Weaving (at last)

I’ve finally finished the baby blanket I started back in November, pics:

As you can see the yarns aren’t exactly the same WPI, the pink is a little fluffier so it stands out more. I was hopping that after “fulling” it might even out a little but it looks exactly the same, which is fine because I still love it.

I ended up cutting it off the loom earlier then I had originally planned as the warp threads were really starting to give up the challenge and it had reached a length I was happy with. Final measurements are 123 cm, not including fringe (stared at 220cm under tension) x 74 cm (started at 81 cm in reed).

I’m pretty pleased with myself actually. This is my first finished item, warped and woven by me on my 4-shaft floor loom. I’ve learnt a few things from this project, such as taking my time is a good thing, don’t ever use yarn like this again as it’s too fragile for warp really. There are a few alterations I’d like to make to my loom, I’d like to add 2 more treadles and I’d like to get rid of the current tensioning system with it’s huge heavy box and lead weights and move to a simpler auto tensioning system. I’d also really, really, really, like to get sectional beam & tension box for future projects.

I’m extremely frustrated though living in NZ as a new weaver, getting my hands on weaving tools, accessories and even yarns is turning into loads of trouble. I so wish I had a good weaving supplies store that I could walk into and finger their yarns and pick up their tools and really be able to get my sensory information before making purchasing decisions. I’d also really like to be able to talk to people in a shop who weave, rather then the few “craft” or “knitting” shops that just happen to sell Ashford weaving items. Anyways, I do have some rug warp arriving (hopefully) soon as well as some sample cards of yarn so that I can get to planning and weaving up a few more items prior to Sprocket arriving (17 weeks to go!)

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Baby Blanket

As I’ve mentioned, I’m weaving a baby blanket on the 4-shaft countermarch loom. This is my first project on this loom (aside from the sample I did with the previous owners left over warp). 

Project details:
Technique: Twill with Hounds tooth colour effect
Size: 56 x 112cm
Warp & Weft: Pink Mohair/wool/acrylic blend & Blue Wool/acrylic/viscose blend (2-3 wpcm)
Reed: 30/10 (1 end per dent)
Selvedges: 2-2, 2x each side 
Sett: 4 epcm
Picks: 3 ppcm (picks is a new one for me, it’s the measure of weft threads you throw per cm)
Warp ends: 252 (I think I changed this to 250…)

The basic pattern comes from the concept and design work of Malin Anderson from The Big Book of Weaving by Laila Lundell & Elisabeth Windesjo (pg 74-75). I’ve altered it as needed to suit the yarn I’m using. 

So, I got up to threading my heddles and I became stumped. The pattern says “Selvedges: 2-2, 2 times each side” and I’ve just realised that I’ve only done what lot of 2 for each side, not 2 lots, bugger! Not the end of the world, but it does make me realise why I was having so much trouble trying to figure out what “2-2, 2 times” meant in regards to threading the heddles and sleighing the reed. However, the book still doesn’t mention what time of selvedge this is, I’m going to assume it’s a floating selvedge. This means that the selvedge threads DO NOT go into heddles, they are threaded, 2 together, through the reed only. So if I had warped correctly I would have ended up with 2 threads in the first dent, two threads in the second dent and same again in the last and second last dents of the reed. I could leave it as is, or I could wrap some more thread around the warping board to get the correct length, weight them at the back to get the right tension and have to more floating selvedge threads ready to weave…. hmmm. Tough.

Why use a floating selvedge? Simply because it makes your edges not pull in so much (so I’m told) and makes it look neater. Some reference say to keep the selvedge threads off the back beam and just weight them on the back of the loom (with a washer or fishing sinker etc). I believe there is a similar advantage to using a “temple” in place of selvedge. My thought – as I think out load (or is that out keyboard?) is that I wanted to have a go at using a simple temple, as per this website, so I’ll stick with my 2 end selvedge and use a temple as well 🙂