So, Laura and I looked at the 10 yards of fabric I’d woven before arriving at her place, made some attempts at repairing it, and eventually concluded that the amount of time to repair m0st of the flaws would approximate the amount of time required to re-weave it (assuming the warp behaved!). Also that retaining a sett of 96 epi for another 10 yards was an invitation to exactly the same kind of trouble.
So (gasp!) I am discarding the last two months’ worth of work and starting over.
Oddly enough, I am not dismayed by this. I actually feel energized. Now that I understand what was going wrong, and why I had so many problems, I have a good chance of being able to SOLVE those problems and weave off the replacement fabric (I hope!) without struggling. And I’d rather weave twenty yards of “easy” fabric than another 10 yards of struggling with the warp. Now that Laura’s shown me a good way of warping long warps, I feel I have a better chance than before.
So…this being the first day of the rest of my (weaving) life, what will I do?
Well, I’ll start with re-weaving the samples for my Complex Weavers article. This is basically redoing the Chinese double-happiness character draft, with maybe some eternity knots thrown in, in a 12″ wide warp that I can take photos of. So I have started winding the warp for that.
This warp is also giving me the opportunity to figure out how to use the warping wheel to wind a warp that will be beamed onto a plain beam using a trapeze. It’s not an easy puzzle because the warping wheel releases the warp starting at the back and ending with the cross, when for back-to-front warping you typically want the end that attaches to the back beam to come off first. I am pretty certain I can figure it out eventually, but as 3D visualization is not one of my strengths, it may take some fiddling.
After I finish re-weaving the samples, I’ll put on a sample warp for the replacement dress fabric. This will be 12″ wide (wide enough to show up any problems) and probably 3 yards long. I asked Lillian Whipple (fine thread expert extraordinaire) what she would recommend that I do, considering that I want to keep the sett at 96 epi if possible – I like the scale of the pattern at 96 epi and don’t think it looks nearly as good at a larger scale.
Lillian said that 96 epi was extremely dense for 60/2 silk, and recommended that I drop down to 120/2 silk if I wanted to preserve the sett. So that’s what I’m going to do. I fortunately have enough 140/2 silk to wind the warp, though I may have to buy some more for the weft. I’ve never worked with yarns this fine before – 140/2 silk is about as fine as it goes – but hopefully I will learn something in weaving the sample, making the actual fabric easier.
Whew! 3 blog posts in one day. I better go do something productive. 🙂