Friday, February 7, 2014

Weaving challenge

I think I just bit off more than I can chew.

I joined thecrazysheeplady's Ravelry Olympic team.

The self-imposed challenge: To weave a new cover for my old messenger/work bag before the close of the Olympics. cough cough. The Sochi Olympics.

And I am obsessed with the idea of determined to do it with horse hair.

Not that I know enough about weaving.
Not that I know how to work with horse hair.
Not that I have the time.
Not that I even have the right equipment or materials.

Except the horse hair of course,

and the obsession.

The idea of weaving with horse hair has been buzzing around the back of my brain for months now. And nobody would disagree that my bag needs attention.

So here goes.

The idea is to replace this tattered piece of fabric on the front of my bag with something else, preferably handwoven, preferably from horse hair, preferably without having to buy any new materials.

sad bag
I haven't decided what to use yet. 

I have to pick a warp thread (that's the one that goes up and down on the loom) and a weft hair (that's the one that goes back and forth across the loom and will come from one of the Tyche's Run ponies.)

possible warps
The possible warps are, left to right, a copper-cored bamboo thread (from Habutextile) that is looking for a project, two zephyrs (wool/silk blends) that are left over from my first scarf, and an ultrafine copper thread that is also from Habu. The upside of the two Habu/copper threads is that they are cool, plentiful and using them would scratch an itch, so to speak. The downside is that they are both very fine and might need to be double- or even triple-plied first. Plus, I tried to wind a bobbin of the straight copper the other day, and let me tell you, that was not a pretty sight. Ultrafine appears to mean ultradifficult. The upside of the two zephyrs is that they are not ultrafine (sigh), they are pretty, and they are in hand. The downside is that I'm not sure there is enough. 
The available wefts are from the manes of various Tyche's Run ponies. Left to right, white from Bom Bom, a heathery silver blond from Tyche herself, a gingery blond from Tigerlily, and a black with dark brown highlights from Jesse. Although Tiger's is probably my favorite, she also has the least to give, so might get disqualified on that account. Tyche also has somewhat limited quantities. The white and the black are produced by more than one pony, so there should be plenty of either if that's what I choose. 

Depending on which materials I settle on, how much of it I have, and how long the specific fibers/hairs are, I will pick a loom. The choices are this table loom or an as-yet-unconstructed-home-made-rigid-peg-loom-sort-of-contraption. Eh, that sounds promising, no?

Finally, to prove (to myself if no one else) that I'm not completely crazy, here's a picture of a tiny sample of Tyche's hair used in a plain weave with bright orange nylon twine. (The bottom row is doubled with a strand of cotton.) I like the look.

Fingers crossed.


  1. You are very brave . . . and will probably be very successful. I wouldn't know where to start! Eager to see how the project progresses.

  2. You will do well! Go Team "My Favorite Sheep". Here is a link that might help with the horsehair.

  3. I'm in the middle of a horse hair weaving project! :-D I had issues with a slick warp in my sample so have changed to linen that I'm going to wax - in hopes of making it more grippy. FUN!!!