Thursday, 15 September 2016

A day trip to Dubbo

Over the weekend, my cousin, my husband and I made the long drive to Wellington, near Dubbo, and back home again in the one day. The reason for this insane mini road trip was to collect some old weaving looms, that I had seen offered for free on Gumtree, and as I was interested in getting into weaving, it seemed like the perfect opportunity! We left quite early in the morning, so that my cousin could log a few more night hours in her L plater log book.

It was a pretty rainy old morning, but the clouds cleared by midday, to a beautiful spring day. As we were driving along the Golden highway, we came across many of these bright yellow fields, which looked so out of place amongst the grey/green colouring of inland Australia. The only thing we could think it might be was Canola flowers, and some googling when we got home confirmed it. They were just so bright! Even brighter than the wattle trees! I guess that's why it's called the Golden Highway....

Here are 2 of the 3 looms we picked up! The other is what is known as an "Inkle" Loom and is used to make long straps and belts. Most Inkle looms I have seen have been quite small, but this is a monster of a thing, over a meter tall! These 2 are table top looms, and I see them getting a fair bit of use in the future!

Small table top loom, Approx 15 inches wide

Large Table top loom, about twice
as wide as the small one

The next day, after catching up on a few Z's, I decided to have a practice run on the small loom. I didn't want to use any of my hand spun wool for my first try, so I pulled 2 100g balls of 8 ply acrylic yarn from my stash to try a plaid weaving pattern. It took my most of the day just to string it up with 170 warp strings. As I was just testing it out, I used a warp length of approximately my arm span (so roughly 1.5m)

Partway through setting up

Starting the first few weft threads

A few inches in to my weaving

I am thinking of using this piece to make a tote bag, so I will be weaving a narrow piece for the shoulder strap, but I think I will need a bit more black yarn for that.

Completed! This is folded into 4

While we were in Dubbo, we also checked out the local op shops, and I found a few goodies, including some fabric.

As well as a large Beatrix Potter Sampler, 2 sewing patterns, 2 sets of bag handles, 2 sets of bra straps and a light blue metal Zip.

I keep buying bag handles, but I haven't gotten around to using many of the yet, so I will have to remedy that soon!

I am really looking forward to trying my hand at weaving my family tartan on the big table top loom, anyone have any tips for weaving a tartan?


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