So, I got the reed sleyed and tried again:
As you have probably noticed, the problem with breaking threads is just as bad as before. I persevered for about six inches, and then (just for thrills) decided to time myself. 2.5 inches took 41 minutes, 37 seconds, and at least twenty broken threads (I stopped counting at 20). At that rate, for 20 yards (720 inches), it would take me approximately…uh, how long does it take for two people to eat one ham?
(190 hours, if you’re curious, at least for this value of “forever”.)
I don’t think it’s a problem with the yarn, nor is it a problem with tension or other whatnot. The sheds open (for the most part) cleanly, though occasionally two threads do get stuck together. Therein lies the problem. If you hit the stuck threads with the shuttle, they will break. If you try to go through a shed with lots of stuck threads, you break a godawful number of threads at once. (My personal record is five with a single throw!)
While I do believe it is possible to weave with 120/2 silk (Lillian has the absolutely-gorgeous-to-die-for work to prove it), and I don’t think that there’s anything wrong with the silk, it’s either beyond my skills or beyond my patience at this time.
(Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE the effects you can get with a 120/2 silk warp…and I plan to try it again in the near future…but not for that quantity of yardage and not when working to a deadline.)
So now we go to the fallback plan, which is 60/2 silk at a more reasonable sett, say something in the 60-70 epi zone. The sett table in Peggy Osterkamp’s book suggests that for 70/2 silk, 17,000 yards per pound, 64 epi is appropriate for a fairly densely sett piece (80% of maximum). The 60/2 silk I have is a trifle thicker, 15,000 yards per pound, so figure something like 60-62 would be appropriate.
I’d kind of like to do 72 epi, (because that would fit three repeats nicely into a 1″ section), but I think that would REALLY be pushing my luck. So I think I will fall back and do 60 epi, 2/dent in the 30-dent (actually 120/10 metric) reed I just bought. It won’t be nearly as delicately pretty as the 120/2 silk but it will be one heckuva lot faster, which is important, because I really WOULD like to get married someday. 🙂
(In case you’re wondering, we still haven’t set a date, and probably won’t until I’m employed again, as it seems somewhat unwise to schedule a big expensive party when the finances are uncertain.)
So, I will drop a note to Lillian seeing if she has any further thoughts, but meanwhile start preparing to cut the sample warp off the loom and wind a new one in 60/2 silk. 12″ wide x 60 epi = 720 threads, a very manageable number, at least compared to this last warp. I’m hoping to get it onto the loom in one all-out, gosh-darn-golly-whiz intensive day on Wednesday. (Tomorrow I am visiting with some friends from India and running some errands.)
So stay tuned, soon there will be ANOTHER sample warp, and then (dare I say it?) hopefully some real YARDAGE!!