Archive for March, 2007

The towels are coming along, very nicely since I finally got some end-feed shuttles and a new bobbin winder. No more snagging bobbins for me! As soon as I remember to not overfill the pirns, anyway. The first couple were a little much. When it works, it works very well as there are no moving parts. But you do have to wind the pirns carefully so they unwind neatly.

This warp is in twill stripes, so it’s one shuttle and almost no thought. My only concern is getting them the same length. I’m hemstitching the ends, a look I like very much for towels, but boy is it a pain. The hemstitching takes almost as much time as the weaving. But I don’t have any matching finer yarn to do a nice hem. I did the first towel in a diamond twill, to give it a try, but it doesn’t work very well with my stripe arrangement. I need something to keep in my desk at work, so it will be fine and with the same color weft you really have to pay attention to see that the design is a little odd. I am using contrasting color weft for the others and the stripes are much more obvious.

The loom is working well, although if I’m going to do anything wider on only four shafts I’m going to have to pull out the extra heddles or maybe even buy more. Yes, I could spread it out among the others but that makes threading more annoying and the tie-up more complicated. Most of what I want to do is still four shaft or at most some obvious variation thereof. (I’m thinking of a double-width twill blanket, which still would be only eight.)

I got the towels warped this weekend and they look pretty good. I’m pleased I had no warping errors. I’m not so pleased that I had some design issues that needed to be resolved, mostly the result of starting with a partial sketch and an idea rather than a proper draft. But I checked the number and arrangement of the blocks in the reed before I started threading and caught what might have been a real mess (extra repeat in the middle.)

The other problem was threading one of the selvedges backwards, which just happened to result in it matching up exactly with the edge of the pattern design. (The selvedges are threaded on two additional shafts, so it wasn’t obvious.) So instead of two ends together in my nice basketweave, it made three. Taking one out and making the pattern just slightly narrower was less distracting that three ends together, so I did that. What I didn’t want to do was take out and re-thread 12 ends after I had already tied on and woven my header. Twelve doesn’t sound like a lot out of well over 300, but it’s still a big pain that I would rather avoid. One of the nice things about working with finer yarns and closer setts is you can take an end out here and there and it’s usually not a big deal.

Finally back to textile stuff. I’ve been sewing new work clothes (not to mention working) but that’s not very interesting to talk about here. But at last I’ve started measuring warp for the next set of mill-end cotton towels. I know, not very exciting. But I have to start somewhere.

The last go I wasn’t happy with the sett, so this time I’ll make it a little more open and that should soften up the fabric. I’m also going to do 2/2 twill throughout, so even if it isn’t quite enough it should be fine. The biggest problem with the other one is that it curled at every block change, and from 1/3 to 3/1, that was a big deal. Now the blocks will all be 2/2.

Creative Commons License

© 2004-2007 Andrea Longo
spinnyspinny at feorlen dot org