Work has been insanely busy, but I carved out a few hours on Saturday to try fixing the loom. Mike and I tried quite a few adjustments and checked lots of things, but weren’t able to figure out why shafts 36-40 are sporadically floating. At this point I’m thinking it may be related to the warp and the threading – I am using two warp beams, and have one warp threaded on shafts 1-20 and the other threaded on shafts 21-40. I’m guessing that the tension on shafts 21-40 is somehow too high, which is causing the float. But when I reduce the tension, threads start sticking. Foo.
So after sober reflection, I’ve decided to cut off the shadow weave warp. I think I could probably get it working eventually, but I can’t afford to spend the next month or two fiddling with it – I have a sample exchange deadline coming up in February, so I need to have some actual woven cloth before then!
But more importantly, I need to focus on the book, and I can have only one primary focus. This warp is complex and difficult. It’s a challenge. But what I need right now is “comfort” weaving, something pleasant that I can use as a break from writing. At the moment it feels like I’m banging my head against two projects at once. So, much as I hate to do it, the shadow weave warp has got to go.
Which does not mean that I’m giving up on the project! Far from it – but I’m putting it on hold until the book is a bit further along.
I won’t get out the scissors until January (when we return from visiting family), but I’m already thinking about the next project. This is an exciting opportunity to weave something relatively simple and mindless, using up some of my thicker threads. There are a number of yarns I’ve wanted to experiment with for awhile, but was always too deep in some big complicated project to try.
I think the first thing to try is the sea turtles. Remember this draft?
I had originally intended to weave it up on a 140/2 silk warp with 60/2 silk/cashmere as the “heavy” thread. But I don’t want to put on another superfine-thread warp right now. So I’m thinking I might drop back a notch and weave it with a 60/2 silk ground warp and a 2/30 nm cashmere pattern thread. That will be much easier to weave.
I’m thinking a 12″ scarf, which would be quick and easy to thread. Keeping the width to 12″ would also allow me to weave a second scarf using some qiviut (musk ox) yarn given to me by a friend. I don’t have much of it, so every bit is precious – but I think I have enough for a scarf. If I can figure out how to draw it, I’ll likely do a musk ox head – though that might be challenging to make look good, as a preliminary image search suggests that musk ox heads look distressingly similar to a shapeless blob with horns. I need to do something symmetric, as I’m using a point threading. I would really like to use something with an Arctic theme, so if you have ideas, comment away!