Backstrap Weaving

17 February 2013

chongo chhili


I have been working on my back strap weaving trying to make and weave one or two warps a week. Each with a new challenge. This is my latest one.

It is complimentary warp in a design from the High Andes called chongo chhili.It is charted in a booklet by Ed Franquemont,

    CLOTH:The Andean Art


I am spinning my own wool for these projects. I have been using a white Border Liecester fleece I bought from a woman who raises them near by. The fleece is lustrous and quite white for wool.

I have been spinning it with a high twist for the back strap loom. I spin the singles, Z, then wind the yarn off into double stranded skein which I then dye. After they are dry I ply them smoothing down as much fuzz as I can.

I am very proud of using my own hand spun wool for these projects. I am trying to build up a collection of colors. I try to generate a few new colors each week. This piece has a color composition that I very much like but the colors, purple passion and taupe, look quite different from what I see in this photo.

The challenges of this piece for me are:
learning the chhili pattern ( I have only done, half of this pattern once before)
working wider–17 pairs in the pattern plus the color bands in the border. I had to move to heddles on a stick because of the width. The width and the fuzz make it a bit more challenging to open the sheds.

I have discovered how to mark the design with color changes to make this very easy to pick up.


3 Responses to “Backstrap Weaving”

  1. shiborigirl Says:

    great work as usual Karren. wonderful to use your own handspun local fiber too.


  2. It is very hard to go back to crochet cotton, the only yarn I have purchased that works on the back strap loom, after using my hand spun. The crochet cotton looks so boring, all smooth and uniform. The hand spun has enough twist that the picking cross is much nicer.


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