Friday, January 15, 2010

Let's try again, Dorothy

Weaving - Take 2:

So, I promised Dorothy not to put her back in the laundry room, dejected & defeated for another year.
Let's PLAY some more...

That Scarf has issues, sure. But this is no time to quit. Practice Makes Perfect ...okay NOT perfect. Exactly.
But we'll have fun, explore possibilities and see what happens. (Warping the loom began while it was still very dark outside...)

Besides. It's freaking cold outside.
What else is there to do?

And my 1st born baby moved to Minnesota.
Total Travel Estimate: 26 hours 51 minutes / 1631.58 miles
Mom distractions needed to fight the It's not just for a visit this time blues.

Daylight arrived to light up the fact that we had a long way to go before weaving could commence.

No surprise here...?
This project didn't go exactly as planned either.
But we had a good time getting there and Dorothy is still welcome in the living room. (Just to be clear ;)

I chose a pattern for threading the warp from Mastering Weave Structures, page 208: Plain Weave with Rib weave stripe.

I had actually considered trying fabric strips, mixed in with textured yarns in shades of tan to yellow.

That didn't seem like it was going to work so I tried to follow the actual directions from page 208.
More or less.
I soon realized the warp I used would be too thin to match the texture of the sample on page 209.
So I did just a plain weave.
Back and forth; boringly satisfying.

No Rib Weave yet for Dorothy and I.
Sugar 'n Cream cotton yarn weft. Potpourri.

Things learned best NOT to do this time:

Take off wire heddles after the loom has been threaded.
There were too many wires strung on shafts 3 & 4 since I was trying to thread all the way across the frame. The extras usually pile up on the side and hang out of the way. Threads from shaft 1 & 2 could not get past the stack of unused heddles hanging on the sides of 3 & 4.

Add 2nd strip of (yellow) warps after the loom is threaded to double each of the warps where Rib Weave would have happened.
I added 6 to each side, proving it could be done.
Gave up on the other 30 or so in varying colors I had considered.

A Temple is a new term I've only just learned. It might possibly have kept the woven fabric from pulling in so much trying to do the Rib Weave. Pretty hard on the outside warps if the beater has to smack 3 or 4 on the outside in either direction away from the actual edge.

This is why warp yarn breaks?
I think yes.
This is why I quit while I was ahead and settled for boringly satisfying.

It's not your fault, Dorothy

Seemed like a good idea at the time*

What NOT to do (perhaps) with 2 pricey skeins of Noro Silk Garden yarn.

This was the first Noro I've ever purchased.
And last most likely. While it was VERY pretty on the outside of the skein, inside dwelt some of the yuckiest purple + yellow + green equals mud I've never imagined.
I know this about variegated yarn and still I fall for the pretty bits on the outside. I much prefer a one or two color-shade variation. Why do I keep forgetting that?
All those colors don't belong together!

I didn't read yarn reviews until after I bought it of course. The knots where they joined blue and green with no attempt to match the color pattern would not have come as so much of a surprise if I had. Likewise, the mysterious foreign objects spun into the yarn that have now been identified as sticks, hay and other little "bits" sheep get stuck to themselves. No mystery.

We've got issues:

I threaded the reed at every other space with the 1st skein of Noro, thinking that by spreading it out farther across the loom it would make the scarf wider. The 2nd skein would be the weft. The tiny little skeins didn't have as much yardage as I imagined they might.

Wish I could say lack of yardage was this Scarf's only issue!

I began with the plan to do an all Rib Weave (page 20 - Learning to Weave by Deborah Chandler). Didn't look good and I suspected this was due to the every-other-space threading.

But did I weave backwards (unweave?) and start over?
Thread the reed differently?
Should I have?
YES! Definitely.

I ended up breaking a warp within 6 inches and it was pretty clear things were not going to get any better. The force of the beater smacking up against the yarn - especially the outer edges - was certainly going to break a few more very quickly. Did I stop NOW and regroup with a new plan?

NO. Well not exactly.
I "beat" nearly the entire thing into place with a comb.
(Do NOT recommend!) The beginning of the weaving where I used the normal beating action was several inches wider than the rest of the scarf.

I ended with a Rib Weave pattern to see what it might have looked like, if threaded correctly.

Thinking I can cut off the wide end and make hems so it looks even. Steph says they are "her colors" and she likes it. I've given her permission NOT to say "My Mom Made It" if anyone asks.

In fact, I think I would rather she did not...

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Backstrap Weaving UPDATE


I cut off the heddle strings and prepared to scrap my 1st Backstrap Weaving project. But I'd carefully saved the cross as I considered whether or not it was worth a try changing out the heddle strings to match same fiber as the warp and see what happened.

Not sure I did the braid ends right but it is D.O.N.E!!! It's a little primitive - or as Steph said "I like looks primitive."
(I can accept that ;)

Weaving did get easier, although after a few inches started matting up again. The first & last warp (the ones that had a slip knot to start with) were not the right tension - too loose - and contributed a little to the funky edges. Along with all the other things that this beginner did wrong, I'm sure.
(Like winding on 2 yards of 96 wraps and skipping the BEGINNER PROJECT with only a yard length of 20 something ends.) But I'm pleased to have completed it rather than quit. I am NOT a quitter!
An extra cross in back has been suggested by the experts at Weavolution as a way to control the tilty sliding around issues, of both shed rod & the ends themselves. I thought I might have missed a step, but I've now learned how to add an extra cross after the loom is set up. I drilled extra holes in the ginormous wooden knitting needle I was using as a shed rod and it seemed to help keep that from sliding all over the place.

(That funky, weird single "needle" was in some stuff I inherited from aunt Nonnie's craft stash, so I was happy to find a possible use for it. Although now that I've drilled holes in it - it probably won't function well for whatever it was originally intended!)

NEXT TIME I will add the extra cross in the back to see if it helps with stability.


Just to keep me humble in the new year, I managed to knit the crap out of a Mystery Sock Knit-A-Long. Wrote down the 1st clue and then after the 3rd row, proceeded to knit what the hell ever I felt like, it seems.

"It only hurts for a minute" to yank out the needles and start over?

Yeah ...sure.

This much was ripped out. I've now reknit it (following the ACTUAL directions) as well as getting the 2nd sock almost to this point. Directions include a bead option but I don't seem to have anything that works in my stash. This is Opal yarn, about the thickness of a strand of hair. It's been hanging around for a year or so in the yarn bucket. I swore I was never making socks out of yarn this thin again.

Now I remember why.