I spent all day yesterday weaving like a maniac, using 24 different colors fading from fuchsia to electric blue, and then back again, in the larger goose-eye pattern. Then I cut it off the loom, looked at it, and…
…words fail me.
Unfortunately, so do photos – it doesn’t look nearly as good in the photos as it does in real life. But here are two poor excuses for what it really looks like:
It is just beautiful, especially when the light comes at an angle and the full iridescence comes into play. In the darker blues, it practically glows.
So I am VERY pleased with the results of this experiment. Must play further with woven iridescence, later.
I also discovered a handy new technique when working with straight draw: treadling the hemstitching!. I was preparing to do the hemstitching as I usually do, picking the yarns out of the reed, when it suddenly dawned on me that I could easily pick out bunches of 4, 6, or 8 threads simply by having the loom raise the appropriate shafts! So that’s exactly what I did. I created a draft that raised shafts 1-4, then 5-8, then 9-12, and so on, and treadled to lift each group of threads for hemstitching. It was significantly faster than earlier attempts, and also more comfortable, since I wasn’t bending over with my nose in the reed. I must remember this for later work. Not always possible, but handy when it works.
Diane asked how I beamed this warp and whether I was happy with the results! I was very happy! I beamed it by tying very tight choke ties near the back of the warp, about a foot behind the cross (which, the way Laura does it, goes on first), and using them to even out the warp near the back end after pre-sleying the reed. I then tied knots (in lieu of loops) and laced the knots to the back beam. Then I beamed on as per the instructions I posted a few posts back.
It was more challenging to beam on since the yarns weren’t quite identically aligned, and the lease sticks got “stuck” from time to time (possibly because I didn’t have enough weight, more likely because the yarns weren’t under even tension) but it wove off very nicely, no problems with tension or loose threads. I did have to cut about 2″ off one side of the warp to accommodate the unused heddles (which were playing havoc with the left selvage), but that had nothing to do with the beaming on – it behaved perfectly as soon as I took off the “extra” threads. (I could have removed the extra heddles, of course, but it was easier and quicker to leave them on, especially since I’ll have to put them back on for the dress fabric. Adding and subtracting heddles from 24 shafts is a time-consuming and frustrating process, and I’d just as soon skip it unless absolutely necessary.)
Today and tomorrow I have all-day classes in project management, so not much weaving will get done. But I plan to start putting on a new warp. Debating whether to make it the painted rayon chenille (which I doubt will work correctly, due to the way I wound it) or a new warp, in 2/20 white mohair. I’m inclined to do the mohair, but should perhaps give the rayon chenille and alpaca/wool (?) mix a chance, first.