I got a close view of the jacket yardage as I was hard-pressing it (to bring up the shine of the silk warp). I am not amused. There are a LOT of skips in it, which are very visible (to me anyway) and they are through most of the length of the fabric. I still plan to sew the jacket – I’m not about to throw all that work away – but I will definitely NOT be submitting it for jurying when I join the San Francisco weaving guild at the October jurying session. I am quite distinctly displeased, the more so since I don’t know what exactly is causing it. I don’t mind making mistakes if I learn from them, but I don’t understand what’s causing this, and thus, there’s no learning, merely frustration.
I have problems with skips on this loom. I can’t weave more than a pick or two (literally) of plainweave without having one or more threads skip – so I don’t dare weave plainweave patterns. I have no idea what’s causing it. Lady Di doesn’t have a very large shed to begin with (just about enough to get a shuttle through), which doesn’t help, but something is causing skips in random places. Sometimes a single thread will start skipping, sometimes it’s just short skips.
It seems reasonable that it might be a tension issue, but back when I was weaving on the Baby Wolf with the exact same warp yarns I had no trouble at all with plainweave. So I think it’s something with the loom. Darned if I can figure out what, though. I thought it might have been the cable stretching (the one that broke), but now that the cable is fixed, it’s still doing it. So I’m frustrated. I think once I am done with this warp I will thread up with a long cotton warp and see if I can troubleshoot it.
It is also just about time for me to start weaving samples for the study group on Bonnie’s book, so I think I will try to weave off the shawls fairly quickly (after re-sleying to get rid of the gap in the reed) and rethread with a painted warp in blues and greens, sett for twill, and woven with a cream colored weft. Bonnie posted a photo to the study group of a painted-warp jacket made out of the samples woven for her class, and it looks really good! I’m thinking I may try something similar.
Haven’t settled on fibers yet – the options seem to be silk, cotton, linen, tencel, and (weft only) cashmere-silk blend. I’m leaning towards cotton and linen, for a light jacket.
The next few days are going to be sewing and dyeing, though. Not only do I need to choose and dye a color for the next shawls on the brown/tan warp, but I need to dye about two pounds of mohair yarn for a couple friends who recently moved to
the Arctic rural India and are living in a largely unheated stone house halfway up a mountain in the middle of winter. And the local shops don’t stock warm yarns, only acrylic. I offered to send them some extra stuff out of my stash, and since I only stock natural colors, I’m going to dye it in dark red and maroon for them (the colors they requested when I asked). That plus dyeing the jacket lining fabric (china silk, I think, but I’ll have to check my remnant colection) should keep me busy for a day or two.
I also want to finish sewing up the muslin for the jacket before sewing up the final version – as displeased as I am with the fabric, I don’t want to waste it either!
So I have my work *ahem* cut out for me.