A little frothy tasty treat, and so serene, this little Nantucket Looms weaving video popped up when I searched youtube for ‘ weaving on a flying shuttle floor loom ‘. Not that I’m going shopping for a floor loom anytime soon, but while I knit I find so very much pleasure and inspiration in watching short films about mills and weaving in general. The relationship between the fiber and the wood, loom creaking, swishing, clacking, sighing, wheezing into action. Any form of it, industrial or indigenous, slick linen or fuzzy mohair, I could watch for hours and forever the yards of warp inch forward, shifting on the heddles and the weft unwinding in the flying shuttles, interlocking in finality, growing and then winding up again, as purposeful useful thing… it just tickles a spot for me. I’m a dream weaver for sure.
I am revisiting a very personal ambition of blending signature colors from local landscape and spinning into yarn, as is always the genius of Harris Tweed, and it all began for me in this post a few years ago. Soon my own color blending experiments were born, and became a literal obsession with me, and I created Tweed Chronicles on this blog. But also it is about my intrigue of the life of a weaver, particularly the tweed weavers of the the Hebrides, their tradition and industry that has held on through the test of time. Whenever I find an old film about textiles, or mills, I am sure to post it here, and I do look often for the most wonderful ones, and it appears that I have dug one up out of the vast archives of the internet. The film opens with the weavers working their fields, cutting peat, doing the work of island life, but soon gets in to some great footage of the Harris Tweed company making warp bundles to deliver out to the resident weavers of the island, then once in the hands of the weavers, warp is set up on their looms, weft shuttles loaded, and then the shuttles fly. I love how when the cloth is finished, its left out on the roadside to be picked up by the Harris Tweed people. I know you’ll love this little gem as much as I do!
I can’t stay away from the blending board…
nor can I stop testing my instincts about color,
and layering them ever so finer … and finer …. and even finer…
just to see how the colors will work together.
Because perhaps I am just ridiculous!
So I have decided to make a new category ~~ Tweed Chronicles ~~ wherein I can post my tweed yarn making refinements, as I explore both predictable as well as the unpredictable color combinations (maybe especially the unpredictable), my learned improvements of technique, and so on.
- 20g of white undyed roving I acquired decades ago, the tweedy “nepps” from the slubby roving are excellent for tweed, 20g of mixed Shetland I over-dyed with color peacock, 10g of Corriedale aqua, and 10g of Corriedale dark denim.
- Layered very thinly … I mean really a lot of thin layers… using technique: Blending for tweed simplified.
- Lifted batt, layered again a second time.
- Drew off rolags.
- Total of only two “cardings”.
♣ ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣
I have found another gem in the “Hands” series I’ve been watching countless times over the last month, while I learn the technique of long-draw tweed spinning on my little wheel, and learn the art of color in fiber. And because I have always been so deeply inspired from nostalgia, this one is my new favorite. Enjoy!