I have had a focus on doubleweaving this year. When I started to weave I wanted to weave the window pane design. My first attempt was disastrous and although the final table runner was OK I wasn’t keen to have another go any time soon. Purchasing Jennifer Moores ’Doubleweave’ book supported my next go. Whilst I now understand how it works I do still find I need to concentrate!

This week I set up the loom using 4 ply superwash merino. 312 ends with the aim of having 9 panes across the weave woven at 7.5epi in each layer (15epi doubled). The first 45cm was removed and washed. Whilst the sample fabric was good the fact it was superwash meant that there was little shrinkage. I decided to rethread the reed to increase the sett slightly to 8.7epi which I was happy with. The sample was made into a cushion and the first 2m of the higher sett woven into a shawl.

2/17nm Merino Lambswool

One of my favourite yarns to weave with is 2/17nm lambswool, woven on a set of 15epi. Initially I wasn’t terribly impressed when my first few cones arrived. It breaks easily and feels quite rough to the touch which isn’t what I want when making scarves, shawls and cowls. However, when woven the washing and fulling process work a form of magic – a hot soap and water wash removes the spinning oils and transforms the fabric into the most luxurious soft fabric which never ceases to delight.

Celebrating little successes

I continue to be excited whenever someone purchases one of my woven scarves, cowls or shawls. I don’t sell anything I don’t love myself and often it is hard to part with things. However, I know that if I want to keep weaving I need to sell things so that there is at least an equilibrium with respect to wool in and out of the house. Several independent makers describe doing a little dance when an item is purchased and I am no different. It is such a wonderful feeling when someone loves a piece as much as I have loved creating it. So, today I celebrate my 300th Etsy sale which feels like something to cheer about in a little way. I have recently also started selling on Folksy which is a U.K. based Etsy equivalent so it will be interesting to see how that goes.

My 300th Etsy sale – a gorgeous merino, cashmere and alpaca shawl.

Luxury sample

The issue of the snapping threads discussed in my previous post has had a benefit…. After rethreading and resolving the issue I was left with a 45cm length of weave which could be used as a sample. The fabric was washed to full and dried. I am delighted with the fabric and this is a real boost because I am now confident that the remaining 7.5m of the warp is going to produce the most lovely fabric which will make beautiful scarves, cowls, bags, and shawls. I have made a simple infinity cowl scarf which was is on Folksy for purchase now.

Learning all the time

Focus this week has been the weaving of a wide 1m piece of cloth made from 2/17nm merino lambswool – 8m of over 600 ends (sett at 15epi) in a gradation of colours from blue to purple to lilac to blue green. After a few hours of measuring the warp and a day of dressing the loom I was ready to weave. It became immediately apparently when weaving that something wasn’t quite right as threads were snapping at each edge. After 45cm of weaving I had lost over 25 ends at each end…….

A little reading later and I found a number of possible solutions. I decided that I really ought to tie back the spare heddles which were rubbing on the threads at the edges, I ought to give greater yarn slack on each pick and that winding on more frequently and using a temple might help. A homemade temple was made using two large crocodile clips bolted into a pieced of predrilled wood. The idea of the temple was to pull the woven fabric out across the loom to ensure that the selvedge edges were in line with the slots on the reed thus preventing drawing in of the cloth upon weaving. To my delight this approach was pretty much successful with only the odd thread breaking (on the left hand side only?).