Tuesday, October 11, 2016

The finished towels ...

Much to report. I'll start with the towels I was weaving on my 8-shaft loom. They were finished about 3 weeks ago!

I am pleased with the outcome--found a few stray floats after all was done, but nothing bad. They are cheerful towels.

The warp got to be a bit wonky towards the end; some looseness somewhere. Since it was near the finish line and I had access to the tie-on, I thought about untying and tightening up, but the wonkiness was already into the fabric so I simply cut the last towel short. I ended up with 5 full towels and one half towel which will come in quite handy, I'm sure.

I ordered cotton last week for a holiday table runner, an 8-shaft overshot project. I'm most anxious to start that!

In the meantime, I got my large loom warped for a lap blanket using some stash yarn. The project had a few hiccups right at the start: After threading the entire read (at a width of 42") and a few dozen heddles, I realized the set (meaning the closeness of the yarns) was going to be too tight at 12 ends per inch (epi).

But I had woven a small sample before I started and according to that sample, 10 epi was too loose, hence the decision to go to 12. Well! When I rechecked my sample, it turns out I had woven it at 8 epi, not 10!! So I had to un-thread the whole shebang and swap in a 10 dent reed (meaning 10 ends per inch). It took a few days to catch up to where I had been on the task of threading.

After that little snafu, weaving proceeded quite well, except that I noticed the selvedges were going to need to be salvaged when I finished the weaving. In the particular weave structure I employed, called "Monk's Belt Block", there are weft "floats" where the cross-threads float over 5 warp threads; when those floats fall at the selvedge the result is not pretty. My "make it work" solution was to use a crochet hook and add a line of slip stitching all along the sides. It worked a charm and even looks good!

While I was washing the blanket, I noticed one spot on the back side where the threads from one of the frames failed to weave properly and were left to create a float of about 1.5". Ugh. I suspect the shaft got stuck or something and I never noticed seeing how the results are only visible on the back of the cloth. So I'm going to tie them down with black sewing thread in a few places. That should take care of that.

It came out pretty, though, in my opinion: (click for larger picture)

Oh... and it's toasty warm being 100% wool. Just in time for the quite chilly temps that came in last night!

Here's the not-so-pretty selvedge where the floats meet the edge:

And here's what the edge looks like with the addition of the slip stitching. Much improved:

The large floats on the back where, for some reason, that particular shaft didn't work. I think tying these all down with black thread will be fine:

And, it fits my small sofa perfectly!