Sheesh! Did this project kick my butt. What should have been straight-forward, enjoyable weaving wound up being tortuous for most of the project.
1) I didn’t have enough yarn. In fact, I fell so far short I had to combine two cones of Bendy 3ply for the warp and buy a 500 gram cone of black for the weft. I blame this on being too tired and distracted at the time to calculate my way through the project preparation.
2) Black wasn’t really what I wanted, but because Bendy don’t sell 200 gram cones any more and this was a stash-using project, I didn’t want to end up with more purple yarn left over than what I was trying to use up.
3) I ran out of heddles ridiculously early and had to attach about 100 string ones.
4) Because the string heddle eyes weren’t exactly the same level as each other and the texsolv ones, and I’m new to throwing the shuttle, the shuttle kept falling through the warp.
5) I fudged a race, using a piece of my warping board first then, when I needed to measure a warp for another project, swapped that for a long stick shuttle and a metal ruler. This worked, but because my beater swivels from above the race scrapes across the bottom of the fabric, meaning I can only weave 4-5 cm before I have to advance the warp.
6) The metallic thread was a b*tch to weave. It pulled the fabric in, no matter how much extra yarn I left at the sides or angled the weft. Using an extra long stick shuttle, because the yarn ends unravelled and I didn’t want to cut it any more than I had to, meant it kept getting tangled in the curtains on one side.
7) I discovered too late that I made a threading error at one side. Too late because I wasn’t going to unweave and reweave all the metallic thread after all the struggles with it.
8) Thanks to the dodgy string heddles, I have skipped threads at the other side.
9) I didn’t notice I had stepped on three pedals instead of two, not long after the first stripe of metallic, and sewing in a substitute pick didn’t really fix it.
10) Once off the loom I realised I had beat really hard at the start, making a far denser fabric at the start to the end.
Because of all these errors I’ve come to despise the shawl. However, it is lovely and soft, especially after washing, and proof that the yarn is a good one to weave. I kinda want to make another, to prove… something. That I can get it right, maybe?
And the up side to some of the frustrations is it has motivated me to get over my fear of floor looms. Throughout the project I came to long for a tie-up system. Lamms! I want lamms! And a beater that swivels from below, so I can have a race. And a removable front beam or folding back beam so I can thread the loom without hurting my back. I’d had the idea that floor looms were too big for the small bedroom size craft room I have now, but as I looked around I saw that some weren’t much bigger than my table loom and it’s stand combined.
Where that led me, however, is fodder for another post.