Not the Same

You may recall that back when I was watching my grandson for a week I brought the Missouri loom with me, with a rayon warp already wound on the back beam. Without thinking about it, I had warped it with enough length for four huck lace scarves. In solid black. Black is clearly the most challenging color to work with, wanting really good light to see everything. Of course I didn’t bring a light with me – I had a car entirely full of everything from dog bed to loom, pillowcases to sew to clothes for a week. Light? Never crossed my mind. I wasn’t going to be working outside, after all, I was working in my daughter’s house.

Hah! The room I needed to work in, her office, is well enough lit for an office, but not for weaving. Certainly not for weaving with black. I made do, using mostly the natural light coming from the window with all that bounce off the snow. It was nice and bright, but not exactly where I needed it to be. I figured I’d do okay since the loom gives me a nice wide shed — all I had to do was go a little slower and pay attention to feel.

The good news is that I’ve now wet finished and pressed those scarves & I don’t think I made any weaving errors. The bad news is that my beating was CLEARLY much harder than it is at home on my counterbalance, harder than I would have liked. If I could have seen the work in progress clearly I surely could have made it be the way I wanted it to be.

Here’s what I mean.
rayon windows contrast

On the left is the periwinkle rayon, same size as the black, same threading, same treadling, woven on the counterbalance at home. On the right is the black, woven on the Missouri at my daughter’s.

I much prefer the ‘squareness’ and balance of warp and weft on the periwinkle. That’s also more correct – the way the weave is supposed to be. I trust someone will be fine with the black, it just won’t be me. (Note: in each warp of 4 scarves I wove two of the scarves in a typical all-over-huck, 2 of them in this, which I call – incorrectly – huck windows. One of these days I’ll learn the correct terminology & have it stick in my brain.)

Next time, if there is one, I’ll both remember not to bring black yarn and to bring a clip on light for the loom. Live and learn – that’s the best we can do.

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