My long-anticipated scarf isn't coming out as well as I want it to. I'm hoping you can give me some advice! Please!!
My mixed warp is on the loom and I've started to weave.
I totally expected weaving to be difficult - felting, abrasion, broken threads, difficult sheds. I was prepared for that. But that's not happening. (That's the good news.)
I wasn't prepared for the scarf to come out so different from my sample. I guess I should learn to expected the unexpected!
I used up some 8/2 cotton left over from my last project to get the tension even and the weaving to square up.
Then I started sampling with the two wefts I plan to use.
To my eye, the scarf wasn't coming out as cool as the small sample I did last winter.
I wove another section with some blue wool, to see if things improved. No.
This piece is woven with a pink yarn (49% rayon, 43% cotton, 8% flax) I purchased at Earthguild in Asheville, NC.
This sample is woven with a purple version of that same yarn.
My complaint about these two samples is that the warp is getting overshadowed by the weft. I wonder if there's anything I can do about that.
I wondered what some blue would do with the colors in the warp. I wove the next section with some Rauma Finullgarn I have on hand. That didn't move in a direction I wanted. I felt like this thicker wool made the warp disappear even more.
As an experiment, I decided to try really thick yarn and really thin yarn. I tried this bulky wool left over from knitting a scarf (before I had a blog).
Then I tried some blue sewing thread already on a quill.
The thick yarn definitely wastes this warp. I do like how the colors in this thick yarn pool when used as weft, but that's an idea for some other project.
The sewing thread, while leaving the warp very exposed, produces a very odd fabric that I don't want to wear!!
There's my little 1 inch square sample from my texture sampler last winter. In that square, I have the thickest of my warp yarns with the pink Earthguild weft yarn.
What am I bummed about?
- The warp yarns are getting lost and to me the scarf doesn't look nearly as cool as my admittedly tiny sample.
- The hand of the resulting fabric is pretty stiff and unbending. I did weave two swatches of the purple version, so I will cut one off and wash it to see if that helps. I don't think that's going to be the answer.
Some good news:
- The scarf is actually weaving just fine. Weaving the sample, I had a lot of felting and abrasion. In the 14 inches or so that I've woven on this warp, I've only had to snip a little fuzz twice. I had one selvedge thread abrade then break. I will re-thread that edge of the scarf so I have sturdier yarn at the edge.
- I have enough warp on the loom for 3 scarves, and I only really need one of them. (3 is nice, but only one is really important to me!) I can afford to experiment.
- When I cut the sample off the front, I left the warp hanging. It's only 66 ends, so re-threading, adding more shafts, re-sleying - all of these options are fine with me. I just really want a scarf I'll be happy with!
Oh, and last weekend, after weaving with the first 5 wefts, I happened to be driving past Lowell, so I paid an emergency visit to the Hub Mills Store and picked out two more yarns that have compatible colors.
At the time I was thinking that maybe the warp was too sparse and since I'd used all available yarn for the warp I took the opportunity to get more. (More yarn is always the answer to some question, right?)
Today I finally got out both samples and tried to figure out what the differences were.
Ends per inch: 7 - 7.5
Picks per inch: 11
Purple sample (my new, too stiff scarf swatch):
Ends per inch: 8
Picks per inch: 13-14
The yarns in the warp are assorted wools and wool blends, with some of the Earthguild yarn thrown into the mix.
Maybe the issue is just the sett and epi. (The current sett is higher because I used some of the weft yarn as warp. It's a thin yarn, so I used more ends of it.)
I'm in a quandry. I don't know what to do.
My main ideas so far are:
- Is it as simple as the different sett and ppi? Am I beating too hard, creating a denser, stiffer fabric?
- Weave one scarf in the pink or purple and accept it as a happy creative accident - it is kind of cool, but just not what my sample was like
- Add more yarn to make the sett feel denser like the original sample. If this is the answer, does that mean I unwind the yarn from the back beam & add, or do I individually weight, or is there some other answer. If I had a double-back beam, could I add the yarn on there? (I don't, but I'm just curious).
- Is it that the yarns aren't grouped at all?? In the original sample it was a few strands of each yarn adjacent to each other - which did cause felting problems. In this warp, the stickier yarns have less sticky yarns between them.
- If I added 2 more shafts to the loom and made this a twill instead of plain weave, would the hand of the fabric automatically improve?
Please comment......or shoot me an email (my address is in my profile).....
As always, comments on this blog can be anonymous, so even if you're not usually a commenter, but you have a good idea for me, please share! This project really matters a lot to me and I really appreciate any help you can give me!!
This project so far:
Asking for help designing in the reed
Designing in the reed