Saturday, August 15, 2009

Loomer madness

The weaver's lesson for the week?  Choose a strong thread for the warp.  Learn from my mistake.

I recieved a loom on Tuesday.  Less than 30.00 on ebay for a 20" rigid heddle loom, MIB.  Yay me!  The instructions are stilted and confusing, German translated to English.  (That totally explains WHY it's MIB).  I've put a call out for Rigid Heddle Weaving at my library, but it's not in yet.  I want to set it up and go!  I talk to Daryl, and look at Youtube videos, but I am resolute.

Later, I gave in to temptation, and put the warp threads on.  I have some free laceweight alpaca and some Colinette scraps, so I use them. I thought it would be fun to stripe it (you know I can't ever ever do things plain).  The alpaca catches on itself and tangles, annoying the crap out of me.  I keep coming upon weird bits of alpaca, but it doesn't dawn on me.

Warped and ready to go.  It's odd; I have a place in the set up where the tension sags.  I investigate, and discover that the alpaca just isn't strong enough to handle the stress, and is tearing.

I am back to thread one!


Libby said...

I'm anxious to see the outcome!

smariek said...

I know you will figure it all out and then show us something faaaabulous.

Gryffinitter said...

You can get a spindle and twist the alpaca more and see if that helps. It would make for a crinkly fabric, but, unlike knitting, not a biased one.

You could also size the warp and see if that helps. There are probably a jillion recipes online - some people use powdered milk.

However, for your first project, I stongly suggest you find (in your stash or elsewhere) some nice strong cotton in a fine weight, and go with that. Linen is even better, but more expensive and you might not have it around. Failing that, look at your sock yarn stash -that stuff is USUALLY MULTI_PLY (I am talking about your average, not Noro or Mini-Mochi) and should do fine.

And Discontinued yarns has sockotta on sale in two nice variegated colors, 20 bucks for a back of five... I am quite certain that would work....

Cindy G said...

Darn, how frustrating! Your warp looks so pretty as it is. But you probably do have something stronger in your stash, and if not, well a new reason to buy more yarn really isn't a bad thing, is it?

Anonymous said...

Oh Bets, Sorry to hear of novice problems. T gives good advice. I have used wool but not alpaca as warp (brown sheep fingering yarn and some other wools). The warp must be a strong yarn so sock yarn with 25% nylon is good idea. Also be sure the yarn is a plyed yarn. Single strands do not make satisfactory warp. Try to make tension on warp threads tight, but only enough to make an adequate shed to place your shuttle thru.
Best of perserverence to you. I'll keep you in my thoughts!