Knitting Sarah Weaves

I’ve talked a fair bit over the last year or so about my interest in getting a loom and learning to weave. I’ve been reading and researching and conversing with other weavers over that time to find out a good fit for me, not really knowing when I’d be able to take the plunge. I knew I wanted something with some versatility when it came to project size. I knew I wanted to weave with my handspun and being able to weave shawls as well as scarves was important to me. At the same time, I don’t have space or the price range for a floor loom or a table loom. From early on, I was pretty sure I was looking at a rigid heddle loom — the question was just which one.

I waffled for months over whether I wanted a folding one or a fixed rigid heddle. And then I wavered over what size I wanted. Of course, all this while I was thinking my loom was a year or two off in the future. And then, about a month ago, on a whim we went early birthday shopping for Mr. Knitting Sarah and when we got home, he said, “Would you like to order your loom now? I mean, I can do it, but I’m guessing you’d prefer to get exactly what you want.” I really hadn’t considered that I’d have the opportunity this year, but of course he’d been planning it for months only lobbying so hard against it so I wouldn’t ruin his surprise. He was right, though, I was glad to take the reins on picking and choosing and I  got down to making my final decision.

I’m excited to share that about a week and a half ago my early birthday & Christmas present arrived at my doorstep…

img_5001It’s a 28″ Ashford Knitter’s Loom and I love it. We got it on a Monday while the kids and I were working on school and I stoically waited until we finished up our studies. Then I opened it all up and assembled the stand immediately. I made some quick calculations and I had everything out of the box, set up, and warped within a couple hours.

img_5002For the record, I’d heard a lot of horror stories about warping so I studied ahead of time for it. I watched some tutorials from Ashford ahead of time and took advantage of a Craftsy sale and took the beginner rigid heddle weaving class they offer. Going in prepared in this way, warping was a snap and done in under an hour.

I had intended to just use this one behemoth skein of handspun that’s been hanging around in my stash for a good long while.

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I really didn’t have a great idea as to how it would knit up, but I had a feeling it would be beautiful woven.

img_5006It is.

And it didn’t take long for me to realize I’d woefully miscalculated the warp and I’d either have a very weird, stubby rectangle of fabric or I could find another yarn to finish out with. I hemmed and hawed a bit, but ultimately went with this skein of handspun…

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And then on a whim, I used a bit of this handspun, too…

You’ll see why in a moment.

Before we got there though, let me spend a moment gushing about the loom itself.

img_5008It’s less than a yard across all set up and only 24″ deep and yet it has a full 28″ weaving width. It’s the perfect size for my small space.  You can get a better idea for scale with my daughter in the photo…

img_5009(As you can see, she is ecstatic about this new tool.)

My Our new loom is extremely light-weight and easy to move around. When not in use, you can actually fold it in half even with a project in the works (I tried it and it’s a slick feature). Knowing there would be a fair bit of this and that I would have to store it out of sight when not in use, I got the specially made bag from Ashford for the loom, too. It makes storage and transport really easy. Because of the size, should you be considering this loom, I’d also recommend getting the stand. It is simple, but sturdy and adjustable and it makes working with this loom much more comfortable than I think it would be without.

Suffice to say, I chose wisely. This beauty is perfect for me. I just cannot say enough good things about it.

My first project was highly addictive and I quite literally finished in no more than 3 days. Would you like to see?

img_5061It’s my first woven project ever, so it certainly isn’t perfect…

img_5058But it definitely exceeded my expectations.

img_5056In this photo you can really see where I ran out of the original yarn and switch over to the tonal yellow.

img_5059And here you can also see the two random stripes of the green handspun I added, just because I thought it helped draw together the plain yellow half and more multi-colored half.

img_5060And there’s another photos of the green. You can also get a good feel for how nicely this drapes.

img_5057I took the time to add a twisted fringe. Not having a fringe twister, I did it all by hand. It took a long time, but I think the results were worth it.

All in all, it’s a little weird and a little funky, but I really love it.

I’ve had a few other things on my to-do list so I haven’t had the opportunity to get my next project warped, but I do have the yarn picked out. I’m hoping to get it on the loom sometime this weekend. This whole weaving thing is a new and exciting journey that I’m over the moon to be on. I have much to learn, but I’m looking forward to every lesson!

17 responses to “Knitting Sarah Weaves

    • If you really want to get into weaving, I recommend just start by thinking through what kinds of things you’d want to make – it’ll help guide you as you start reading about them. 🙂

  1. You say it’s not perfect but you have some amazing selvedge edges for a first project. I fell into weaving when I won a rigid heddle loom as a door prize at a fiber festival. I absolutely love it. I haven’t advanced beyond plain weave but hope to get into using pick up sticks and two heddles. It’s even more special when you use your own handspun yarn.

    • Thanks for your kind words. Right now, especially since I’m so green, I kind of can’t see going into more complicated patterns, but I’m sure it’ll happen eventually. Right now, I’m just going to enjoy the variations in the handspun. 🙂

  2. Sarah, that is really great! I love how your husband surprised you, good for him, I bet it isn’t easy to do! And you kept it a secret from us for so long!

    I love how the handspun makes it plaid, it is perfect for using up all your hand spun yarn. (and I know you have a stash!)

    I am curious, though, you said the weaving width is 28 inches? Is that how wide the finished cloth would be? I have thought about weaving, but didn’t think I needed as many scarves, shawls and pillows as it would take to make it worth while if I got a small loom, and I know I don’t want a big floor loom. But if you can weave fabric wide enough to do some sewing, then oh, the ideas-!

    So glad you and your daughter love your choice – loads of fun for you both!

    • I can keep a secret like no one’s business! 😉

      I think they say the finished cloth loses like 10% of it’s width in washing. This particular shawl I didn’t use the entire weaving width, but that’s part of why I got the bigger loom, so I can go big, but I don’t have to. You could definitely do some sewing with fabric with this loom I would think. 🙂

  3. This is the best news ever! 🙂 Congratulations! 🙂 It’s so pretty! (Perfection is overrated. 😉 ) I am so happy for you! ❤

  4. WOW! Just, WOW! I am SO impressed and proud of you. The finished product is really beautiful and who cares if you have a clear color switch? Call it a design element! What a sweet gift for hubby to have gotten, and I’m LOL at the “our” new loom – will it go the same path as all of your knitted mittens and socks?! 🙂 Oh well! What a joy that your daughter shares your passion!

    • Well, my daughter has already been begging to borrow my, I mean, our loom. I would let her, but it’s kind of big for her and she does not have the longest attention span. I’m thinking she’d be much better off with a smaller version of it — like a Cricket or Sample-It. We’ll see about those for the future. I mean, I did just borrow her Wee Weaver, so I don’t want to be the lady who doesn’t share when her daughter does!

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