Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Topless Tryout

I decided that since the Lemon Yellow warp ended faster than I expected I might have time to do a quickie weave before my loom is needed for the guild demo in June. I've been meaning to use up a hoard of not-quite-cotton yarn I've had sitting around for awhile, so now is the chance.

Unlabeled Synthetic

These are unlabeled yarns that I picked up a few years ago during the Zellers closing out sale. They came in bags of multiples of about 4 if I remember correctly. They were SO cheap that I stocked up despite not knowing what the fibre content was. They both look and feel very much like cotton, especially the slubby single on the right, but burn tests have since proven they are actually a synthetic of some sort.

I've woven very successfully with these before. Boucle as warp, slubby single as weft.

rigid heddle loom and plain, textured weave

In fact, I made runners for all of my bedroom furniture. Because the yarns are actually synthetic they washed and dried beautifully without much shrinkage.

textured plain weave

This time I thought I'd experiment with going topless. (I imagine that phrase will pick up a few hits from 'new' readers who will ultimately go away disappointed!)

What I'm actually talking about is the Saori "Comb Reed". It has an open top and is used for moving the warp threads about during the weaving process. If you look closely in the next picture you can see how the Saori Comb Reed sits with it's 'teeth' just in front of the beater cap during the weaving.

I used this reed successfully with the Lemon Yellow warp that I just completed, but I'm not sure how I feel about it with this combination of monotone warp and weft. I think perhaps the technique presents better when a contrasting thread highlights the wandering warp threads.

Wandering warp

Opinions? If you speak up quickly in the comments you might influence my decision.

At this point I'm leaning toward finishing the rest of the 6 metre warp with the threads aligned and not wandering. Somehow the plain weave without the distraction, (or 'interest' depending on your perspective), just seems more "Zen" to me right now and I really could use a peaceful, mindless, meditative weaving experience this week.


Gene Black said...

I really like the added subtle texture that using the wandering warp creates.

Ruinwen Dagorielle said...

I really like the rustic feel to your fabric!

Marlene said...

Me too but I may not have time to continue in that way. It takes a lot of time moving those warp threads around a couple of times for each 'roll forward' of the cloth.

I have a guild demo I need to do in a couple of weeks and my loom needs a different warp on it for that. AND -- trouble with this one. The tension isn't right on the edges anymore. I'm having trouble with the warp spreading out on the warp beam and making the selvedges very tight. I've had to cut off and I will likely roll the entire warp off and rebeam it with better separators material. I was using Venetian blind slats but they are too flexible and are causing problems.

Thanks Ruinwen. I do too, but I find even with just straight plain weave it has an element of "rustic" because of the nubbly warp and the slubby weft.