Finished weaving project 30: a colour and weave sampler

Weaving project 30 is a second attempt at the colour and weave sampler from The Weaver’s Idea book. This time using my newly purchased 12.5dpi dent with the same yarn (Patons Diploma Gold 4ply) as my last attempt.

Having spent a week away the other week without the internet for distraction I actually read and re-read several chapters from the Learning to Weave book and had time to think over what I’d tried and learned so far.

So, this time I attempted to calculate the length of warp I would actually need. I knew that the sample should be square, and that I was going to have an 8 inch warp (at the reed). So, I’d need 8 inches for the finished item. Plus an inch on either end for fringe. Plus then a 10% take-up allowance. So, 11 inches plus loom waste. (Note: I deliberately ignored shrinkage on this project because I figured (rightly or wrongly) that shrinkage would occur in both weft and warp and therefore it should counterbalance)

I had a rough idea of what the loom waste for me/my loom was, but it wasn’t very exact, so one of the other parts of this project was to get a clearer, more accurate, idea. I allowed 24 inches, and therefore calculated a warp length of 35 inches (90 cm).

This was my first solo warping attempt (Richard was out at an event) and despite my trepidation I got on ok, possibly better though I suspect that is down to ever increasing experience.

I used some DK, and some chunky, yarns as a header and this worked well for me, it evened out the warp threads to a point where I was comfortable. A good start. And one that basically used 12 inches of warp thread to get to — this becoming my starting loom waste figure.

I used 3 picks for my hemstitching, and wove the first 20 picks of the pattern before doing that hemstitching — that meant that I had sufficient amount of fabric to keep it solid. Again, a much better start. I also took this opportunity to have a quick measure, and realised that whilst my weaving wasn’t exactly balanced, it was much better than my last attempt. Yay!

The warp and weft were used in the same orders as follows:

  • 20 x grey
  • 1 x red, 1 x grey - 10 times
  • 2 x red, 2 x grey - 5 times
  • 1 x red, 2 x grey - 7 times
  • 1 x red, 3 x grey - 5 times

which means that there have been a lot of combinations used and it works well to get an idea of what is possible just by a bit of colour play.

When I finished the final section of the pattern, I still had a few inches of usable warp left, so I figured I’d use some more of the red yarn and weave a small piece of fabric that I could use as a bookmark. Or a woven caterpillar!

A woven caterpillar

This was a useful exercise as I basically wove until the shed was a bit tight and I couldn’t comfortably do any more, which gave me a waste figure for the back end of the loom - 10 inches. Making a total of 22 inches of loom waste. My guess of 24 inches wasn’t too bad considering I basically calculated that from the scarf dimensions (length of warp — length of finished scarf including fringe etc).

Just prior to removal

I hemstitched everything and then cut the warp. I trimmed the fringes to something looking approximately right.

Post removal, pre washing

And then I washed both pieces. The previous two times I’ve just put them into the washing machine, but this time I decided to hand agitate them. So, I put a small amount of washing liquid into a bowl of water and soaked it for a few minutes before agitating it around quite a bit. Then a cold rinse and a bit of a squeeze to get the excess of water out before blocking the pieces.


The finished piece is 7.5” x 7” so, as I indicated before, not quite square but much closer to being balanced than the previous two attempts so I’m quite pleased with progress. It looks pretty much how it did in the book which is also good news and will provide a useful reminder for how the different colours can work together to make interesting patterns. It feels a bit as if things are starting to come together, so I’m calling this one a success!