Monday, May 12, 2014

So I'm Technically Weak

Well, that's not news to us, is it? India/Not-Laharya, the last three, and the current five-grays warps were cashmere or cashmere mixes and I've had technical problems left, right and center. I wonder if the big loom is too harsh on cashmere yarns, some of which are not twisted much so they stretch and then snap.

I like to weave my Japanese cashmeres at 15EPI for a good balance of softness and presence, but on the big loom I sett the warp at 18EPI so the shuttle doesn't fall though the gap; my preference is to weave with Schacht end feed but for the last red-purple-blue warp I used a small Swedish boat shuttle with my recycled paper bobbins, sett 15EPI. The finished texture was lovely. 

Doni's cashmere/silk/merino is a little less delicate in the yarn, (but boy, does it fluff up nicely!) but at 24EPI the warp ends appeared to be rubbing against each other and I had a lot of broken ends, so in the second red warp I changed to 21EPI, and at first I kept looking the shuttle. The finished textures were different but both good, and if I can mange, I'd like to weave with both setts depending on the draft and the weft.

I have had so many broken ends on the left side facing the warp, so much so I started to wonder if there are rough/jagged/sharp bits somewhere on the left side. The left side of a warp is usually the last ends I wind on the mill, so perhaps as I create a rhythm and start to loosen up. Perhaps the center of the warp chain is not perpendicular to the loom as I wind, and magazines fall off the left side first, though I've always been extra vigilant in that department. 

And then this one is hard to put into words. I almost took photos while weaving the pink piece but I was too embarrassed. Anyway, I get nice big sheds in the big loom and I always use floating selvedges. Depending on the sett, yarn, the number of ends in the slot next to the FS in the reed, and the draft, I get big loopy wefts ballooning on the sides. And because it happens sporadically, I can't figure out how to prevent them other than slowing right down and checking every single pick and pulling the sides in if necessary. A little bit of ballooning is not an issue if I'm using good merino in the weft, but cashmeres and merino/mohair mixes are ruthless. Strangely, I don't have this problem with my cottons but they are a different genre.And it was particularly bad on the pink piece in the last pic yesterday.

And I'm really really bad at hemming, so I'm going to stick with fringing until I resolve the other issues.

Soooooo, I haven't felt like a descent weaver in a few months now. I don't like putting hohum pieces in the gallery, and all but one had varying degrees of hohumness this time. I hate being a weaver like that. 

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Second time in the garden in 24 days; I've wasted a lot of gorgeous autumnal days, but then I'm happy I can think of 24 days as long in not gardening. I keep records of the time I spent and what I did, because that's the only way I can remember how I've done. It's still a long way to being able to see any results, and I'm talking about only one tiny section of the property. But today was lovely, I had hoped to weed just beyond the patio, but I never got there because the patio was a mess with dead leaves and weeds in pots, so for four hours I cleaned and weeded the pots and moved them from the summer position to the winter position, i.e. allowing maximum sun. I'll get to just beyond the patio tomorrow. Afterwards a kingfisher came to visit. He's not flighty like some other birds and hung out with me over fifteen minutes. What a treat! (Please excuse the dead bits I haven't pruned. In fact, I can't get over how OK my place looks in this picture, because it's been really chaotic for over a year now.)
No weaving, no art, not even baking a cake Ben requested today. And I'm hoping to get out in the garden again tomorrow.

1 comment:

  1. Google is still eating up my comments! Sadly I have lost my OpenID as the provider decided to stop supporting it, so Google it must be... Anyway, what was I actually thinking? Oh yes. If there are weavers in the world who are not perpetually dissatisfied with their work then I have yet to meet any of them. It is part of our restless desire to improve, I think, part of being human and creative. It is so much easier to see the faults in our own work and the good things in other people's, which can be unhelpful in excess, but the opposite would be so much worse!

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