Handspun Doubleweave? Why not?

Adventures in Weaving with Handspun

When I first started working at Interweave, I had the extreme fortune and good timing to be able to acquire a loom from a co-worker who was in the process of moving. It's a 12-shaft Leclerc floor loom, and sadly, it hasn't gotten as much use as I'd like it too. I've been spending a lot of time knitting and crocheting, and lately I've felt the loom beckoning me back, calling to me to put down the needles and try something different for a change.

My first weaving with handspun—a simple felted scarf from the Winter 2008 issue of Spin-Off.

The lace section of Jennifer Moore's doubleweave sampler from the Doubleweave Basics DVD.

I did a fair bit of weaving during college, but I wasn't a spinner at that time and all of my projects used commercial yarns. I think many spinners eventually become curious about weaving, and like them, I've been looking for ways to bring my spinning and weaving knowledge together.

My first foray into weaving with handspun was a simple felted scarf for the Winter 2008 issue of Spin-Off. This project was woven on a rigid heddle loom and was easy enough that I was able to complete it in a weekend.

After that simple starter project with my handspun I wasn't quite sure how to make the jump from small project to larger multi-shaft project. Weaving takes a lot of yarn, and I've always been a bit paranoid that I'll spin up all that yarn, get it on the loom, and pop!pop!pop! warp threads will come flying off everywhere.

I recently received a copy of the new Doubleweave Basics DVD, and it inspired me to think of some more advanced projects I could make with my handspun. Doubleweave has always fascinated me. You can weave cloth twice as wide as your loom, you can weave a cloth that is completely different on each side, you can add pockets, tubes, all kinds of magic. Someday I'd love to make a doubleweave table runner with hand-manipulated lace.

I know I have a lot to learn as a spinner before I can tackle a project like this in handspun. I'd have to find just the right fiber—something long and strong and silky. I'd have to learn to put enough twist in my singles and my ply to make a tough, abrasion-resistant warp. I'd have to learn to make a yarn consistent enough that it wouldn't get caught in the heddles or reed.

But there's enough inspiration and challenge in Jennifer's DVD (and in her companion book, which has even more ideas and great teaching moments) that I'm putting that table runner on my bucket list.

Have you done any weaving with your handspun? Tell me about it in the comments! 

—Stefanie

 

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