Friday, August 21, 2009

I Had a Vision...

And part of that vision was weaving as close to the harnesses as possible for yardage.
WHAT WAS I THINKING? Please step back and remember how clever I thought myself when I attached a simple apron rod onto the leader rod used for sectional warping. Also remember the attachment was maybe an inch long. If you aren't getting the picture, that's fine, because I didn't either. In my mind that apron rod traveled up over the back beam, in real life, it just cleared the sectional rakes. Now weaving is in part about adapting, and I did manage to tie another longer set of apron strings onto the bar, cut the short ties and weave another 12 inches, but I sure was stumped and slapping my forehead for a bit. There was a fair amount of winding back and forth between the front and the back beams and I am short on what I wanted for yardage, but I have just enough if I get creative with my generous color sampling.

On the other hand, I was wonderfully challenged by some problem solving, I had another opportunity to monkey with the new loom and see just how she handles upset.
The mechanics of a loom while simple are endlessly fascinating to me. I've always liked taking things apart and putting them back together. Sometimes they even work again!
Without further ado, here is the fabric before wet finishing.

I ended up being true to myself and going with a soft green. I tried a grey blue and it changed the value of the orange to read red and while pretty, it wasn't what I wanted. The orange I had had in mind was just so bright it took away from all the beautiful striped variation in the warp.

I asked Gene when sampling the green if it could be mistaken for a part of the woods. He felt I had no fear of someone thinking I was a deer or a tree with any of the colors sampled.

I had issues with the selvage and finally pulled out the temple to alleviate draw-in. Worked fine but I am going to ask Nadine what I can do to correct my tendency to get draw-in in the first place. I am sure it is an operator issue and I know not to pull too much but I just can't seem to get that middle ground with some of these warps.

Here is the fabric after wet finishing and I am very pleased with it as yard goods. It plumped nicely and the drape is good. It is not soft though and never will be. This is rough wool and should hold up well as an outer garment.

It also gave me a chance to use the Harrisville Shetland as both warp (some of it) and weft (all of it) and that was very helpful considering all those double weave blankets are slated for Harrisville yarn. One note, the Shetland did soften nicely but the bulk of the warp was Le-mieux brand 2 ply and it is a very hard wool indeed.

The colored nubs I placed in while weaving. I like them and the tweedy effect they give a fabric. Some will need to be trimmed but it's something that can be done once the vest itself is complete. I better brush up on my sewing skills. It's been forever since I made any clothing.

I need to finish off the warp on Murphy and then each loom will get a little cleaning and sprucing up and warps will be planned for all. Rug warp for Barbara, scarf warp for Murphy and for Hey Baby, I'm not sure yet, but I have a fair amount of projects to pick from.

This weekend will be devoted to painting trim. Yes, the back porch inside trim is complete and now I can get in there with paint and brush and start making it look like a truly finished part of the house. Yippee!


  1. Good for you pushing the limits! Even if it didn't turn out the way you wanted it to! That's great! The fabric is beautiful and I look forward to the vest!

  2. The fabric looks beautiful!!! The green weft looks just right!!

    I hope more knowledgeable weavers will chime in, but when I was trying to figure out draw-in over the winter, it seemed like a combination of not leaving enough yarn in the shed before beating and the occassional pulling too tight (mostly due to yarn hanging up in the shuttle).

    Some draw-in is normal I think.

    How did the warp look in the shed before beating? Was there enough so that when you beat it didn't pull the sides in? (I don't know how to make sure there's enough when you're weaving wide.....that's why I hope some one who knows what they're talking about chimes in! But those are my random thoughts....

    Have fun painting trim!! (I realize how unlikely that is, believe me!)

    Congrats on a great project!!


  3. Congratulations on such a wonder fabric off your new loom! I love the bright colours and the little nubs you add in.

    As for draw in: Sue's comments are bang on. Angle the weft more, use a temple, and yes, some draw in is normal. (For finer yarns you might even consider an end delivery shuttle. )

    Great job!

  4. I love those colors, congratulations on a great job! Wool is elastic, so a bit of draw-in is unavoidable.

  5. i think that looks wonderful. I keep hearing about a temple. I sure wish I knew what it is. I think I might need one.

  6. Thanks all for the comments on the fabric. After the painting marathon I might even get to cutting in to it.
    As to draw-in. The wool is stretchier and also more delicate than say cotton, so abrasion on those end warp threads was a problem. I did use an end feed shuttle and it was better after I finally got it adjusted, but it's darn hard to correct draw-in once you've really created it. The temple for me, was the best solution for this warp, although I am really going to watch those very few first throws. I may be setting the stage for trouble on my "spread out the warp" shots.
    Sharon, temple is basically a stretcher used to keep your warp spread to the same width it is at the reed. Here is a great tutorial from Lynette at Dust Bunnies Under My Loom:

  7. It's wonderful! Wet finishing really made a big difference. Would absolutely love to touch and feel.