easy to make, hard to fix

posted in: Blog | 4

I’m thinking of my recent treadling errors. I have been weaving several more crinkly scarves using over-twisted wool in the weft and a super-super-simple broken twill treadling — four picks! — but it is not so simple that I can’t get it wrong.

Originally I had tied up so that I was treadling left-right-left-right. However, I was continually hitting the wrong left-right pair. You might think I would notice the misstep in the cloth, but the yarn is very fine — and black as well — so that I wasn’t reliably able to catch it. Sometimes I would see that the ends I was lifting seemed to have been unwoven for too long, but often I had cut the web off the loom before the over-long floats were suddenly visible.

Anyway, I changed the tie-up so that I was weaving left-left-right-right and my error rate has dropped dramatically, though not (alas) to zero. Still, one error in three scarves is better than three errors in one scarf, right?? Definitely. It’s still a pain to fix, unfortunately. Trying to needle weave — even to unweave — with fine, black, over-twisted yarn on a dense warp with multi-stranded ends… well, it’s no fun for a middle-aged woman whose eye test is due, that’s for sure.

Of course, I have got a bit lazy with regard to treadling, since I spend so much time weaving with the dobby. I may do a fair amount of manual intervention to alter the lift sequence as I go along, but when I am actually throwing the shuttle I only have to advance-and-weave, advance-and-weave. I actually get on better with the countermarche when I make things really complicated, as this forces me to pay attention to every single pick. And it also helps when I am weaving something with clear visual cues!

But I get such a kick out of finishing these. When I immerse them in water and feel them soften into pleats, then my suffering is all forgot. I’ve done a few more warps in shades of a single colour, as imagined in my manipulated photos, but I’ve also started using blocks of different colours — beginning with my current fixation on purple and green.

purple-green twill block warp

This was snapped on my phone — the weird angle is because it was the only way I could get the purple not to come out too blue. In fact, using my wee camera was no better…

purple-green crinkly scarf

…and the finished scarf is not as blue as it appears here. In the photo I have folded one scarf back on itself so that at the top you see the ‘mainly green’ side and at the bottom the ‘mainly purple’ side.

There’s been a lot of finishing, fringe-twisting etc this weekend because of the Summer Craft & Design Market next Saturday. I am much obliged to the ICC for their scheduling of the Champions Trophy and to the BBC for the ball-by-ball commentary on Radio 5 Live. Today it was Sri Lanka v New Zealand — so much excitement that I never once felt tempted to desert my post!

easy to make, hard to fix” was posted by Cally on 9 June 2013 at http://callybooker.co.uk

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4 Responses

  1. Michelle
    | Reply

    It’s no use, I have nothing valuable to say, I just love reading your posts! Of course beautiful work, great photography, blah blah, but entertaining and I wanted to tell you.
    Love as ever.

  2. Dianne
    | Reply

    Hmm .. eyesight. I’ve found an embroiderers magnifying hoop that slings around the neck and rests on the chest invaluable, once I found the “sweet spot”, for running repairs.

  3. marion
    | Reply

    But the scarf is lovely anyhow.

  4. Trapunto
    | Reply

    The way the lighter bands of color on the edges of each stripe peep in and out of view at random intervals is wonderful. I can see how finishing these would be fun!

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