Last project for 2017

So I finished the year with a bit of an experiment… and because I like doing two things at once it was a spacing and a felting experiment!

It started with my wondering what would happen if you wove a course web with spaces in the warp and weft. Would the yarn spread out when you fulled it to fill the spaces? I had a theory it would, but how evenly?

This is how I started:

Web on the loom with inch spaces between sections of warp and weft

The problem with doing a spaced web like this – with a heavy yarn (this was unplied but about a 12ply equiv) – is that the warp and weft will shift easily. That was why I decided to take it off the loom very carefully. So, I rolled it:

Weaving in a roll

Obviously I didn’t want to have the same problem with the final cloth and that was why I decided to felt it lightly, so the web wouldn’t deform.

What I got was a lovely, squiggly cloth where the spaces were filled in and the weft tended to pair. You can see a bit more separation in the warp, but most of that went too:

You’ll also notice that the cream yarn went blueish. That’s because I decided the gentlest way to felt it was to boil it and that meant the dye spread itself around a bit!

I was pleased with the final cloth, which is rough and squiggly but quite even. The felting might need to go just a bit further, but overall the yarn is sticking in place nicely.

The only disappointment was how dull the colours are now… the dying of the cream gives it a dullness – the heat may also have affected the dyes and dulled them – so it’s not as pretty as I might have liked. Still, I like the end result.

Once I’ve finished it properly, I’ll do a post showing the final web in all its glory.

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Weaving patterns #3 – warp spacing

A common texturing technique, for use on any kind of loom, is to change the spacing of your warp threads. You can run extra threads through the same heddle (crammed warp) or you can skip a few (spaced warp).

I did a small sampler with the soya yarn I mentioned in my previous post and you can see I did both spacing and cramming:
detail of a crammed and spaced warp smple
The crammed warp gives you raised lines which can be subtle or strong depending on the colour/texture of the yarn/s. Spacing the warp – depending on how spaced you go – will give sort of lacy tracks where the weft appears loopier and looser. Again it can be subtle or strong depending on the yarn combinations.

You can see the result better from a distance, so here is that sampler in full:

While this turned out quite a subtle version, you can see toward each edge there are two lines of cramming and the tracks toward the centre are the spaced warp (skipping two threads in each).

I like this warp patterning a lot, because it is straightforward and yet gives a wide range of possible results.