Getting Back To Work

My elbow continues to heal; slowly and steadily.  I’m doing work with weights to rebuild the muscle (rebuild?  I don’t think there was much there before …) so I thought it was time to get a warp on the AVL.  Something simple but colorful to keep me interested.  I settled on a two-block twill threading with big and small stripes.

I can change the vertical size of the blocks easily; and I can also change from a straight twill to any other four-shaft pattern, so this 18-yard warp will sail by quickly.  I’ve done the first four towels already and it was a joy to be throwing a shuttle again.

But!  I couldn’t stop thinking about the backstrap class and I wanted to cement those learnings by doing something quick – from start to finish so I chose a sensible and useful project:  weaving my own backstrap!  I cut apart a broom handle for loom bars, found an old pillowcase to use as a backstrap, dug up some dowels for shed rods and got busy.  Yarn was stash from previous projects (Takhi Cotton Classic, if you’re curious) and I quickly wound a warp, got it started and then took it along to my weekly meet-up on Thursday afternoon:

I’m almost finished here – but you can see I’m happily clamped to the table and weaving away.  Portable!  Fun!  Useful!  Exactly what I’d hoped.  I finished it up the next day and now it’s waiting to go through it’s trial run:

Two more things and my backstrap kit would be complete.  I made more swords using some maple stock from the woodworking store.  A friend cut out the blanks on his band saw, and then I used a belt sander (clamped upside-down in a vise) to sand down and sharpen the edges.  Finally, a quick going-over with fine-grit sandpaper and voila!  Swords.

I won’t know if they’re good until I use them – but I have more blanks so I can easily make modifications.  Lastly, all those bits and pieces need a home – so I made a bag.

It’s a shoulder bag – very deep with a draw-string closure.  The fabric is a remnant from the bedspreads I made over the winter; the shoulder band one of my early tablet-weaving attempts that ended up too thick for it’s intended purpose and the drawstring my first band from Applesies and Fox Noses.  Perfect use of things I had lying around.  I’m embarrassed to say how many times the seam ripper had to come out to get that box-corner bottom right!  It’s big – maybe too big – but I’ll find out when I use it.  And I want a different band for the drawstring, but I can do that, too.  For now, it’s good enough.

Today it’s grey and rainy – perfect weather to try out my new backstrap and weave up some more towels.  And I’m all set to do just that.

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1 Response to Getting Back To Work

  1. Mardi says:

    Lookit you go! I love the bag…the bedspreads must be stunning.

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