Posts tagged ‘warping’

I’ve got a couple weaving things going, here are some updates.

The log cabin fabric is done, although I haven’t gotten around to making the new purse of it that I wanted. I don’t have anything I like for the straps, so I’ll just have to weave something. But the fabric turned out nicely:

light and dark blue log cabin blocks

The carpet warp tracks heavily, I had to seriously iron the fabric to un-wrinkle. That means the yarn has overtwist in the ply. But it will wear forever. Take that, balanced yarn fetish people.

I finished measuring warp for some yardage that I’m still not entirely sure what I’ll do with. It’s green and brown, which means it will be for somebody else. I experimented with measuring with a warping paddle, which looks like a little section of rigid heddle. The idea is you wind many ends at once and then the paddle lets you keep them in order.

I can see how this would work great with a warping mill, but it’s a giant pain in the ass with a warping board. To go back and forth you have to turn the paddle at various points and the yarn gets twisted. Also I don’t have a tension box or even a decent spool rack. All told it didn’t end up taking any longer than without, but I’m going to wait until I have more appropriate equipment before I try this again.

I am, however, pleased that I managed to not end up with huge amounts of leftovers. I measured from five spools and the original cone and here was what remained:

green warp leftovers

Posting mainly to have notes on the ongoing project. I’ve got the S and Z yarn wound into balls so I should get on with actually planning the warp. They came out in the neighborhood of 30 wraps per inch so I’m going to go for a sett of 20 ends per inch in plain weave. (I don’t have metric reeds, so I have to stick with what I’ve got for this part.)

I figure a 40 cm/15 inch wide sample is good, so that’s 300 ends total: half S and half Z. To use approximately half the yarn for warp that would give me 2 meters, of which about 1.25 will be usable. That’s a pretty good-sized sample. I’ll wind two sections of warp, 150 ends, with each yarn and then have about half left for weft.

I won’t need that much because the smaller warp has proportionally more loom waste, but I’m not going to worry about it. Too much yarn is far better than the alternative.

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.

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