning of the project to help space out the warp threads. The weft threads (the back and forth weaving threads) is some self striping wool/acrylic sock yarn (Kroy Socks Stripes in the colour Burnished Sierra). When you look at the back of the loom the Kumihimo bobbins with the supplementary warp threads are hanging off the back.
I wove a piece that was about 64″ on the loom. After taking it off the loom the piece measured 60.5″ x 20.5″. After washing the dimensions will shift again and there will be a bit more shrinkage.
After removing the blue waste yarn I trimmed the warp ends, knotted them together, then twisted the fringe. The result is a cowl for my Christmas gift pile. I still have one last step to do though. The fabric still needs to be washed to set the cloth and after washing it’ll need a quick press with the iron to make it look beautiful again. I have a stack of Christmas weaving waiting for washing and ironing. Luckily there is still a bit of time before Christmas to get it all done.
I got the stack weaving washed and realized that I had forgotten the step of sewing on labels. So today I sat down with the pile and sewed on tags. I have these nice vegan leather tags that I purchased off ETSY from FractalFocusStudios and I carefully sewed one on each item.
After putting the tag on I did a quick try on. Love it! My stack of scarves and cowls are now sitting in the pile of Christmas gifts. Soon they will all be adopted by new owners.