I am very excited about the new project. I would prefer to weave up my doubleweave samples, but since that’s out until I get a bit more practice warping sectionally, I’ve definitely decided to do the changing colors idea, and also to do the knitted-blank idea (if I can get the knitted blanks in time – not entirely certain). Now the only question is the structure. There are ever-so-many structures I could use, some of which I haven’t used before, which would give me a large scale pattern; or I could thread up straight draw, and do some sort of repeating pattern. (Threading up straight draw would also allow me to recreate 4 and 8 shaft straight draw patterns, which might make a better article for Weavezine – something that’s in the back of my mind, since I had thought of writing up both the changing-colors idea and the knitted-blank idea for Weavezine.)
The big question in my mind is the sett: am I going to do something that is predominantly plainweave, or am I doing something that is predominantly twill? It makes a huge difference to the sett, and that’s not something I can mess around with easily on the loom.
Ashenhurst’s forumula for sett says:
# of diameters/inch = .9*(square root of yards per pound).
(The exact factor varies a little depending on the type of yarn, and obviously that doesn’t hold for novelty yarns, but .9″ is a good starting point.)
Maximum sett =
[(warp threads in a repeat)* (# of diameters/inch)]/[(warp threads in a repeat) + (#of weft intersections in a repeat)]
(this looks complicated but you enter it once into a worksheet and then Excel automatically calculates it for you)
You don’t want to weave at the maximum sett, in fact it’s probably impossible to beat square at the max sett and you will wind up with a board if you do. Instead, you multiply by a % of the maximum sett depending on what you want to do with it: if you want upholstery (tight and firm), use 90% of the sett, if you want shawls, maybe 70%, if you want something very lacy and light, maybe 50-60%. There’s a lot of leeway.
I like Ashenhurst’s rule because it seems the most accurate to me – it takes weave structure into account, so it doesn’t matter whether you’re weaving a 7-end satin or plainweave, it gives you a number that’s a good starting-point. You still have to sample, of course, but it’s a lot less blind than other methods or the manufacturer’s generic “recommended sett”.
For a 7000 ypp silk yarn in a 3/1 twill at 70% maximum sett, Ashenhurst’s rule recommends a sett of approximately 41, which is pretty close to accurate. (I used a 45 epi sett and while the drape was what I wanted, it didn’t quite beat square.)
For the same yarn in plainweave, Ashenhurst’s rule recommends a sett of 27. That’s a big difference from 41, too much for me to “get away with” in a similarly-sized weft. So I have essentially four options:
- use all plainweave based structures and sett
- use a plainweave sett and weave twill structures in a heavier weft yarn to “make up for” the looser sett
- use all twill based structures and sett
- use a twill sett and weave the plainweave structures with a much thinner weft yarn
I haven’t really decided what I want to do yet, but since it will take me some time (a week or more) to dye the warp and (the hard part) wind it all into lots of tiny balls of yarn, I have time to consider the matter. I’m going to dye 24 different shades from turquoise to fuchsia (or another pair of colors that I have yet to choose), and use them in stripes to get the same gradual shading that I got for Liquid Fire. After that it’s a matter of getting (and dyeing/playing with) the weft yarns, whether from knitted blanks or elsewhere.
AFTER all that I will start warping up the loom…so I have plenty of time to consider structure.
That said, I have very little patience for delays, and like things to be settled early on, so I will probably choose a structure soon. I am leaning towards threading up straight draw and going through some of the exercises in Bonnie’s book, but networked satin still holds a lot of attraction for me…oy vey! It’s so easy to drown in options.