Progress and problems

I sewed the masks for my grandsons in a sort of assembly line fashion. Cut out all the masks. Then, starting with the masks for the 5th grader, did step 1 on all masks, then step 2 on all masks, and so on through all steps. Repeat with the masks for the kindergartener.

32 masks sewn

After this photo was taken I threaded the elastic in all 32 masks. I won’t tie the knots until I’m with the boys to make sure I get the length right. I also found two more fabrics that the 5th grader approved so each boy has 18 new masks.

Then it was time to weave some rayon chenille for that gallery. I planned to weave 2 scarves and 2 shawls. I wanted to try a diversified plain weave for the scarves, as I’ve not done that before. That involved using a combination of Tencel and rayon chenille in both warp and weft.

I wound the warp and really liked the way it looked after it was chained.

fire everywhere warp

But AAAARRRGGGHHH!!!! The instant it left the warping mill I started kicking myself. I’d forgotten to tie the cross. In fact, I’d not put in a single choke tie! This is bad enough with any warp, but rayon chenille is notoriously ‘sticky’, with threads jumping onto and twisting into their neighbors until back under tension on the loom.

I tried to finger thread my way through the cross and put the lease sticks in. As soon as I tried to spread it in the raddle it was clear that I’d done a horrible job of choosing the threads for the cross.

On to Plan B. That was to cut the ends of the warp threads and roughly re-thread the lease sticks in what I sort of thought was the order. I did that, but as soon as I started winding on the back beam it was clear that once again I hadn’t chosen the threads well and there were so many tangles that I couldn’t wind the warp.

Now, it was time to walk away for a bit. Plan C emerged while I had dinner with a friend. Untie those knots I’d made in Plan B. Pull everything out of the lease sticks. Go a few feet back from the end and do that thing you’re not supposed to do – comb the warp. I took a bundle of threads that I estimated to be a few inches wide and gently and carefully combed down to the end of the warp. Once I got there I simply divided that in half and put it in the lease sticks, through the raddle, and tied another knot. I worked my way across the width of the warp.

It was far from perfect, but I was able to get the warp beamed. I figured I’d invested enough time already that it was worth threading and see if I could weave. I’d had to cut length on both ends so knew I wouldn’t get 2 scarves from the warp, but was hoping I could get one.

I started weaving and things were going reasonably well. Although I had sort of forgotten how much longer it takes for a two-shuttle weave than using a single shuttle.

fires everywhere scarves on the loom

Of course, the more I wove and advanced the warp, the more the tangles behind the heddles were apparent. After I got one scarf woven I decided it was time to cut that dog off the loom and ‘waste’ the rest of the warp. Far better than continuing to waste my time. After hemming and wet finishing, the scarf is nice and soft. I won’t be in a hurry to do a diversified plain weave again, though.

fire everywhere scarf wet finished

And I am positive I won’t forget to do choke ties for a while.

6 comments to Progress and problems

  • Jennifer+Petschke

    OH MY GOSH! It is a lovely scarf. I respect your willingness to toss trouble to the curb.

    • Peg Cherre

      Thanks, Jennifer. “Toss trouble to the curb” – great phrase. Wish I’d caught on decades ago.

  • Judy+T

    Despite all your angst and troubles with this one, the result is lovely!

  • Susan Poague

    Lovely scarf! I am a fan of DPW, and I think it is worth hassling with two shuttles. The drape is wonderful, totally worth it.

    • Peg Cherre

      Thanks, Susan. I’ve never had an issue with the drape of rayon chenille used for both warp and weft, & have in fact always found it lovely. For my planned shawls, I’m going to do just tencel for warp and just rayon chenille for weft. And a simple twill with 2 end floats. I’m trusting it will be okay. (Can you see my fingers crossed?) Do you want to tell me now I should change my plans?

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