Yardage Stats

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Because some of you asked…

Warp Length:

  • Wound on 10 yards
  • Wove 9 yds according to my on loom measurements while under tension + 1 yd of color sample
  • Off loom measurement: 8 yds of fabric; about 7 yards usable

Width:

  • 30″ wide at the reed
  • 28″ wide at the fell
  • 28″ off the loom

More Stats:

  • 30 ends per inch
  • 900 ends + 4 floating selvedge ends
  • approximately 40 picks per inch
  • 18 total failed handspun; 4 while threading the loom; and the rest during weaving
  • no broken warp otherwise
Click for larger. Really. You need to click.

Either Zephyr is really, really stretchy or I measured incorrectly on the loom. I believe its the latter. And the 7 yards usable? Well, I had some treadling mistakes that I didn’t catch. Because I was weaving with the wrong side up, I couldn’t see them. I knew the first 20″ or so were riddled with mistakes, but there were a few scattered through out. I suspect those were at the end of a long weaving session.

The handspun fails were due to bad joins at the color change. I didn’t feather the 2 ends enough when I changed colors and they separated right at the joins. Or, the joins were too fat and the abrasion of the reed scraped them apart. Again, a better feathering job may have prevented them.

How did I fix them? The ones that failed while warping, I just replaced with black Zephyr. I just didn’t want to deal with an unplied yarn dangling off the back of the loom. Chances were good that they would unspin and drift apart. For the ones that failed during weaving, I put in a rescue warp with Zephry about 3x the length of the failed join area. Wove on the rescue warp for a length before re-joining the original handspun back into the warp.

It’s amazingly difficult to take pictures of a black fabric at night, but you can see in the above pictures that I mostly achieved the look I set up to make. The color runs are longer than I liked, but I like the effect. It looks like wet paint dripping down the length of a black ground. Jackson Pollock it’s not.

And just for fun and for my sanity sake, I played a bit for the last yard. I used some of the leftover Zephyr I had from sampling, and found the colors that most closely matched the colors I had dyed and spun into my yarn to see what it would look like with alternate weft colors.

Back of Sampler (click for larger)

Kind of fun, isn’t it? The back is a weft faced fabric. I had thought that it might be fun to weave a self lined fabric with COLOR, instead of a lining. The far right is the indigo that I used for my fabric. Next to it is the same black as the warp. The remaining were colors that were found in my hand dyed / hand spun yarn.

Front of Sampler (click for larger)

Unfortunately, the idea was prettier in my head than in reality. The color bled through to the front too much and had a much stronger impact than I thought it would. Still, it has potential. I just need to figure out what that is.

Done

In every sense of the word.

The yardage is done. At least, it’s been woven. I stopped at about 9 yards, by my calculations. I wove a sampler with different weft colors, leftover from the original sample. I probably could have woven another 15″ or so, but I am done. I was so sick of weaving this yardage right now, I couldn’t see straight. ¬†Apparently, I can get tired of weaving.

So for now, the yardage sits on the cloth beam for another day. I’ve poured myself a glass of wine, and am tuning in for some mindless television. I am exhausted. Done in. Done for. Just, DONE!

Progress Update

Circle of Life Shawl Progress

I’m now half way through Chart 8 (of 11). Round 195 of 223. Just shy of 70%. And yes, this is all before I start the border. Each round is taking more than an hour to complete now. I have serious doubts as to whether I’ll be able to finish this in time for SOAR.

6 yards

I have woven the minimum required yardage for the jacket workshop with Daryl Lancaster. I have 3 more yards of warp. I want to weave as much of it as I can as “backup” yardage — just in case.

31. The number of quills used in a 3.5 hour session. (That equates to about 2 yards of fabric.)

Weaving Yardage

I am keeping a notebook while I weave yardage for the jacket. I’m keeping track of time spent, amount woven, things that work and what don’t. How the handspun is (or in most cases not) holding up and why.

I auditioned nearly all the shuttles I have in the house. The Bluster Bay Swedish-Styled Shuttle won the day. The low profile allowed the shuttle to pass under my floating selvedge without any manipulation from me. All the other shuttles were just a little too tall, and skimmed over the floating selvedge threads. My Schacht Mini-Boat Shuttle came in a close second. But the open bottom dragged on my warp. Given how quickly the Zephyr and my handspun fuzzed up, I didn’t want to put any more stress than I absolutely had to.

I’ve heard complaints that the shed is small on the Fireside Looms. The shed seems perfectly adequate to me, but I have only woven on one other loom — my Gilmore Gem II. It’s possible that it has a small shed too, given that it’s a workshop loom, but it works for me. Without the floating selvedge, every single one of my boat shuttles fit through the shed with plenty of room to spare.

Here’s what the fabric looks like. The color runs are a bit longer than I originally envisioned. My dyed black is a little bit less saturated than the Zephyr Ebony, so it is still visible. And the “random” didn’t turn out to be quite so random.

I sleyed the handspun through the reeds first. I had planned on 2 handspun threads per inch, so I just pulled them randomly through the reeds, 2 per inch. Sometimes they were next to each other, sometimes several dents apart. However, when it came to threading the heddles, it seemed that most of them ended up on heddle #5. It almost became a game while I was threading the heddles. I needed something to amuse me for 900 threads! Because they were 2/dent in the reed, I could fudge a bit and move them to either 4 or 1.

So far, I’m pretty happy with how the yardage is turning out.

Dressed!

Isn't that hand carved beater bar a thing of beauty?

10 yard warp with Jaggerspun Zephyr and handspun. 900 ends + 4 floating selvedge ends at 30 epi using a 15 dent reed. 60 of those ends were handspun. “Were” because 3 of them broke (drifted apart) while warping. I replaced them with Zephyr because I didn’t want the singles to dangle, unspin, and drift apart. Okay. I was lazy. I had wound extra Zephyr just in case, so they were handy. There was only 1 threading mistake that I found so far (the pin in the photo). Hooray!

It only took 25 hours to dress this loom. 25 hours to go from bare loom to this point. Sigh. I sure hope it gets faster as I gain more experience with this loom!

Many firsts with this one:

  • First time weaving yardage
  • First time using floating selvedge
  • First time weaving with the Fireside Loom

I’m still getting a feel of this loom. It’s so much larger than my Gilmore Gem II. I’m finding that I need to work on putting a bit more oomph when I throw the shuttle to make it all the way through (30″ width at the reed). The Bluster Bay shuttles are a bit too tall to get under my floating selvedge so I switched to my pretty Schacht one. The outside treadles are just a wee bit further than my normal seated leg span so a bit more scootching is required. I might swap out the weaving bench for my task chair that I use with the Gilmore. We’ll see.

I’m still trying to find the sweet spot on the tensioned brake so that I can advance the warp easily. Too much tension, I can’t advance it without manually loosening up the back beam. Too little tension, the warp advances by itself with every beat. I feel a bit like Goldilocks right now, except I haven’t found “just right” yet.

I will never ever warp Zephyr front to back again, especially not at this epi. The yarn is soft and fuzzed up and quickly adhered itself to its neighbors. Beaming on took a lot of patience.

The handspun single is working. I need to weave a bit more before I call it a success. The color runs are longer than I wanted them to be, but it works. You can’t see the spots of color from the handspun in the picture because I’m weaving with the wrong side of the fabric facing up. This allows me to just raise one harness instead of 4. Much easier to treadle this way, but difficult to see what you are doing. I have a hand mirror that I stick under the fabric every once in a while. That doesn’t work very well because it’s dark. And if I put the light on it, it glares and I still can’t see.