I love weaving (no surprise there), but weaving quicker helps me get my ideas out better. When a weave takes too long or is too frustrating, I start to lose my love for that project and my brain starts to day-dream about the next weave I’ll make. This is never good, because then I end up with an unfinished weave taking up space on my loom.
In today’s post I wanted to point out a few things that I found helped me weave quicker. Even if you’re an experienced weaver, there might be something here that you hadn’t tried yet.
As I’ve posted about before, I like to use my metal ruler as a shed stick when I’m weaving to help make a space between my warp threads so I can quickly pass my weft thread through. Oh and if you’ve never heard of a shed before, it’s the space between your warp threads that you pass your weft threads through. I have a quick weavings definition page here. The downside to using a shed stick is that it only opens the warp threads in one direction. If you’re so lucky as to have a heddle bar, then that can be rotated to open your shed in both directions (super cool time saver). Both of these help speed up weaving, but they aren’t perfect. I’ve found that if I’m making shapes, I can’t use the shed. I can only use it when weaving straight across. But even using these tools on a few rows helps a lot.
Shuttles are pretty cool. They come in a lot of shapes and sizes. They are tools that you wrap thread around and weave with. This saves you time, because with the shuttle you’re pulling a bunch of thread through with one pass, compared to weaving with a needle that requires you to pull all your yarn through until you get to the end of the thread. Using a shuttle when weaving, works best when paired with a shed stick or a heddle bar, but you could also weave with by picking up your warp threads to create a gap to pass it under. Some of the really cool shuttles are shaped like boats and hold a lot of yarn, but these work best with floor looms. There are smaller shuttles that you can use when weaving on lap looms, in fact I have some in my shop because they are so helpful.
How many of us have been working on a fringe for our weave and noticed that it takes a while to cut up bunches of yarn to make that fringe? Well I have a tip on how to speed that up and also get a semi uniform fringe (I say semi, because you’ll still have to trim it to be straight, but it will get you really close to the same lengths). The tip is, use a length of cardboard to wrap your thread around! You’ll want to have the cardboard be the length of the fringe you want to make, then wrap your thread around it multiple times and just cut the bottom threads. You’ll then have a bunch of threads twice the length of the fringe you want that you can tie as a rya knot at the bottom of your weave. I have more details in this post here.
We’ve have all completed our weaves, been really happy with how it’s looking and then flip it over to the backside, just to find hours of yarn tails to be tucked in. Ugh! I think the backside tucking is the worst thing about weaving. But don’t forget, we have the weaver’s knot to help eliminate yarn tails and finishing time. Woo-hoo!! With the weaver’s knot, you can tie your threads together in a tight knot, hide it behind your warp threads and then keep weaving. Boom! Done! This trick even works when you’re switching colors to make shapes. Just imagine finishing your weave and then tucking just your very first yarn tail and your very last yarn tail. That is amazing in my book. You can find all the details on the weaver’s knot here.
Ok, so yes the hem stitch will add to your weaving time, but just a bit and in the end your weave will have better edges and will be easier to hang. I have the details on how to make the hem stitch here. If you’re going to hang your weave using the warp loops then you’ll be all set once your weave is complete. If you’re cutting your weave off the loom, then here is a really great way to hang it with the cut warp threads. Either way the top of your weave will look really nice.
I really hope that this has helped you speed up your weaving. If you have any tips that you use to help weave quicker, please share!
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