Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Things on the hood front are not going well.
Well, that's not fair to say.  The HOOD is fine.  It's the sample weaving that's giving me grief.  This, from the draft of my documentation:

            "The weaving was set up with a tablet woven starting boarder, as would be used on a warp weighted loom.  Sufficient warp was measured out for all my sample weaving, and wound round the bottom of a bead weaving frame, and the starting boarded sewn to the top beam.  My initial plan was to use the frame to needle-weave my sample pieces, as the samples did not need to be large and this would produce less waste of my handspun warp than threading my larger floor loom.
            The tablet woven starting boarder proved to be quite simple to do, though this is without a doubt a two-person process.  I had help from my Laurel, who has had a great deal of experience with warp weighted looms, so the process was relatively quick and simple.  Ends per inch are easily controlled by a combination of hand control of the tablet weaving and the yarn used to weave boarder.  Getting the right distribution of ends per inch for the warp was quite simple, once we left out using thick knitting yarn and used a finer lace weight knitting yarn (the same yarn I used the sew the finished hood) to weave the starting boarder.  Once we finished weaving, we wound the warp and I was ready to go.
Unfortunately, the bead frame broke when I attempted to retension the warp after I started to weave and noticed that one side was significantly looser than the other.   I removed the warp from the bead frame and tied the starting boarder to my floor looms apron bar, hoping that I could thread the warps through the heddles to speed along my weaving, and tension the warp ends with weights.  At this point, I realized that not sizing the warp yarn was a critical mistake.  The warps began to un-spin themselves as I removed them from the loom and either broke or twisted around each other hopelessly as I attempted to feed them through my heedless.  I gave up on the loom heddles, and tried to simply weight the warp ends and tie up each warp to the heddle shafts with threads, much in the same way a warp weighted loom would be tied up.  I was not able to get a shed when I tredled the loom, I think because the string heddles were attached only at the top at the shaft frame, so I returned to needle weaving.
By this point, my intact warp has been reduced by half and was in pretty poor shape.  Threads had begun breaking and I was having problems with sticking and threads twisting across each other, so I attempting to size the warp with hairspray.  This did help, but the process was so slow and painful I opted to give up, size the rest of the Gotland warp I had left over, and start again using the floor loom.
In the midst of all this, I also discovered that my S-spun Shetland was somewhat underspun and tends to break with very little provocation.  This may prove to be less of an issue with a more stable and less grabby warp, but I will wind them off the bobbin and steam the yarn while I am sizing the warps to set the twist."

And here are some pictures.  First, the tablet woven starting border, becasue it's cool and looks so neat and tidy at this stage:

The hot mess it became:

And finally the hem for the face opening of the hood to prove that I am not actually totally inept.  Not toally.

So now I have spun a bit more Gotland warps and sized them in gelatin.  When that is done, I will warp the floor loom and hopefully things will go smoothly from there.  I have learned that if you are going to weave with handspun singles, for the love of all that's good and right with the world, size the daylights out of the yarn!!

1 comment:

  1. Hello I don't have time today to look after all your blog. Dut Now I can say I'm not the only one!
    I'm not as fool as some can think.
    Just look, we do The same things at the same time ;) (I just don't Write on it because I have to make an article for a magazine)