The Majacraft Blog The official blog of Majacraft

6Apr/164

Weaving Circular!

Growth, it's all about movement, change, and outward expansion. This is what excites me about circular weaving! In my mind, it is an embodiment of these ideas, starting at the centre and working outwards, expanding into the space around it and changing it in a positive way, adding more all the time. When I start a circular weaving it is all about possibility, I have made the warp, or the framework for growth, and then begin to experiment with how to use that framework, using colours, textures, fibers both spun and unspun. When we designed our first circular loom for the Fiberygoodness spinning course (Journey to the Golden Fleece) it was not obvious that this was going to be 'something', although there were already a number of people who had been following my own early experiments with this kind of weaving and it seemed there might be a few people would also enjoy this quite retro '70s idea. I started out with a large gear off a very old Louet drum carder (the teeth were broken). It was the right shape, and the teeth ideal for allowing me to warp it and still be able to lift the weaving off the loom when finished without cutting. Up to this time I had only seem looms that required the warp to be cut off and tied, or that used the loom as a final frame in the work, I wanted something we could reuse and to also remove the need to mess about tying knots (not my forte!) This was my very first circle weaving.     I made some sketches of ideas for the design, we decided that it should have 'cut outs' to make it easier to weave into, as the gear I had been using was just flat. You can see I had a few ideas! Some of them turned out to be not very practical in terms of making them, but we finally chose the one you see bottom left, as the unique shape for the Golden Fleece class. A little later Andrew added another design to become the 'standard' Majacraft loom that would be available to people not in the course too, it proved very popular! Our first prototype was closer to the original gear, and while it worked really well and I loved using it, the material it was made of was too heavy, making it slightly harder to handle and also less portable, and this was another goal, to make something people could put in their bag and take with them, much like knitting! This was the first prototype: After a bit of experimenting and discussion we settled upon using wood for the loom, it is strong and light, it feels nice to use and handle, and the colour of the wood compliments any colour, making it pleasing to use. We came up with these two looms and then added the smallest loom: There was so much interest in weaving circles on these looms that we set up a Facebook page for people to share their ideas, techniques and tips, and where we could post things we could offer such as the 'Warp Speed' warping  methods and the 'make your own' Template. You can find the group HERE and are very welcome to join in! It has been exciting to see the growth (yes we are back..ahem.. full circle again.) of this group and see the huge variety of projects people are using circle looms for! If you are starting to feel a little inspired to try your hand at circle weaving, you might enjoy the following videos, a 'basic' circle warp, an alternate warp for making earrings, and some ideas for creating textures in your weaving. I hope you enjoy them! Happy Weaving everyone Suzy x