Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Untangled and Sampled

Too long since I’ve posted. Since the last time, when I was still untangling the mess I made, the yarn has been wound into two warp bouts, beamed onto the back beam and threaded:



The main warp is 20/2 Tencel and I’ve planned a turned M’s & O’s pattern. I’m using a blue 5/2 Tencel as a supplementary warp to put nice borders around the cells that happen when you weave M’s & O’s.You can see the supplementary warp hanging from the castle in the second photo. There are 14 ends of this warp that will be weighted in pairs using 7 pill bottles. I’m pretty sure this warp would have worked just fine if I had warped the supplementary warp on the beam with the main warp but I wanted to be able to change the supplementary warp on the second scarf – maybe to use a green instead of a blue.

I had to sample this warp because I wasn’t sure about the sett. I sett the main warp at 36 epi using 3 ends per dent in a 12 dent reed. Then, I just put the supplementary warp in the same dent as the last three ground warp ends of each interior block. For the first scarf, I chose a beautiful blue 60/2 silk weft. This is what it looked like before and after washing and drying:



It worked great! This is the sett I will use for the scarves. As always with Tencel, it felt stiff coming off the loom. It didn’t take the cells long to form once the sample hit the water – the plain weave cells are surrounded by sections with five-thread floats that collapse when washed and distort the plain weave sections into nice ovals. After washing and drying the hand of the sample is perfect, so I made a good guess. The green in the warp gets overwhelmed by the blue but it still contributes, especially in the float areas. You can also see how nicely the thicker 5/2 warp threads outline the cells.

I did have some problems with the sample, though. I broke two interior threads early in the piece. It’s really unusual for me to break interior threads, so I’m not sure what happened but these broke close to the start of the weaving and no more broke, so I’m hoping it was a startup issue, perhaps with some twisted threads. I also had some issues with the selvedges, especially the left one. This is also unusual for me and I plan to slightly modify the treading for the short plain weave edges that I have on the piece and see if that helps. I also need to look at the treadling to see if I can see what might be making the left edge behave badly. Maybe something funny due to cramming three ends in a dent. We’ll see if I can figure it out.

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