Sunday, December 20, 2009


How could I stand to take a blog break just as I started weaving my 1st-Time-at-WEBS Scarves?

Poor Jim had to endure my enthusiastic chatter all week, since I didn't have y'all to talk to about weaving.

I definitely noticed that each scarf was my absolute favorite while I was weaving it. With each weft I thought "I should do all of the rest of the scarves with this weft. I have enough."

Getting started with navy wool-silk weft

I didn't have the technical issues I'd imagined - yarns felting together, abrading yarns, broken warp threads, impossible sheds, differing elasticity.

(Or not too many of those issues.)

The poofy yarn fluffed up and sometimes caught in heddles or the beater. I sometimes had to snip fluffy bits off that yarn so that it would fit into the warp. Sometimes I used a T-pin to adjust the weft around a particularly lumpy part of that yarn so that the weft stayed mostly even.

First scarf with individually weighted strands of yarn (and floating selvedges on cones)

That yarn also stretched out much more than the other yarns. I individually weighted the three middle strands of it. Luckily I only had five strands of that yarn in the entire warp so I could afford to pay attention to each one.

In the back of my mind, I knew that both Robyn Spady and Sharon Alderman recommend different adjustments you can make if you have many threads with uneven tension in a warp. I didn't have to resort to those methods, but I'm glad to know they exist. I'm sure my day to use them will come!

I did cut off between scarves so that I could re-tie and readjust the tension. When I re-tied, I pulled each individual strand taut so that I would begin each scarf with even tension. I figured I could endure any tension issues for the 60 woven inches I wanted for each scarf. (Note: I usually like a longer scarf, but with the unexpected, extensive sampling at the start of this warp, 60 inches was all I could manage.)

Fortunately, I want fringe on these scarves, so re-tying doesn't cost anything. I untied the knots and used that section as fringe.

The first two scarves are off the loom! Navy wool-silk on the right and purple Earthguild yarn on the left.

I like both of these scarves. The navy, as so many of you promised, makes the warp really pop, and I get the strong vertical elements I was looking for.

The purple scarf on the left seems like a more integrated fabric, and is a little more in line with colors I usually wear.

Purple & Navy Yarns (two yarns on the far right)

These are the two wefts I used for the scarves above: purple Earthguild yarn (rayon, cotton, flax blend), deep navy wool-silk. (The pink and black on the left of this picture, didn't make the cut after my small samples.)

I have enough warp left for one more scarf, so I'm using ladder yarn in deep blue with shots of fuchsia, light blue, and green-yellow in it. When I did tiny samples trying to choose colors from my stash, this yarn was surprisingly both Jim's and my first choice - even though it veers away from my desire to have strong vertical striping in this project.

I wound it on a quill, just like I would any yarn, using Becky Ashenden's quill-winding technique. (I'm a recent convert after a visit to Vavstuga.)

It's like a party on my loom. I might have to keep this scarf, and one of the other two. I'm surprised that this yarn is strong enough visually to do interesting things with the very visually-strong warp.

I'm hoping to finish this scarf for its debut on New Year's Eve. It's all woven, and I still have a little more warp. I'm going to fringe-twist one of the other scarves, wash it, and then decide exactly how long to weave this one.

I have noticed that it's really hard to see what the scarves will look like from across the room when they're on the loom.

The scarves off the loom were photographed from about 10 feet away. When scarves are on my loom, I can't see them from more than about 5 feet away (by standing on the bench). It makes a huge difference on this project, where I care about how it looks from a distance of about 10 feet.

I am so excited about how this project is coming out, and I really appreciate all of your help getting me to this point!!

Related posts:
Asking for help designing in the reed
Project kickoff
Designing in the reed
Asking for help showing off the warp
Exhaustedly starting to weave samples
Dithering about which wefts to choose


Deanna said...

Ooh, I love the unexpected zigzags with the ladder yarn. I love all of them! Bravo for persisting through all of the issues that came up, and creating such loveliness!

Margreet said...

Sue, what a lovely project and than ending up with 3 totally different gorgeous scarves. Lovely how the colours of the weft yarn are mixing with the warp in this last scarf.
Brave to take on all the different yarns in the warp but well worth it!

Theresa said...

They are wonderful. LOVE THEM! So glad it all worked out and you are getting some beautiful weaving done.
I want to see the whole family duffled up in those scarves. :-)
Did you keep good notes as to what changes you did?

Anonymous said...

tolle Arbeit!! großes Lob!!
welche schönen Garne hast du da verwendet. gruß wiebke

Trapunto said...

Beautiful. I love your description of the stage-by-stage thought process. Your planning and paid off big time. And I appreciate seeing the Earth Guild yarn (one I've been considering) in action.

Dorothy said...

I do love your photo of the cones of yarn dangling behind the loom. What a beautiful scarf.

Annie said...

Lovely scarves, Sue. Aren't these mixed-yarn warps fun?!

charlotte said...

The scarves look fantastic! I love the bright colors and all the different yarns. Congrats on a great job!

Leigh said...

It's looking really good, Sue. I love the colors and textures. I can see why it's fun to weave.

Sharon said...

Spectacular results and well worth the futzing around it took. I don't know about quills - guess I had better find out. Smiling at the film cans - I have two on my warp right now and wish I knew where to get more.

Life Looms Large said...

I'm so glad that many of you like the ladder yarn scarf too (and all of them!) When I was weaving that scarf, I kept picturing all the articles I've read that talk about making the most of novelty yarns. And this scarf was more like "using as many novelty yarns as possible".

The cones of yarn hanging off the back of the loom are my favorite way to hang floating selvedges. They're wrapped around the inner cone and the outer cone holds them in place and makes it easy to make them longer.

I was surprised to find those film canisters recently. We just sold our last film camera and gear on Ebay. In cleaning out that area of the closet, there was old film. We decided the film was trash, and the canisters were mine!!! I was psyched!

I think Becky's quill winding technique would work for bobbins too. The main difference between what I'd done before was keeping tension on the yarn as I wound it on the quill. That made the quill hold more and helped the yarn flow off more smoothly.

Plus, my first comments in German! Yay!! Danke!

Thanks for putting up with my ramblings on this project!!!


Delighted Hands said...

Just geting to a computer-the scarves are amazing! Don't you love success!