Winding BobbinsI received a fabulous boat shuttle from Anthony for Christmas.  I had been using stick shuttles and the new boat shuttle is easier to use and faster.  The only thing I was worried about was winding bobbins.    Ideally, weavers have access to a "bobbin winder."  These come either as a hand cranked or as a moter-powered devise.  Niether version is terribly affordable.  Winding bobbins by hand also did not seem like a great alternative - I would spend more time winding than I would actually weaving.  So, I did a bit of online investigating trying to come up with a cheap alternative solution.  The two best suggestions I found online were to 1. use a power drill and 2. to use a sewing machine bobbin winder.

To use a power drill, you replace the drill bit with a wooden dowel that is the right diameter to hold your bobbin securely.  I found that a round pencil with an added layer of tape fit snuggly inside my bobbins and fit into the drill chuck without any trouble.  Luckliy, while I have a cordless power drill, it is not used often and can be left set up to wind bobbins most of the time. 

I have been weaving away at the next blanket.  I think I might be about half-way done weaving it.  I am still trying to get my rhythm right.  I don't know if the problem is the small shed of a table loom or the height of my boat shuttle, but I have been trying to find the right balance between a tall enough shed and an equal beat on the top and bottom layers.  This seems to be further complicated by the layers slipping past each other as they wind onto the cloth beam.  I'm not sure if this is normal or not.

I guess I will do my best and see how it looks when I take it off the loom.  On a positive note, it seems like my folded edge is better and more consistant on this blanket than it was on the last one.

Well, I cut my first double weave project off of the loom last night.  This first blanket is for a childhood friend of mine who is expecting her first baby this June.  The folded edge turned out fairly well.  It is not as invisible as I would ideally like, but it is not as noticeable as it could have been.  I was able to wet finish it today and take some pictures.  I will post some later tonight. 

I started weaving the next blanket.  It will be really similar to this baby blanket but it will be longer (11 year olds don't need baby blankets).  The chennille washed up fairly soft.

Katie learning to weaveI "borrowed" my niece and nephew for the weekend last week.  Katie has been interested in weaving since she toured an historic farm with Grandma & Grandpa.  Grandma gave her a small, children's table-top loom for Christmas that I warped up for her.  When she walked into my dining room and saw my 4 harness table loom warped up with the baby blanket started, she got really excited.  I offered to show her how it works and let her weave some of it.  She really seemed to enjoy it.  Victor seemed happy to hear that the next blanket I wove on that warp would be for him (obviously larger than the baby blanket).  If you would like to see more pictures of Katie weaving, click here.

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