Before I learned about the mechanics of the loom and weaving, I had no concept of how different patterns are created in the fabric. Through demonstrations and lots of reading, I have learned little by little. I finally felt comfortable enough with the weaving to try something new… a next step, if you will…
Knitters: this is the equivalent of getting enough courage to move past garter stitch and trying the knit-and-purl action of stockinette!
I am experimenting with twills. On my own. (Yes, I did twills under the supervision of a very capable teacher, but this time it is 100% me – I tied up my treadles, threaded it, knotted it and set it all up!)
The loom is like an organ or a piano. If you think of it that way, you can visualize the mechanics easier. SIX treadles / pedals. Treadles 1 – 4 are tied to two of the harnesses (the frames that move up and down and create the shed, for you to pass your shuttle through to create the fabric – there is a whole new vocabulary that comes with weaving!) to form the twill pattern you see here. Treadles 5 and 6 are tied up in a plain weave pattern (also called “tabby”) which is your standard over/under woven fabric.
You can see that I did a twill pattern for the top portion, creating a kind of diamond or flame effect. Twills can take a number of different shapes, and this one is a common pattern. After the twill I moved back to a plain weave pattern. I chose to do these twill stripes with little bits of plain weave in between to add some dimension.
The eagle-eyed among you might have caught my “oops” in the first photo: the left side had a broken warp thread. The whole “warp thread breaking” has become a frequent occurrence around my house. I have a theory that it is because of the reed I am using.
My loom came with a 6-dent reed, and I have been using it steadily since I got the loom last month. However, I am realizing that it may not be the best fit for finer threads and smaller fabric widths that I am working with… Each time I bring the beater back to put the weft threads in place, the reed is weakening the threads at each end of the warp. Eventually, they break because the reed is too wide-spaced and slowly wears the thread down to its last fiber. *snap*
So, in case there are any weavers reading today: is my theory correct? is this why my threads are breaking left and right? do I need to make wider projects with more ends per inch? would a second reed – a 10-dent, perhaps? – be the key?
I still have so much to learn!!
…and I want to finish this one up so that I can get that rag rug warped up!
PS–Many thanks for your comments on the last post. I am still smiling, and I sincerely hope that you are too!