Archive for the ‘On the Loom’ Category


September 19, 2012


The countdown is beginning. The second to last set of scarves is on the loom. One more round of measuring warp, dressing the loom and weaving and the collection of scarves will be complete. I am so looking forward to opening the shop again. I even have a few surprises planned as part of the celebration…

tweet tweet

February 28, 2012


Much less formal than a blog post and quirky at best, I’m on a roll with “behind the scenes” shots via twitter. It’s a fun way of showing whats going on in my studio. If you are a twitter person, please say “hi!” and join in the fun @pirttihandwoven.


February 10, 2012

warp knots 1

Thank you all for the comments you left on my earlier post. These last 6 weeks have been quite something. It’s been a time to reorganize, focus and take lots of walks. Luckily, I’ve also taken some time at my loom. Above is a progress shot of many, many, MANY small knots. I am in the process of tying a new warp to the old one. It’s a process that is very time-consuming, but easy to get in the groove.

I have been thinking a lot about what I want pirtti to become, and the realities of how much time I have to spend. I’m happy that I’m coming up with ideas, and happy that my ideas give me nice long deadlines so I can progress parallel to my life as a wife and mother. But slow-moving also means slow blogging. I don’t want to keep showing pictures of knots. So, I’m taking suggestions for what you’d like to see here on the blog. More tutorials? More about inspiration? Thoughts on world peace? (Just kidding.)

If you have any questions about weaving, ask away. Or anything, for that matter. I need  a break from tying all those knots.

on the loom

October 19, 2011

on the loom

Here’s a sneak peek at what is growing on the loom. F/W 2011 will have 3 distinct colorways in limited edition. The next shop update will be mid-November.

If you are not familiar with Donor’s Choose, I highly recommend checking out the site. Many of our country’s public school teachers are underfunded and supporting their classroom needs on their own. Thanks to Donor’s Choose, everyone can help out a classroom in need. The project close to my heart is Ms. Aquino’s 5th grade class. They were able to get the funds to purchase a table loom, but still need funds to get the necessary tools such as shuttles, hooks, etc. which will make the loom work. Please consider helping them out. Any amount will be helpful, and the done-good feeling will last you a long time! Please visit the project page here.

it can be done

October 13, 2011

The following is a photo tutorial I have put together. There are not a whole lot of online tutorials for weaving (although this is quickly changing) so I have added a lot of weaving terminology to help my buddies looking to solve this same problem. The majority of my readers are non-weavers, but I hope you all enjoy these photos just the same. It’s an inside look at what handweaving is all about! For a basic photo identifying the parts of loom, please visit this site and scroll down.

step 1

As I mentioned the other day, I ran across a little problem with my current set of scarves. The width was too narrow! But with nearly 9 yards of warp on the loom and a deadline on the horizon, I did not want to cut everything off and start over. Surely there is a way to add width without starting over. But could it be done without taking anything off that was already on the loom? Could it be done without having to re-thread (much)? The answer is YES.

First I determined that I wanted to add 2 inches to both sides of the warp. (A total of 4 inches.) I measured out two separate warps at 2 inches wide and 8 yards long. (I estimated that after sampling, I had about 8 yards left on my 9 yard warp.) For clarity in this tutorial, I only photographed one side of my warp, but I actually added warp to both sides simultaneously.

Putting the new warp aside, I tied on the current warp to the cloth beam, as evenly tensioned as possible. (photo 1)

step 2

I then proceeded to wind the old warp forward to the cloth beam, using packing paper between the layers as I would on the warp beam. (photo 2) I wound until the end of my warp was even with the warp beam. (photo 3)

step 3

Untying just the outer edge of the stick, but not removing it completely from the warp beam, I slipped on the new warp and spaced it as evenly as possible. I then re-tied the outer edge of the stick to the dowel that is attached to my warp beam. I dress my loom back to front ala Peggy Osterkamp so the new warp is reversed on the back beam for “crank and yank”. (photo 3)

step 4

Since I couldn’t attach my raddle to the back beam, I laid it on the floor a few feet away and spaced the warp with rubber bands over the prongs to keep the warp from flying out. (photo 4) This actually worked surprisingly well! I still had to fiddle a bit on the back beam, but this was definitely better than nothing.

step 5

Yanking the new warp tight, I slowly wound old and new warp together on the warp beam. (photo 5) This took patience and interesting maneuvers as I had to carefully release the brake with my left foot and release the ratchet on the cloth beam with my left hand while cranking the warp beam with my right hand, plus keep everything under tension. Tricky perhaps, but totally doable.

step 6

With the old warp now rewound to the warp beam along with the new warp, I proceeded to set up  for threading. (photo 6) I inserted lease sticks into the cross, attached it to the castle and threaded the heddles. In my case, I did not need to alter any of the already threaded warp ends, other than reassigning the floating selvedge.

step 7

Here is the new warp threaded through the heddles, ready to be sleyed through the reed. (photo 7) The reed  has been attached to the beater bar this entire time with the old warp already sleyed and ready to go. While sleying the new threads through the reed,  I did have to rearrange a few of the old threads to space things correctly, but I did not have to re-thread everything. I did however, re-tie everything, all ends, to the cloth beam. There was no risking the warp being uneven, so to make sure that the tension was even, I re-tied all the groups of threads.

step 8

My warp, on tension, old and new together, evenly spaced since it never left the heddles and reed. My warp is ready to go. Happy weaving!

If you have any questions about this process, please leave it in the comments section and I will be happy to add a response.

a learning opportunity

October 10, 2011


Today I have a challenge. I wound on warp for scarves, and even though I sampled, I still wasn’t happy. I decided that the width of the scarf was too narrow. So now I have the delightful challenge of adding warp, all without wasting or unwinding and re-threading what is already on the loom. That which does not kill us makes us stronger, right?

Wish me luck please.

nose to the grindstone

August 15, 2011


It’s always a little daunting to update the shop. Selling my work is new. It’s nerve-wracking. Exciting. I always wonder if someone else will like something as much as I do. Saturday morning I posted my mini update, did my round of twitter and facebook and came back to check on my listing and the scarves were gone. Sold out. In 5 minutes.

AWESOME. So my nose is to the grindstone, getting my fall sample on the loom, tweaking the design and getting fall production on its way. This next update will include more than 2 scarves, I can assure you of that!

The next shop update will be October/November. Thank you all for your support!


July 28, 2011


I wrote awhile back that I was going to make the summer scarf in blue. All I had to do was tie the new blue warp to the old pink warp and keep weaving without having to re-thread the loom. Many house guests and a couple of trips out of town later, it is time to catch up. So the pink warp waited…


And one by one the blue warp threads got tied to the pink warp threads. That is a lot of little knots.


And now the weaving! I anticipate the scarves will be done and ready for a shop update by the end of next week. Stay tuned!

busy worker bee

April 28, 2011

loom shot


fringe twister



Waiting for a soak and a sew.

loom shot

April 4, 2011

on the loom

I am working on some new color ideas and exploring textures. I still have a lot of tinkering to do. I wound on a long warp for sampling but am really anxious to make some progress and start production.  I feel like I could sample forever. It is amazing to see that with each  small change, the fabric changes drastically. It is endlessly entertaining though at times exasperating! So many options….so little time…

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