Tuesday, 13 October 2015

...More of a Check

I was inspired by a weaving blogger, Amanda Cutler, to weave a houndstooth scarf. I used some acrylic worsted weight yarn as she had done. First I warped the loom with 6 epi and it was WAY too loose so I re-sleyed the reed for 8 epi  (1 1 0 1 1 0 in a 12 dent reed). It looked a little better until I started weaving again.

I realized I was going to have to do 8 picks (horizontal weft) of each colour to get squares with 6 threads (vertical warp) of each colour. And that was with a very light beating.
6 warp threads, 8 weft threads
Happily I wove the rest of the scarf which came out much narrower than I would have liked. There is quite a bit of draw in on the sides when weaving a twill pattern.
I thought it looked pretty darned good until I realized, by adding the extra weft threads of each colour, it was no longer a houndstooth scarf but more of a check.
Lesson learned - with worsted weight try 10 or 12 epi and the same number of picks. The only problem with using more ends per inch (epi) in the warp is it will make a stiffer fabric.  Not the greatest feel for a scarf but it would be excellent for place mats or a pillow cover.

I also learned that if you can do twill, you can do any size houndstooth [or (ahem) check] on 4 shafts or more. Initially, I just did 43214321 threading and wove 12, 23, 34, 14. Initially I thought I could only do 4 x 4 check on my 4-shaft loom as most 4-shaft houndstooth weaving draft only showed 4 x 4 check. I then realized that the size of the check is solely determined by the number of threads of each colour are warped and woven.

I like the way weaving (done consistently) looks so even and orderly. I think several cushions and pillows in the house are going to get some makeovers with the fabric I'm going to be weaving in the future. And I'm getting much faster winding the warp and dressing the loom. I did all of this last night including twisting all the fringes on one end and a few on the other - finishing up this morning.

The learning curve in weaving is pretty steep. I learn so much from every project I do. I don't think the quality is yet there for gifting of the projects but I'm having a lot of fun with my experiments.

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