Wonky Edge Resolved

hanging warp threadsYou’d think after weaving a few hundred pieces, I’d know some things instantly. Not so.

A few days ago I talked about weaving on my new/old Macomber loom. I mentioned that I had a wobbly right selvedge on my cottolin napkins. On the first handwoven napkin, I was too focused on the functioning of the new loom and the new pattern to pay enough attention.

On the second napkin I was determined to correct the problem. I paid lots of attention to my weaving on the right selvedge. I could make it a bit better, but it wasn’t good. I paid attention to how I did the left selvedge, doing my best to replicate that – no real success. I was frustrated.

All of a sudden, the light bulb when off in my head. DUH! The problem wasn’t what I was or wasn’t doing with my hands and the shuttle, but rather that the edge threads weren’t the right tension. See those hanging warp threads I added at the edge of the warp? I didn’t have enough weight on them, so they weren’t the same tension as the rest of the warp. That’s why I couldn’t get my right selvedge smooth.

selvedge repairedAs soon as I figured that out and added the appropriate amount of weight, things went quite smoothly. You can see in the picture exactly where I figured it out, and would be able to find it even if I hadn’t put in the big blue arrow.

I’m betting I won’t make that particular mistake again in my handweaving. There are plenty of new ones to make, I’m sure! Like forgetting to throw the locking weft thread in the Atwater-Bronson lace in a few places on those same napkins, requiring off-loom repairs.

Ah, well. At least by the time I got to the runner, I was well into the pattern, and got that all right. Overall, I’m happy with my first attempt at handwoven table linens. When I get the napkins fixed and hemmed, I’ll share them with you.

Your turn — what was one of your light bulb moments in your chosen field of endeavor?

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