Saturday, 2 August 2008

Re-organising Heddles

Getting ready to put as large a warp as possible on my 4-shaft bigloom, it occured to me that since buying the thing, i've never counted the heddles. So i did, and it turned out they were unevenly distributed across the shafts, which isn't much good is it?

So, i took the frames apart, recounted all the heddles along with the spares and find i have about 1000 metal heddles. Which is nice. Making a warp of 30epi, as i tend to do (based on 2 ends per dent on a 14 dent reed on my table loom), that should give me a warp of a width of, ooh, let's see

1000 % 30 = 33.33'

So, about 2 and 1/3rd feet or so. which i suppose ain't bad. but if i want to ever consider weaving silk i'm gonna need a lot more heddles like.

Now, as i'm in the mood, i might as well calculate the metreage of a 4m warp of 1000ends

which isn't difficult, that's 4 KM of yarn. not bad.

Am i wittering?


Anyhow, I'm making a warp with blue and grey yarn running concurrently, to make a warp of blue, blue, grey, grey. Doing the same with the weft, i will create a fabric of tiny little squares. Which will, presumably, be nice.

I can't decide whether to do it in plain weave, straight 2/2 twill or back n forth diamond twill. So i think i will maybe just warp it as a normal 1,2,3,4,1,2,3,4 so i can do plain weave or a straight 2/2 twill at my leisure. see what works. I have high hopes. Maybe i'll at least get the shafts tied up tonight, and hopefully be able to work up the motivation to warp the thing up tomorrow.

Once that's done it's done, and i can batter away at it in my time off and maybe get it done by the end of the week with any luck. In the meantime i still have maybe 3 metres of a minor disaster to weave up on the table loom. I mixed up far too many colours and bolloxed up the threading of a varied diamond twill and have thus created a fabric that i find singularly unappealling. Oh well, lesson learned i suppose. It's difficult to use more than 3 or 4 colours together without ballsing it up completely, as i have done. But, i can't waste it, so i must finish it, cos it represents about £10 worth of wool and it'd be a shame to waste it. Maybe i could try a plain weave with a thin weft to maybe create a warp faced fabric, that might work i suppose. I guess i have nothing to lose and might as well just try whatever i can think of. I mean, it couldn't really get any worse.

Actually, it occurs to me that i should maybe be using a thicker weft for warp face. is that right? i'm not sure. See, this is what happens when you batter away at weaving experimentally with no tuition. Sometimes, you achieve excellent results, sometimes you create something ok, and occasionally you balls it up completely. Whilst, in the meantime, you just get confused and fail to take proper notes and forget what your lessons learnt were.

So, like i say, once I've got that mess out of the way, i'm going to attempt to recreate this which is a really lovely spiral twill doo-da thing. it looks to me like both warp and weft are running orange,black,orange,black alternately in a 12 and 12 pointed twill, maybe. It's bloody hard on the brain trying to analyse fabric from a Jpeg on a wee laptop screen. i think i might print it out and take it home and pore over it with a magnifying glass. Anyhow, that's just a tiny sample of that lady's nice work. She is well talented, really nice stuff and worth checking out

Cheers for now


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