Another busy week is done. Busy because of squeezing more time into the days I am working. But the good news is that I am on the countdown to being back five days a week. It’s part of the good things that were happening that I mentioned last time.
Having furlough days have been nice, but sometimes it’s just a half day furlough. So you start work, do emails, take part in two long calls and before you know it, you have to stop. Half days are horrible.
While I shall miss having a three day weekend on the odd occasion, the chance to be able to focus properly on work for five days will be nice.
I know there are many out there that may still be on furlough, or in an industry that has currently a high exposure to risk. I feel for them and hope that things will work out.
This past week has been all weave. No other craft got a look in, except a abortive start at some sewing when I decided I needed some additional fabric and notions.
As you will have seen on Wednesday, I have been working on an overshot pattern, which I have fallen for completely. But let me take you back to the start.
Kelly Casanova, an Australian weaver creates tutorials for Rigid Heddle Looms, the type I use. The latest class is overshot. This where you have a warp in one colour as in my case, with a plain or tabby weave weft in the same colour and a pattern weft in another.
The other big thing is that this is a four shaft draft and a rigid heddle loom has only two shafts, normally. to do a four shaft, I have to use two heddles, plus a heddle rod and a pickup stick. I don’t plan on giving a detailed rundown suffice to say that a heddle has plastic dents that have a hole in the middle. Warp thread passes through either a slot between the dents or a hole. Moving the heddle up or down creates a shed that the shuttle passes through. The shed is created by the warp threads in the holes moving up or down. The warp threads in a slot do nothing, no movement.
The addition of a heddle rod (a bamboo cane) and ties around warp threads not in one of the two heddles, adds a third shaft. And the pickup stick deals with the remainder and the fourth shaft. Phew!
Of course, me being me, I thought that doing a double width would be a great idea and make it a scarf rather than a sampler. This caused me much consternation because I had to work through twice the number of warp threads plus work the repeats correctly.
This process took me about five hours over two days! I’ve only got a little loom. At one point I had to getup and leave it be. I kept having issues with them pickup and heddle rod threading. But after numerous counting of warp threads, I finally got started.
The yarn I am using is Cascade Heritage Solids, an extra fine merino and nylon mix in 4 ply. The yellow is Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino in a sport weight.
The pattern weft has to be thicker or double the thickness of the warp and plain weave, to make it standout.
I steadily made my way forward, getting gradually more familiar with the draft and when each heddle has to be up. Sometimes it’s one and two, or two and three, three and four and one and four. Or one and three and two and four for the pain weave. It’s hard work.
But I love it now. Here you can see the front and back. What happens on the front, the reverse appears on the back.
Which do you prefer?
My view is 50:50 at the moment. And I can only see a small bit of the back for now. Plus I have to lie under the loom.
So, now I am just over halfway I think. This weekend, I am hoping I can finish or get close to at least. I am eager to try some more overshot. Despite the headache I had at the start.
I am really pleased with the yarn. I thought at first I might not like the yellow, but now it is almost golden against the green.
Lastly, I realised about 7 inches in, I had made a mistake. Nooo! It’s the addition of one row where it shouldn’t be. But my saving grace is that it is in the first section, so I’ll simply repeat that at the other end. I can say it is intentional then.
Have a great weekend.