Today I finished threading, sleying, tying on, and weaving the first two feet or so of the fabric. I’ve been experimenting with a variety of weft colors, and ALL of them have come out gorgeous – something I had totally not expected given a bright orange warp. Even the faded-denim blue which I used for the header looked marvelous!
And the iridescence….WOW!!! If you have never played with woven iridescence, do not walk, RUN to your loom and try it! I am wild with delight. I haven’t had a chance to get the fabric off the loom yet, but just looking at it with the light at an oblique angle shows off the color changes. And the glow of the silk makes it just fantastic.
Once I finish my samples, I am considering what to do for the shawl. I’m definitely going to make it a color-changing shawl, but I’m trying to think of how best to show off the color changes. Iridescence shows up best in plainweave, so I definitely want to keep a strong plainweave component, but I also want something slightly more complex, and maybe something that involves deflected threads. The only restriction I have is that it must be weavable on a twenty-four-shaft straight draw, because that’s what the threading is.
So there are a LOT of options. I think it might even be something as simple as plainweave with small goose-eye diamonds, maybe one diamond every repeat. Just enough to give the eye something to rest on.
I think that (once I finish up with the first set of samples) I’m going to sample this pattern:
I worry a little bit about whether the areas of diamonds, having fewer interlacements, would produce tension problems eventually; I also worry a little bit about those sections collapsing inwards, since, again, they have fewer interlacements. But this is what sampling is for!
I expect to finish weaving off this warp tomorrow and to start putting on a new warp of fine white mohair (of the non-fuzzy type). I’m thinking that for this one, I’ll make one more attempt at making back-to-front warping work with the warping wheel. If that doesn’t work, I’m going to go to Kathy’s suggestion of putting a tension box on the warping wheel and using it to warp sectionally. (Alas, I have neither a warping mill nor room for one; I agree with Kate that it would be the best solution.)
I actually don’t think it’s the warping wheel at fault; I think my problem with sectional beaming is that my sections do not line up exactly. So I will try using the plain beaming method first.