What is weaving?

All woven things, whether it’s hair in a plait…drawing of a french braid

drawing of a kitted fabric

 

…wool yarn in a jumper…

 

 

…or metal rings in a chainmaille shirt…

close up of a basic chainmaille weave

…have one thing in common; they are created by passing something through/under/around something else, in a way that holds both somethings in place.

It’s that last part that really matters, because if the materials don’t hold together in the weave then you have a disaster.

In cloth the materials are usually woven by passing each thread under and over other threads like this:

drawing of plain weaveAnd they hold together in the cloth because they are sandwiched between each other, though if you’ve ever cut silk or rayon fabrics you’ll know smooth threads will try to escape the moment you give them a chance!

 

The other thing all weaving has in common is that, the end product of any type of weaving is affected by the thickness of the materials woven, how tightly woven they are and the materials used.  This is as true of cloth that comes off your loom as it is of the wicker basket a basket weaver makes.

How I chose my loom

So, how did I end up weaving? And how did I choose a loom?

The short answer to both questions is that I saw a review of a “knitter’s loom” and thought I’m a knitter, this must be something I can use.

At the time I was looking for a faster way to knit scarfs and the review suggested this knitter’s loom could do that. It also folded for easy and compact storage in a bag, so it wasn’t going to eat up space in my craft room. I was pretty much sold on it right then!

It wasn’t until I went looking for a price that I realised there were a bunch of other loom types to consider (the knitter’s loom is an Ashford product and they make a few other types too). I paused. I researched. I came back to the Ashford knitter’s loom.

I chose it for the reasons I’d liked it orginally – fast to set up, easy to store away, simple to use and a good size for scarfs – but along the way I learnt about frame looms, table looms, floor looms and many other variations.

So, I was lured in by Ashford’s clever bit of marketing (the knitter’s loom isn’t specially for knitters – it’s just a rigid heddle loom), but it seems like the right choice for me.

A knitters loom by Ashford

The adventure begins

I’ve created a lot of woven materials so far in my life, but it’s only recently (June 2015) that I came to what people usually think of when you say you’re weaving.

From This Cloth will be about my new weaving adventure and what I learn along the way, though it’s likely other “weavings” will sneek in from time to time!

As I start this blog, I am in just my second week of actual weaving…