Weaving for The Cricket

Because of an overindulgence in crocheting granny squares (something I haven’t done since the early 1970s) for this year’s Christmas present for Granddaughter F, I can’t knit right now.  My daughter tried to forbid me to finish the blanket but I can’t not finish it; I think Granddaughter F will love it!  So I am pushing the proverbial envelope by crocheting – slowly – one six-row granny square per day.  As my daughter is not nearby to snatch it from me (and believe me, she would if she could), I think Thor and my daughter are in cahoots.  Somehow he always knows if I’ve gone over my 1-square limit at which point I have to put it away until the next day.  (But, steady is as steady goes:  I need 42 squares for Granddaughter F’s blanket, and I’ve crocheted 22!)

Cricket4So as I slowly (slowly) crochet the squares for the blanket, I’ve been so happy to return to weaving!  After sanding, staining and assemblying the 15″ wide (weaving width) Cricket loom (a surprise for Granddaughter F), I decided to weave the fabric for its carry bag.  I measured and sketched out the pieces and then ran the calculations for the warp and weft requirements.

CricketFabricPocketI used the peg method (which seems to be the rage for the Cricket, at least) to measure out the warp, then easily warped the Cricket and wove fabric for two pockets – one for either side of the carry bag.  Here’s a picture of the fabric off the loom before washing.

While the peg method for warping might be fine for small projects, it’s not good for long warps (in this case, nearly 5 yards).  In addition, the amount of warp needed for the fabric was more than I wanted to wind on the beams of the little Cricket.  Further, using a floor loom and boat shuttles is faster than a rigid heddle and stick shuttles (at least for me).

CricketFabricShuttlesSo, after a long hiatus, I pulled out my Schacht warping board (warps up to 14 yards), measured out the warp, and put it on my Mighty Wolf.  Using two colors – one a solid blue, the other space dyed – I warped for a simple, modified pinwheel by alternating warp colors every two threads (and weft colors every two shots).  Those beautiful boat shuttles were made by Ken Ledbetter of KCL Woods.

It had been a while since I last used my floor loom, and I was having a blast!  Before I made my morning coffee, I was at my loom weaving!  The fabric wove up quickly, and I cut it off the loom yesterday.

CricketFabricHere’s a picture of the finished fabric (prewashed, off the loom).  Laying the length of blue fabric (for the pockets), next to this multi-colored piece, I envisioned a nice carry bag.

But something was off.  The multi-colored fabric was significantly narrower than the solid fabric!

Oh dear … For the piece woven on the Cricket, I used the heddle that came with it:  8 dents per inch.  I was so excited to warp the Mighty Wolf that I neglected to check which reed I had on; it was 10 dents per inch.

Arghghg!

Ah well, I view mistakes as opportunities to learn from and improve (hence my two short marriages and divorces before Thor).  Now I have to go back to my sketches and redraw the carry bag.  I have plenty of both cotton yarns remaining, so if need be I’ll simply rewarp and weave some more (soooo much fun!).

While I work on redrafting and sewing the carry bag for the Cricket, I’ll be warping the Mighty Wolf for a blanket for Grandson O’s Christmas present (I’ll be sure and check and double check what reed is on) and the Cricket for some experimenting with finger manipulated stitches.  Weaving joy!

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About sweatyknitter

Fiber art devotee, author, and amateur artisan bread baker.
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14 Responses to Weaving for The Cricket

  1. lindamartha says:

    I like that you only gift handmade-I’m seriously thinking about that for some recipients this Christmas as well-especiallly those who are harder to buy for. I am not a weaver so I would not have noticed your “mistake”. I think its still lovely.

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  2. Wow! That is what I would love to learn to do. I looked at the instruction booklet and it is pretty much useless. I want to watch videos, I just have lots of books to review right now. Maybe in the fall I can get it together. Good luck with yours and I will be looking for photos!

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  3. Setting it up was not difficult; I stained mine first. Warping was very easy; the first time I used the warp peg method mentioned in the booklet that came with Cricket. I wasn’t sure I understood the instructions for that, so I watched a great video on warping the Cricket via the peg method for a short project. (That said, I wouldn’t use that method for a long warp.) I ordered a 12 dent rigid heddle for the Cricket because I’m going to try some finger-manipulated weaving pieces … maybe I can turn them into wall hangings. 🙂

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  4. I just got a Cricket. I’m scared to set it up and warp it by myself. .. so hopefully will get to take a class. I know there are YouTube videos so if I can’t get it class I will start watching videos. .. congrats on getting ahead on Christmas!

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  5. Yes indeed! And I don’t remember needing to slow down when I was young! :). I am enjoying weaving though. And I am slowly (slowly) making granny squares for granddaughter F’s xmas present. I think that will be my last large crochet project. My knitting needles call to me!

    >

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  6. Rebecca says:

    Boo to hands that hurt…why is the body so fragile when the will is so strong? I have to be careful with twisted stitches and cables and pruning! Thank goodness you can weave…wonderfully. It sounds like it is giving you great pleasure.

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  7. Nope, he blue piece isn’t big enough to carry the Cricket. Besides, I have my heart set on contrasting pockets for the bag! 🙂

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  8. It is so frustrating, I think, to remember having once had something that you wish you still had!

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  9. As I never celebrated Christmas growing up (or anytime as an adult), I always watched (from the proverbial distance) the frenzied chaos leading up to Christmas. Now, my grown and married daughter and her family celebrate Christmas – which I always spend with them – but I will only gift something handmade (and maybe an “educational” gift) for each of them. Yup, one step away from giving tube socks for Christmas. 🙂

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  10. I’m sure you’d love such a course. Be careful, though … the subjects in the class you describe are all very addicting. 🙂 >

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  11. fabrickated says:

    I have been looking up a textile course that includes printing, knitting and weaving. You have inspired me to seriously consider it.

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  12. Susan says:

    Wait, can’t you use the blue fabric and make a pleat in it or SOMETHING? Or, just have a bigger fold/seam on the sides???

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  13. Noddfacrafts says:

    Noddfacrafts
    noddfacrafts.wordpress.com
    I had a similar loom as a child. I wish I knew what had happened to it……

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  14. liz-o-matic says:

    I’m very impressed you’re already working Christmas presents for the grandkids! I still haven’t finished the husbands Christmas gift….. from last year :-/ It’s a good thing he loves me!

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