Pink is for Girls

winding yarn skeinsAfter consideration, I decided I’d weave my next three scarves for Jan’s Scarf A Day challenge out of bamboo-cotton. It’s lightweight enough to be good for spring and summer, and I recently got all those great new handpainted colors in from Tammy.

So I started by winding those lovely handpainted skeins into balls. Check out the yarn swift and ball winder process vs. the old one with two kindergarden chairs.

I got Tammy’s very girly Think Pink colorway wound on the back beam, and was so pleasantly reminded about how easy it is to work with compared to the rayon chenille I’ve been weaving with for months. It went SO QUICKLY I was ready to weave in no time. It also helped that I sett this yarn at 12 EPI vs. rayon chenille’s 16 EPI, and that, since I wanted spring and summer weight, I was making the scarves narrower. So 108 ends instead of 160 – lots less time threading heddles & reed and tying onto the front apron.
tabby pink bamboo cotton handwoven scarf
I wove the first scarf in tabby weave.  I used Tammy’s yarns enough to know that this would produce a semi-regular plaid effect.  The weaving moved along quickly and easily, but the scarf wasn’t quite as wide as I wanted it to be; I should have used 12 more warp threads for another inch.  Oh well, too late now.  Just move on to the second.
twill pink handwoven scarf
Having been threaded on a straight draw (1-2-3-4-1-2-3-4), I wove the second scarf in a 2/2 twill. I wove 12 rows to the left, then returned and did 12 to the right, for the length of the scarf. It’s really interesting how differently the colors interplay just by changing the weaving pattern, isn’t it? On to the third scarf.
pink handwoven scarf
I know what you’re thinking now, “Gee, that looks just like the first one.” Well, it is and it isn’t. It isn’t because this one has taken 6 hours at the loom instead of the 2 or so it should have taken. How is that possible? I decided to try something new.

First of all, this scarf will be different when it’s finished because I’m going to make it into an infinity scarf. I had tried a version of this previously with rayon chenille, making a scarf-hood combo, but I wasn’t overly happy with the results. I thought the seam was too bulky. This infinity scarf will be lighter weight fiber, narrower, and substantially longer. I THINK I can make the seam look good and lay nicely.

Because of this planned use, I really wanted the scarf to be a bit wider. Just one more inch would make me much happier. So I prepared 12 lengths of yarn, threaded 12 heddles and the reed at the left side, and tied them off and weighted them. Now, I’ve added plenty of warp threads before when something broke, or when I realized as I was threading that I’d inadvertently wound too few warp threads. So I figured I could handle this without a problem.

WRONG!! I tried and tried. First I wove about 12″ with the weighted 12 warp threads. Despite all the tricks I was trying in the weaving process and the various methods I used to weight the threads, the left edge was completely unacceptable. I unwove everything. I took those new threads out of the loom. I cut off the two completed scarves and unwound the remaining yarn on the back beam. I tied the 12 new threads onto the rear apron, sleyed the reed to keep them separate, and re-wound everything on the back beam. Threaded the heddles, re-sleyed the reed, and tied the yarns to the front apron. Started weaving.

It was pretty immediately clear that the 12 new threads, for reasons I wasn’t even going to try to figure out, were not the same tension as the initial 108. DAMN!!! At that point I’d wasted too much time, so I unwove the few inches I’d done and simply pulled them out of the heddles and reed, and started weaving with the 108. It would have to be wide enough.

I’ll get that scarf off the loom this evening, and I’ll let you know how it goes to make that double seam to turn it into an infinity scarf.

Your turn – Can you successfully add width to a warp that’s already wound? If so, please share your tricks.

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>