Over and over and over again

I haven’t kept track of how many times I’ve started this warp over and I didn’t take pictures, but I THINK I can remember them all. Here’s the history.

At the Weavers’ Guild Holiday Sale – the 2018 one – I purchased several hand dyed cotton mini-skeins, ranging from 130 yards to 480 yards. The yarn was all a beautiful 10/2 cotton and the colors looked great together. I finally got to them a few weeks ago. Here are some bits of the skeins, with some duplication.

JR dyed mini skeins

I set up the swift near my warping mill and started winding a warp for three scarves directly from my swift, one skein at a time. I got about 2/3 of the way through the colors when I realized that I didn’t like the way the warp would look – totally striped and not good. I walked away and slept on it. The next morning I felt the same, so I began unwinding the warp.

Just as unweaving is much slower than weaving, unwinding is much slower than winding. Each color had to be wound into a ball as I went.

Once that was accomplished, I started over with the winding, but this time I held 3 strands of yarn together, winding them at the same time. As one color ran out I replaced it with another. Now I was happy, so I beamed the warp.

JR RD warp on the back beam

I threaded the loom for a 6H point twill with tabby selvedges and sett the warp at 24 EPI (ends per inch). I had a lovely brown 10/2 cotton for the weft and wove only about an inch before realizing there was a problem. The plain weave selvedges had a much different take-up than the twill center and had to be sett wider. So I unwove, untied the edges, and sett the plain weave selvedges at 20 EPI.

I wove about an inch again and saw that this still wasn’t working as planned. Again I unwove and untied those edges. This time I also re-threaded those selvedges to be the same 6H point twill.

I wove that first inch for the third time, now realizing that I wasn’t getting the overall look I wanted. The color of the weft was a bit overpowering. I loved the subtlety of the warp colors. I wanted a more warp-dominant look.

You can see the unweaving coming again, right? This time I re-sett the warp at 28 EPI, hoping that was close enough for the warp to shine.

Wove an inch of straight treadling again. Wanted to see still more warp, so decided I’d do some leno to show it off. Tried 2-2 and took it out. Tried 3-3 and took it out. Tried 6-6 – yeah that was the right scale. But going from twill to leno and back to twill was problemmatic. So I tried some basket weave after. That seemed better, so I had to take out the basket weave and the leno, put in a few rows of basket weave, and re-do the leno.

Did I want just one row of leno or two? Wove about 1/2″ of twill with point treadling, put in a few more picks of basket weave, and another row of leno. A few more picks of basket weave and another inch of twill with straight treadling. Then I had to walk away for the night and come back and look at it later.

Not happy. Not happy at all. It all needed to come out. But instead of unweaving I decided I’d just cut it all out. Still time consuming, but not as bad as unweaving. As I was doing so I realized that I was having tension issues, with one side of the warp much tighter than the other. So instead of re-tying to fix this issue, I decided to switch to lashing on.

Finally I’m moving forward. I have about 25″ woven. Here’s the top…

JR-RD scarf 1, top

…and the bottom, which I prefer.

JR-RD scarf 1, bottom

The overall look is still not exactly what I had in mind. I’ve auditioned a few other wefts, and will definitely try a soft green for scarf #2, but I don’t think I’ll be starting over (re-threading or re-setting) again. Then again, who knows?

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