Monday, 23 March 2009

That would be a no, then.

This weekend, I wove off the last of the handpainted merino warp. I'd tied this on to the too-soft merino warp, and as I wonve my way towards it, I got to thinking about the sample I'd cut off it. It showed that the sett of the sample had been a bit too tight, and I wondered whether the breakage in the warp had been due to rubbing. I'd not worried about it too much because the back of the handpainted warp had been meant to be for samples: but I got all enthusiastic and decided it would make a short scarf if I worked at it.

As the too-soft merino warp came off the back beam however, I got my answer:

Ignoring the two stripes of extra red warp at either side, every red thread in the warp there represents a broken warp thread. This didn't affect the scarf I was weaving because every break happened past the not of the hand-painted warp (yellow, in this picture):

So each time this happened, I'd tie yet another red cotton warp on, and weight it all down. I got the knots to the back of the heddles, and then lost my bottle. Any further and it would have been too difficult to track down and fix breaks. So then I thought about what to do next. What I really wanted to do was make another pleated scarf - but obviously I couldn't tie it directly on to the green merino warp. Yet it seemed a shame to thread and sley again if I didn't have to. So I decided to make a short dummy warp of cotton and tie that on, as padding between that and the next warp. In addition, for the next few warps, it would be really handy to see at a glance which sections are 3/1 twill, and which 1/3. So rather than just cut this scarf off, I started cutting off just 8 threads at a time, tying on the dummy cotton warp in alternating sections of red and tan - one for each threading block. (Ignore the messy threads in the middle of the warp, that's where I've tied back on the broken warp threads and pulled the excess through the reed).

The plan is to quickly tie that on and beam it so the weak warp isn't exposed, and then make the next warp.

Of course, at that stage I decided that I really needed to go out and enjoy the beautiful spring day we had, so I wandered off to dig a potato bed. That's as far as the weaving got for the weekend!


  1. I hear you about tying on. As much as I love to weave, I manage to get as much mileage out of a threading and tie-up as I can. Looks like you've got a good start!

  2. Thanks Leigh - I have indeed. This will be the fifth item I've got out of this tie-up and threading. Considering the tie-up and threading can take a day to achieve, I think that's good going!

  3. I might have to borrow your notes about pleats later in the year. I think I volunteered to weave something as a gift for someone I don't know very well. Oh well. Live and learn. Save your notes until then, please!