Monday, February 27, 2017

There is patience, and then there is patience...

Apparently, there is patience in the preparation and set-up of a process, and there is patience with the process itself.

My particular brand of patience appears to be the former, as in the setting up of the process, and much less with the process itself.

At the end of last month, I decided to teach myself overshot weaving. This is not a terribly complicated endeavor, but it does require one to alternate two shuttles when weaving.  The first shuttle thrown is the pattern shuttle, in my case blue, and the second is for the background even-weave to hold the pattern in place (natural colored).


Front.


Back

While not hard, it was extremely fiddly, and the weaving process was slow.

I loved the results, but it was hard to get rhythm and constant motion going on it, so, it sat unattended, until I decided I wanted to begin my next project.

Friday night, I dedicated myself to get through this project, so at the loom I sat for a couple of hours. My progress was a sum total of 24 inches. Not bad, until you consider my ambitious self used a 4.5 yard warp.

Thinking I may have enough for a cowl, I decided to end the blue fingering weight and go with something a bit more exciting, that also happened to be a thicker yarn at worsted weight: Malabrigo Rios in Arco Iris.


Front


Back

The thrill was momentary. I was done with the overshot.

I rifled through my yarn and went to an old favorite for weaving: Universal Yarn Bamboo Bloom in New Year.

That did it!



Within an hour, I used up the whole hank and had 49 inches, enough for an infinity scarf.

It was not quite bed time, so I looked around and found some Manos del Uruguay Maxima in M6668 (a dead sexy yarn color name, no?) and quickly began weaving with it, hoping I could finish the end of the warp with it.



(Please forgive the poor photography, one of these days I may actually learn how to do it correctly. These pieces are also just as they came off the loom. Glamour shots once they are washed, blocked, and sewn.)

I eventually got tired, but first thing Saturday morning, I took a few more minutes and knocked out another 50 inches, again, enough for an infinity scarf.

In all, both scarves took less than 2 hours!

Best part?

I did not waste my warp!

Because, to be perfectly candid, I thought about cutting it after the overshot, as I was focused on putting these on the loom:



8/2 unmercerized cotton in nine gorgeous colors! 

With some guidance from the Facebook 8-Shaft Weaving group, I came up with a mathematical sequence for the gradient changes.

Here it is, as I was winding the warp on the back beam with lease sticks and tension rods:


Once it was all on, I admit I was feeling very proud of myself!

That was rather short-lived.

After threading heddles for a few hours, I finally got to the center of my heddles and realized I was not anywhere close to the center of my colors...

Referring back to my notes, I realized I calculated my threads per color based on the end color, not the grade changes for the colors within the edges...  The difference was 87 ends for the end colors and 149 ends for the middle colors.... AAARRRGGHHHH.

Did I mention the warp is 8.7 yards long?

I usually count the actual number of warp threads as I go.  My magic number was 783; however, I was so confident in my formula (and it was much easier) to count off the threads to keep track of the gradient changes and not the total number...  Huge mistake.

The good news?

I LOVE the combination and how the colors interact and change.

The first issue became what do I do with the half threaded warp?  I only had 1,000 heddles on my loom and I needed 1,217...

After I bought my Macomber, I replaced all of the heddles, but kept the old ones. Although, I had not attempted to add or move heddles when half of the ones on there were already threaded.

Fortunately, with the help of zip ties, I was able to slide them on without an issue.  Who knew?! 

YAY!

That means, the goal at the moment is to get all the heddles threaded, advance the warp onto the cloth beam, so I spread out the warp better on the back beam, as I will be weaving 50 inches across, rather than 30 inches, and rewind the warp on the back beam.  Perhaps, I may eventually be able to begin weaving...

Of course, this brings up the second issue: What do I do with 8 yards of 50 inch wide cloth that was intended to be about 29" wide and 5 yards long?  (I added extra warp length to play with different weft colors and patterns with straight draw.)

In the back of my mind, I had been thinking about weaving fabric for a duvet cover for my Queen size bed.  My loom maxes out at 56 inches wide, so the thought was to have a center panel of 50" wide with side panels of 20" or so.  Each panel would need to be 96" long off the loom (my warp calculator says the length under tension should be 121 inches).  My warp is not long enough to accommodate three panels that length, but if I ripped (carpentry term) the second panel in half, I would have enough to make the sides.

More good news, I have plenty of thread left on each of the cones to make the project I originally intended.

Forgive the long-winded post, but now I have to get to threading those heddles...

Happy Crafting!

2 comments:

El Capitan said...

After trying to make sense of all that, my heddle is hurting... ;-)

Feisty said...

Ha! Good one, El Capitan! All you need to know is that I am daft with numbers, Sir!! ;)