Well, so much for a simple starter project. I read through the book yesterday night and decided to skip the simple starter project (because I did those exercises already on the table loom) and jump right into a more complex project.
I’m already starting to get an understanding of the variables in weaving. The width of the sett (how far the warp threads are from each other) and the equivalent measure for the weft, together with the nature of the yarn, determine how drapey/firm/soft the finished cloth will be. The more open it is, the more drapey/airy; the more dense, the firmer it will be. I need to do some experimentation, but I think I have a fairly good grasp of the basic concepts–now I just have to master everything else.
Towards that, I have selected a pattern out of Handwoven Magazine’s little booklet, “Scarves and Shawls for All Seasons”. True to form, it’s one of the most complex shawls in the booklet, the one called “Spring Flowers Shawl”. I’m translating it from 2/14 silk/wool at 24 epi (ends per inch), which is probably too fine for a beginner’s project, to a slightly less ambitious version at 12 epi in a Shetland wool. As far as I can tell, it’s a pinwheel design in an advancing twill. That’s about all I know right now. I did some back of the envelope calculations, and there should be plenty of yarn from the stuff I ordered to do up the shawl (twice, even!).
My thought on this pattern is that while it is (on the surface) relatively complex, most of the complexity is in the threading and the treadling pattern, both of which are relatively easy to manage as long as you’re paying attention. Because I’m working in weavers’ wool, the yarn should be relatively easy to handle, and because I’m setting it at a low 12 epi (the range given was 12-15 epi), I think it should come out drapey even though I’ve switched from silk to wool. I don’t expect it to come out as fantastic as it would if I did it in silk/wool at a sett of 24 epi, but as a beginner’s project I think it won’t be bad. Let’s be clear: this is not going to be a masterwork, but it won’t be finger-twiddling either. I think it should be just complex enough to keep me interested.
I’ll be verrrry interested in seeing how it turns out.
Decided that tomorrow (among other things) I’m going to go hunt for a replacement for that marble slab. Maybe granite? All I need is a stone with a high heat capacity…it’ll be interesting to see what fancy colors I can get. I priced some stuff out on Craigslist, and don’t think a replacement is going to break the bank.