Weaving

Lost in the Warp

My current project on the loom has given me some challenges.  If you read my previous post of what I was doing, you will remember that I am making a scarf using yarn from Manos del Uruguay which is 60% alpaca and 40% Pima cotton, which really soft and would have a lovely drape.

The plan is to weave a simple scarf with the yarn doing all the work, no embellishments or other yarn included.  However, as the scarf started to grow, i quickly became disillusioned by what was coming out.  Sure, it was a lovely cloth and the yarn was performing as I thought it would in tamers of drape and softness.  My first attempt at square hemstitching, rather than the normal plain, was fairly decent and I liked the effect.  My weaving was coming out well, my selvedges were good also, with the width being fairly consistent.

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But it just came across rather flat and lifeless once past the hemstitch.

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So, I tried adding some weft floats, but after completing the first section, I still didn’t like what was being produced.

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So, that was unpicked.  I couldn’t help thinking that I wished my warp had been wider.  Could I re-sley and add more warp threads to make it wider?  And maybe get some weft yarn in a complementary colour?  I did try adding a lovely soft acrylic in a green colour, which looked nice and after the second block, but I quickly decided it was going wrong.  Plus it would probably have made a nightmare of a scarf after wet finishing.

I consulted with my tutor.  A couple of recommendations came back such as doing blocks of hemstitch by using a spacer card to separate them, but that meant weaving in lots of ends.  Re-slaying was not an option it seemed as the tension could end up being wrong across the warp.  Or maybe try doing some Huck lace or honeycomb with a pick up stick.  This prompted me to look online, as I have not tried honeycomb yet.

My search led me to Brooks Bouquet and the videos from Patty Anne and Liz Gipson.  This might be what I needed to do.  So I unpicked back to about 4 inches from the start and tried adding some Books Bouquet.  My first attempt was not great, as I miscounted, so out that came.  Because this was not part of the orignal plan, I needed to add a small border to allow me to group warp yarns evenly across the fabric.  Missing 3 warp threads then  doing blocks of 4 per bouquet and finishing with another block of 3 missed threads seemed to work.  Plus, I only included the upper shed threads into the bouquets, creating a little window effect.  This seemed to work, so I wove two inches of fabric then did another and then repeated again.

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Is it going to be the best scarf made; no.  As my tutor said, although it won’t be my favourite piece, it will be serviceable and it can be put down to experience.

Now, I am continuing with blocks of three Brooks Bouquet separated by a longer block of 4 inches, and we will see how it goes.

I look forward to seeing it off the loom and finished.  In a way to just put this one behind me.  But I have learnt a great lesson; plan more effectively!  It’s too easy to just get going with a lovely yarn and think it will be just fine.

As I write this, I am sat outside on a lovely sunny Sunday morning.  A family of house sparrows have found a nook in our roof to nest and are busy flying back and forth with food for the fledglings.  And now and then I have to remove a little spider from my iPad as they float in on their gossamer thread balloons.

I hope you all have a lovely, lazy Sunday.

Jamie

3 thoughts on “Lost in the Warp

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