Occupation

Until a few days ago I had three occupied looms. The Jane held the m’s and o’s sampler from class, which I’ve now finished. The Katie held a warp for stitched doubleweave linen dishcloths (draft by the much-missed Kay Faulkner) – my first attempt at stitched doubleweave and weaving with linen.

Linen was interesting to weave. I ran a humidifier beside the loom, keeping the yarn supple. There was no sett suggestion with the draft. My distracted brain had decided to sett as if for twill. No idea why! It should have been the wpi, since it’s doubleweave so double the sett for plainweave. But I’m glad I didn’t do that, as the plainweave hems are already tough to beat in. The doubleweave section is a bit loose, but I don’t think it will matter, actually. IIRC the dishcloth Kay showed me was quite loose. It’s all about the texture, for scrubbing.

And the Lotus still has a shadow weave one-piece cotton jacket.

It’s my first attempt at shadow weave, which is not proving to be difficult, and my second project on the loom. What is fiddly is weaving three sections separately without getting too much pull in. There has been some unweaving, accompanied by silent swearing.

The yarn is Bendigo Cotton 8ply, which is a convenient 20 wpi in plain weave which means one thread per slot on a 10dpi reed.

I tried a method of threading the reed I learned in class. Apparently it’s how the Saori weavers thread their reeds. You suspend the reed in a flat position before the castle and push the threads into the slots from above with a special tool. Well, I don’t have the special tool, but I found a small steel ruler worked just as well.

I also tried to resolve another problem. On the Osbourn I used slats from a venetian blink as warp spacers, but I’ve found that on the Lotas these slide down to hang in a group under the back beam as soon as I loosen the warp to advance it.

So far I haven’t found card wide enough for a project this big, so I tried tying a section of slats back together. So far it has worked fairly well. Not perfect, but a big improvement. I’m going to tie more sections together, for when I weave longer warps.

What next? Well, there’s the next class sampler – lace weaves. Classes are now online, via Zoom, which is fun. I’m still cutting flannelette scraps into strips, with the help of an electric rotary cutter, and will likely be doing so for a looooong time, unless I get tired of it and stow everything at the back of the cupboard.

I keep looking at the Osbourn loom and contemplating warping it up for a rug. Over the last few weeks I’ve been thinking that maybe I don’t like having multiple projects going at the same time. There is only one me, and I’ve noticed that something always gets neglected when I have several projects on the go.

Two is nice. One easy and one challenging project. Three means one is forgotten. Maybe this is my self-isolation self-examination realisation. There are (mumble) number of looms here, but there is only one weaver’s worth of time to occupy.