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.