Loominaughty Weaver...

After I finished the cowl from the previous post, I wondered how wide a fabric I could I actually make with the loom.  It is 25 inches wide, but as the fabric draws in after the tension is removed, how wide would the actual fabric be?

I also wanted to know how many ends could I thread through the 12-dent reed.

The second question was easier to determine. I just counted the slots in the reed. There are 304.

Looking at my stash, I decided to put together some similar color yarns (more on that below), then warped 302 ends (300 for the actual weaving and one strand on each side for a floating selvage).

Using four shafts for a plain weave, it took me hours to dress the loom; however, with more experience, I am making fewer mistakes and my pace is picking up a bit.

I did have one "OMG" moment.  After I had completely warped the loom, I was winding the thread from the front onto the back beam, when one of the warps snapped. There was a weak spot in the ply and it broke.

Omitting it completely would have thrown an error into the fabric, so I wound all the warp back onto the front beam, tied on a new thread to the back beam, threaded it through the heddle and reed, and kept some tension on it while I re-wound the warp onto the back beam.  I then untied the group of threads, which lined up to the new one, pulled the broken one off, and tied the new one where the old one had been.


I was really kind of proud of myself!

In any event, the actual weaving took about as much time as it did to warp the whole loom.

Instead of just a plain scarf or shawl, I was actually shooting for a length of fabric about 60-inches long and 22-to-24-inches wide.

Without the fringe, the fabric is actually 55-inches long and 23.5-inches wide.  

I was hoping to seam a part of it together to create something between a wrap and a poncho.


Now about the yarn choices.

From left to right:  Jitterbug in Mango Lassi, Malabrigo sock in Arbol, and Arauncania Itata in Melon.  They are all fingering weight yarns.  The first two are wool, the last one is a wool/bamboo/silk blend.

Because the Itata has silk in it, was semi-solid, and I had more of it than the other two, I decided to use it for the weft.

It may look like an odd color combination, but I decided to use the Jitterbug and the Malabrigo as warp because the Itata looks good with both of them, not because the Jitterbug and Malabrigo looked good together.  Strange way of thinking, I know, but that was the thought process.

The next decision was how to warp with the two different colors (they are also slightly different in diameter, with the Malabrigo a light fingering).

Looking at my warping board, I decided to pull from both skeins at the same time to measure the lengths; however, when it came time to thread the loom, I used them singly (as in threaded one at a time).

I think the Malabrigo muted the brighter tones of the Jitterbug, but this did not make me unhappy.

Once everything was done, I pulled it off the loom and trimmed the fringe before twisting it.

After that was complete, I laid it out, wrong side up.  I took the top left hand corner and folded it over to where the fringed edge lined up with the bottom selvage.

Then, I pulled the fringe edge from the right side and brought it to the square line (which was formed from folding the other corner down).  Where the fringe met the folded down selvage, I slipped stitches down about 8-inches.

That is all I did.

Now, it is ready to wear!

As I am the Feisty Knitter when knitting, I thought it might be nice to have a weaving name, too. The title of the post is nothing more than an oblique reference to the Illuminati.


Next time you break a warp while winding on, just keep on, pull the broken thread out to keep it from tangling. Then, when it's all wound on and tensioned, cut a warp thread the length of the warp, tie one end to the front beam after you thread the heddle and reed, and put the rest into a pill bottle with some change for weight. You may have to add or remove change to get the same tension as the warp. Now you can weave without undoing your warp. I have a lot of cast off yarns I got from my guild's annual sales, and because it's older it tends to break more often. I was taught this trick by one of the oldest members of our guild and it really works, and it saves LOTS of time.

The shawl is beautiful!!
lady said…
Thank you so much! I have much to learn, but that is excellent advice!

I so appreciate your taking the time to share.

; )

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