Monday, July 5, 2021

Weaving By The Seat Of My Pants Too!

This is the continuation of ‘Designing By The Seat Of My Pants’.  After pulling the warp I had so little warp yarn left it was scary.  I had just enough of each colour to fix one, and only one, broken end.

Because I pulled the warp in segments using up all of the pink, then all of the lilac, I had to pull the striped segment as a single bout.  My final design had a small increment of lilac moving into the green striped area so to help me remember I put a single end of waste yarn in the warp.

When I threaded the warp I dropped the waste yarn and moved over the lilac segment.  Not the best idea as far as getting perfect warp tension, but I was doing this on the fly (hmmm yet another airplane reference) and this was the easiest way to go.

Once the warp was all threaded and through the reed, it looked pretty good and I was able to get the tension even at the tie on stage.

I began weaving the tea towel with the lilac tow linen weft and it seems to be working out fine.  Now was the time to think about where to place the plaid section.  Do I put it in the centre?  Off centre? At the end?  My final decision was to start the plaid at 18 inches; this would make the lilac section larger than the pink section which was in keeping with how the warp looked.

I had taken the time to write out the stripe sequence to stick on my loom and I had written it out directly from the top of the PCW draft.

But I had started weaving the larger lilac portion first, so I had to weave it from the bottom up and this meant I needed to change it as I went along.  I suppose now is the time to tell you that I hadn’t noticed that I had two treadles tied up the same.  This was actually a seven shaft pattern!  As I was treadling I found that shaft one and shaft five were the same and so I had to modify my treadling to adjust for that. What a mess!

I was a little worried that the green and purple colours for the stripes were quite different in the warp and weft, but once I started the plaid, I liked it.  The grist of these linens were just slightly finer than the tow linen, but not enough to throw out the balance.  What is different however, is that they are much smoother than the very, furry tow linen.

Rather than stick exactly to the pattern I wove the green sections to equal the measurements of the warp, so a few picks here and there to make up the difference.  Thankfully this is twill, so easy to make this kind of adjustments.

I have just finished the first tea towel and I am not altogether thrilled with the selvedges.  On the lilac side I have had the floating selvedge shred twice.  There must be a burr in my reed causing the fray.  On the pink side of the tea towel the weft turns are a bit problematic.  I think the extra fuzzyness on the lilac side actually hides the turns. The selvedges are as snug as I could get them without actually pulling the warp in, so I live in hope that this slight imperfection will disappear in the wash.

The garden photo for today is Echinaca purpurea ‘Green Twister’ which is just opening up.  Amazingly this plant was planted last year and now it stands a good three feet high!