Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Weaving with the Cricket


In continuing my summer of expanding my crafting knowledge, I drove to historic New Bern, NC yesterday. I had an appointment with Marilyn Vandersea, the owner of the Weaver's Web Gallery to learn to use my Cricket Loom. Marilyn owns and runs a large, beautiful shop containing aisle after aisle of beautiful yarns, needles, and anything else to do with fiber arts. I began my spinning with her last summer after purchasing my Louet 76 spinning wheel and learning to spin at her shop. She also has two large floor looms in the store on which she weaves exquisite tapestries and apparel displayed throughout the store. My goal is to one day learn to use these looms, but for right now, more immediate, was to learn to set up and weave on the table-top loom Henry bought me some time back.
I had tried reading the instructions to set up and weave on the loom that came with it, but it's not the same as having an experienced weaver show you. The yarn sent with the loom was Lion Brand Wool Ease. Although the wool is good for knitting, it didn't do well as a warp thread. I purchased a skein of Maysville Carpet Warp in a dark brown 100% cotton for the warp and a skein of Plymouth Encore Colorspun (worsted weight) for the weft. The colors are going together beautifully. I can't wait to finish the piece.
Marilyn showed me a different way to tie on my warp threads which eliminated having to untie and retie until all were evenly tight. She also showed me a way to finish the beginning of the weaving while the work is still on the loom so that when finished, I only have to cut the warp threads to be done with the piece.
I count myself very fortunate to live within an hour or so's drive of four very accomplished fiber artists who are very willing to share their knowledge of the craft with others. One part of taking classes with each is getting a different perspective on working with fibers. I've learned that there's no one way to do anything in spinning or knitting or weaving. Yesterday was certainly no exception. If you have the opportunity to visit New Bern, NC, please go by the Weaver's Web Gallery at 602 Pollock Street for a fiber treat. Marilyn carries a wide range of knitting needles as well as embroidery and needlepoint supplies and will do mail order (252-514-2681).

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