contemplating options

Sometimes it is good to raise yourself above every day concerns and dream of higher things…

Phoebus is not quite the mountaineer that Polly is, but all three of us have something in common: wherever we are, we are looking at the next thing, the one that is a bit higher up.

I have nearly finished my P2P2 projects, so I am thinking about what to do next and the options are a bit overwhelming. There are things I have set myself to do by certain deadlines, but I haven’t quite worked out the sequence I need to follow and I feel tugged in several directions. I have a mountain of yarn on the table in the studio because I keep getting out candidates for projects and not putting them away again — I am afraid that if it is out of sight I will forget about it (quite likely, in fact) and some wonderful dreamed-of thing will be lost forever (perhaps a bit less likely).  And every conceivable combination of all this yarn looks like a viable — if unusual — project, but which is the one to go for?

Worse still, I’m ashamed to admit that the yarn mountain is actually covering several woven pieces that have been cut from the loom but haven’t made it through to finished yet. I decided to do something about that this afternoon and have at least washed a couple of scarves. One is felted, but the other needs a twisted fringe so I see a DVD night in my near future.

Currently in most-likely-to-be-on-the-loom-next pole position is something with quite chunky textured yarns in the warp. I need to ask for your collective help with this, because I haven’t used chunky textured yarns on the Megado yet. I have a 6 dpi reed which is the right height but which “belongs” to a small table loom so it is much narrower than the Megado. I can’t see any reason not to centre it in the beater and use it for a narrow warp, but am I missing something? Is it likely to give me any problems? The 6 dpi reed is 12″ and my loom has a weaving width of 27″ so that would be an empty 7½” on either side.

I’m getting a bit tired of the thinking stage. I want to make some decisions so I can get on with doing.

contemplating options” was posted by Cally on 17 August 2011 at

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13 Responses

  1. Kerstin
    | Reply

    Actually, by using a narrow reed you are doing it *exactly right* in an (obsolete) Swedish tradition… Swe weaving books from 1930-40 state that one can (well, should) NOT use a reed wider than the project by more than 5-10 cm. The reason is never revealed, and no weaver I have ever known has bothered to try (there is a limit to how many reeds one wants to invest in, after all).
    So… if your planned warp happens to be the “correct” width, the results should be better than ever…

    • Cally
      | Reply

      Oh I feel better already, thanks! I must say I don’t think it is a rule I would want to follow too closely – as you say, there is a limit to the number of reeds a weaver can afford (and find room for…)

  2. Margreet
    | Reply

    I’ve used narrower reeds too. As long as it is the width of your project, it should be fine. As you say, place the reed in the middle.

  3. Laura
    | Reply

    Ditto on using a narrower reed than loom. Not to mention wider reed than loom, IF the loom can accomodate it, which my Leclerc Fanny can. It does look a bit strange to see a 60″ reed sticking out each side of a 36″ weaving width loom. 😀

    • Cally
      | Reply

      It would be a bit of a squeeze in my studio!

    • Janet
      | Reply

      Ha! I’ve done this with Fannys before as well – and even with my Minerva a time or two! The Minerva’s beater uprights restrict the width of reed you can put on, so I took off the cross pieces and bolted them on backwards, i.e. to the back of the uprights rather than the front. Looked weird but it meant that there was nothing stopping me from putting my 60″ wide reed in my 22″ wide loom! 😀

  4. Caroline M
    | Reply

    I used the 16″ reed from a table loom on a 24″ floor loom without a second thought. Nothing went wrong, it stayed centred throughout the project.

  5. Pat Foster
    | Reply

    I have to disagree but then I have experience of a Megado. Yes it is okay to use a narrower reed than the full width – but it is very good idea to add a gash reed either side which will make sure that the top batten for the reed is on square to the centre reed.

    • Cally
      | Reply

      I wondered about that – I am not sure what I have which would be the right size to put on either side, but I’m sure I can rig up something.

      • Dot
        | Reply

        I was thinking just the same as Pat. If you can’t find something to put in the beater at either end to stop it flexing, then I suggest you hold the beater in the centre to avoid twisting it.

  6. Janet
    | Reply

    I put narrow reeds in my wide beaters all the time. The only thing to watch for is whether the reed is loose in the beater – this can make it wobble around in there or, worse yet, slide from side to side.

    Happily there are simple solutions: if your beater has uprights that block off the ends of the space the reed goes in, you can cut a short piece of light doweling or tubing (those giant Slurpie straws from 7-11 work a treat!) to the right length to fill in the groove between the reed and the upright to keep the reed in place. If you don’t have doweling, tubing or beater uprights that’ll oblige, some of that tacky stuff that you use to put things the wall without holes will also do, but can leave a little residue. Just put a small blob into the groove the reed fits into and then squish the reed down onto it. That’ll keep everything right where you want it. 🙂

  7. Alice in Richmond
    | Reply

    I use narrow reeds too but only on my Leclerc Nilus, not the Harrisville. It won’t stay in the center on that one.

    I love a “tree cat” as opposed to a hiding under the bed cat. They are either/or in my experience.

  8. Sandra Rude
    | Reply

    It’ll be fine. I’ve done it, putting a 24-inch table-loom reed on my 1-meter Glimakra. No problem. Just be sure it’s centered, and go for it!

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