Bobbly yarns

Lots of people responded with encouraging tips on how to proceed using a reed that is too small for my loom, so I have barged ahead. Here’s the chunky, bobbly warp…

…and here it is all threaded, sleyed etc using the 6 dpi reed.

I know you can see the ends of the reed quite clearly, but I marked them with yellow arrows to compare with the following picture of the full-size reed. It also aids comparison with the size of a seven-year-old male cat.

In fact I seem to have had a brainstorm of some kind, because the smaller reed is not 12″ as I said before, but 16″. That means there are only an additional 5½ empty inches each side and it seems to be very stable. The beater has a big central handle which is easy to grab and helps to keep me beating straight. Nonetheless, it does have the scope to twist a bit  if I’m not careful and my main concern would be that the shorter reed might not provide enough rigidity to counteract that. So far, so good, however.

This is intended to be another echo weave art piece. Where Lava Flow was Earth + Fire, this is Shoreline, i.e. Earth + Water. I am planning to use a clasped weft — I have a blue & white slubby silk/cotton blend for the sea and a plain beige cotton for the sand — and to follow the curves of the design like waves if I can. At the moment, though, I am just practising… and am having to work hard simply to keep my twill advancing in any kind of order. There’s a completely different rhythm to the clasped weft, and I also miss my usual signpost: “the shuttle is in my right hand and so the next pick must be an odd one.”

Here’s the first little bit of sampling.

If you peer, you may be able to see the colour change! Of course, I want the outline of the shape to be visible across a room; I’ll need to weave rather more, and rather more accurately, before I’ll be able to test the success of that plan.

One place where striking patterns are very visible is through the windows along the front of our house. It is the Time of Roof Repair and Maintenance, and we are completely enveloped in scaffolding.

the bobbly yarns and the 6 dpi reed” was posted by Cally on 25 August 2011 at

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8 Responses

  1. Evelyn
    | Reply

    With such a sturdy beater I cannot see any problems with the slightly narrow reed. I used to have a Louet Spring and had no problems using narrow reeds. I like the progression of blue to beige in your bobbly fabric, but find it difficult to see the pattern so far. What beautiful windows!

  2. Kerstin
    | Reply

    So why is your “full size” reed not full size? (Yes, I know – a reed can be any size, as I said myself the other day)

    • Cally
      | Reply

      Well it’s the same width as the shafts – there’s room in the beater for a wider reed, but it wouldn’t provide any more weaving width. The beater design is open at the ends so there is scope for using a reed wider than the loom, as some suggested, though it would effectively trap me in the studio!

  3. Alice in Richmond
    | Reply

    I love your experiments and I would move to Scotland for those windows even with the scaffolding….

  4. Cally
    | Reply

    Thanks for the window compliments, Alice & Evelyn. In fact they are exactly the reason why we bought this house. Our neighbour upstairs always comments on them too — he has the lion’s share of the building, but it irks him that we get the best windows!

  5. Curiousweaver - kaz
    | Reply

    what a great post. I think that building up a reed collection with multiple loom uses is a great way to go. In relation to your windows and Scotland in general, i am sad everytime I think of how my grandmother and all her family migrated to Australia in 1920s! I could have been Scottish and maybe had windows that aren’t made of aluminium. Wonderful blog. Kaz

    • Cally
      | Reply

      Thanks Kaz. My grandfather’s sister emigrated to NZ in the 1950s; it’s a wonder there are any of us left here! And we were lucky this house was listed before the windows had been replaced – next door they have uPVC.

  6. Joyce Fox
    | Reply

    Yuck! I don’t have grand windows Cally but when I was restoring this house the joiner wanted to replace mine UVPC. He was not impressed that I insisted on mahogany frames, unfortunately sash encased as they should have been. Yours are beautiful!

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