In which we (re)learn the thing about not all threads being equal

Weaving Project 19

Following on from the relative, eventual, success of weaving project 18 I decided that it was time to break out one of the threads I’d bought at The Handweavers studio back in June. Learning from project 18 I made a few changes to my setup:

  • I wove the ends with 4 rows using a white cotton instead of my more usual chain stitch as a spacer (not sure what the proper weaving term is but I use it to try and make the warp evenly distributed)
  • I turned the frame. So, I was working from the opposite end to usual (I usually weave with the starting tie up part of my warp at the top) which, combined with the woven spacers above, seemed to help towards consistency
  • I worked with a ruler by my side so that I could concentrate on getting the panels after the brooks bouquet much more even
  • I used my cutting board and sharp knife to get the ends to be much neater than I’ve previously managed with scissors

Again I used an embroidery silk as the warp, and I used an 8nm wool weft. This weft turned out to be not as strong or resilient as the cotton I used in the last piece and so I had a couple of false starts when I tugged too tightly on it. It definitely requires a gentle touch. I’m glad I waited until now to use this wool as otherwise it would have been really frustrating and the kind of thing that may have put me off.

Because this is a natural spun wool, it’s a much more matt finish, and it also has much more texture than any of my previous projects. Richard described it as more rustic less wow. I do like it though, and I’m really pleased with the weaving elements - it is much better and more even than the previous attempt. And the texture is exactly why I bought this thread over summer, to start to understand more about texture and how the different textures affect my satisfaction with the work. I am also wondering how it would have looked on a less closely colour matched warp, maybe on a cream or a white or something, something to make it stand out rather than blend in. I might go to the opposite extreme next and try out my silk thread (if I can stop stroking it for long enough that is) and then might come back to this, or a similar green thread, but go less colour matched and more complementary coloured instead.

Disclaimer: post written in early November and held back until after Christmas. If the tenses don’t make sense, assume this is the reason :-)