The next technique I wanted to try with the Vari Dent reed was to weave separate strips, alternately joining them with their neighbours, rather than having the weft go right across. So I warped up the four small heddles. I started with threads doubled up, intending to separate them when it came time to do the strips:
Weaving with two shuttles at the same time was quite awkward. When I got to the point of separating into four strips, I started off weaving one row of each strip with each of the four shuttles. It was fiddly and I could see it was going to be very slow. I wished I could just weave one strip at a time, but the reed then would then be able to beat in the yarn for the rest of the strips.
And then I had a ‘duh’ moment. I could simply remove the heddles and use them as beaters:
This sped up the process considerably. I put the heddles back in the reed when doing the joined sections. I also only needed chocks when I was doing joined sections.
When I had finished I knotted the fringe, washed and dried the scarf, trimmed the fringe and started arranging it on my dress model:
It’s an interesting effect. The gaps are a bit long in my opinion, thought when gathered together there’s still plenty of fabric to warm the neck. I’d like to try this again with half as many rows between joined sections – and with six heddles.
Of course, the realisation that I can beat with the heddles led to more ideas, so I doubt this will be the last post on the Vari Dent reed.