Wednesday, February 18, 2009

A Little Help from My Friends

A local group of weavers meets monthly to share our work and learn from each other. I always get a lot out of the meetings, and today was no exception.

For a few days, I've felt stuck on my huck project. I've woven the header, and am sampling a bit at the start of the warp to get a feel for the beat. I have the beat down - I'm getting the picks per inch that the author suggests.

I've added a floating selvedge that I'm not using yet - so that's the pink thread off to the side on each edge.

The edges of the towel are drawing in a little. (When I measured, they've come in about 1/8 of an inch on each side.) I've done research online and in my weaving books, and have heard that I shouldn't have draw in, that it's totally normal, and that a temple would help prevent it. Not all of those statements can be true at the same time for the same piece of fabric.

Usually I'm not bothered by it a bit, but these towels have 4 equal-sized pink stripes, and due to draw-in, my two outer stripes are thinner than the two center stripes.

Since I knew this meeting, with some very experienced, talented and amazing weavers, was approaching, I knew I could count on their opinions and advice.

The consensus in the group was that 1/8 of an inch of draw-in isn't bad at all, or unexpected, and that I should look at the two narrower stripes as a design element, rather than a flaw. They did say that there are weavers who claim to get no draw-in, but that in their eyes it's totally normal and expected.

So I can start weaving these towels!!! Yay!!! And I don't have a big draw-in problem (yet).

Look what else followed me home from the meeting!! It's a 15-inch Schacht table loom that I'll be using for a 3-day color workshop with Ruby Leslie in April through the New Hampshire Weavers Guild! Too exciting!!

Of course, as soon as I heard that I'd have use of this loom til late April, I couldn't resist planning a project or two for it. So many looms, so little time!!


Theresa said...

The towels look great. I think they'll be fine and 1/8" is very small but if the draw-in still bothers you, try a temple. At worst it will give you an opportunity to get use to one if you aren't. Cute little table loom!

Susan said...

1/8" is nothing to worry about at all. Plain weave will have less ( more interlacements) Twill will have greater draw in. Plan an extra 10% in width for draw in and shrinkage from washing.

A temple is a great aid but with you being so new to weaving I would suggest that you focus on developing a proper throw and catch and a rythm for weaving. The nice selvedges will come once you ignore them :)

You're doing great!

Leigh said...

I love the colors. Very cheerful!

I don't think a weaver can ever get away from some draw-in. I usually allow about 10% for draw-in and 10% for shrinkage. As you explore different weave structures, you will find that they draw-in differently, so it's something to observe as you explore them.

Draw-in can be especially annoying with stripe and plaid patterns, I know. Oftentimes I will deliberately make the warp colors at the selvedges wider than what the design itself calls for. On the other hand, no one ever seems to notice that once the project is off the loom and wet finished. :)

Enjoy that Leslie Ruby workshop! She did one for my guild awhile back. I didn't get to go, but those who did learned a lot and loved it.

Jennifer said...

You sound like me - so many looms and wanting to work on them all! Enjoy!

Peg in South Carolina said...

Draw-in happens and that is a good thing. It helps keep the selvedges from fraying. It is not a disfigurement and a temple will not prevent it. What a temple does is to extend TEMPORARILY the weaving to the full sleyed width so that the yanr goes evenly through the whole warp, including the sides. This will also allow you to beat closer and help eliminate weft loops at the selvedges. Once you remove the the temple, the fabric will snap back. But the density will be spread a bit throughout the whole web, not just the edges, though it will still be a little more dense there. With stripes, you plan for a wider stripe at the edges so that when everything is done, they are the right size.

Life Looms Large said...

Thanks for your thoughts about draw-in. I feel like I'm ready to start weaving these towels now - and accept that the draw-in they have is totally to be expected.

If I were designing them now, I'd change something so I don't have 4 pink stripes of 2 different sizes (either have the stripes not at the edges, or have more threads in those edge stripes), but I'm fine with the towels as designed - and I don't want to add threads at this point. They've certainly made me think, learn and grow as a weaver!

I am definitely putting a temple on my wish list. I want to try one and see for myself what they're like. I do want to make rugs on my Toika, and I think temples are especially useful for that.

So thank you all for your information, your support, and for putting some of your weaving online so we can all learn from each other!!


PS: I would have started weaving these towels today, but my studio was covered with plastic and the last wooden loom parts that I need (I hope) before I can weave on the Toika!!

Kaz said...

I agree the towels look wonderful. I sometimes use a temple if I get anxious about draw in but try not to. I got a gorgeous purple one from Toika recently.

deborahbee said...

Thanks for dropping by and lovely to meet a new weaving friend. I enjoyed your thoughts on colour very much, I would love a colour wheel like yours to help with design decisions.Loove your towels, must try Huck myself sometime......also loved your muffins!