Knit Flix

Sunday, February 27, 2011

New loom, new project, and lessons learned

My first project on the Gilmore is a chenille scarf. From what I read about weaving with chenille, it needs to be woven tightly to reduce the chances of worming*. I decided to go with a sett of 20 epi and a plain weave.

Chenille warp

I'm using Madelyn van der Hoogt's warping method from her Warping Your Loom DVD and if I had followed her instructions instead of trying to do my own thing (sigh), I'm convinced I wouldn't have had any issues. Instead I strayed off the tried and true path and had a "learning experience."

Where I went wrong was rather than sleying the reed at a table as the video shows, I tried sleying it at the loom. That was not a good idea. Even though I had lease sticks securing the cross, I left very short ends to work with (another mistake) and the chenille got charged with static. Between trying to hold everything and reaching around the reed with the threading tool, the cross became less and less obvious and I got frustrated.

I was worried that if I continued with what I was doing I'd have a royal tangle on my hands that I might not be able to correct. I stopped.

With the lease sticks and cross in my left hand and the warp chain under my left arm, I unscrewed the beater bar with my right hand (easier said than done) and carried the whole mess, reed and all, to a table to do what was demonstrated in the video. By then the cross, although still intact, was even more difficult to see. It took quite a while to straighten things out and eventually the reed was sleyed.

The warp was only 4 yds long and I hoped that the front-to-back warping method would allow me to straighten out any order issues while still winding on a tight warp. In spite of the strands that wanted to fly away because of the static and the rest that wanted to cling together because of the sticky quality of chenille, I ended up with a well-ordered, nicely tensioned warp. Thank you Madelyn, your method saved me from myself.

Lessons learned:

  • Put the cross farther in from the end on the warping board until I'm more comfortable picking up individual strands from the cross.

  • Sley the reed at a table. It's easier and more comfortable than sleying at the loom.

  • Tie the choke farther from the cross so there's more length to work with when the choke is tied to the front beam.

  • Follow instructions until I know what I'm doing.

Here it is, my first WIP on the Gilmore.

Chenille scarf
Project details on Ravelry

*Chenille is notorious for having twists of yarn that resemble worms pop up in a finished fabric. Worming can occur in knit or woven chenille.

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  • Ah, learning opportunities, so much fun!
    It is looking quite lovely.

    By Anonymous Maia, at 2/27/2011 1:01 PM  

  • Looking good! Happy weaving!

    By Blogger Ann, at 3/01/2011 4:05 PM  

  • Wow, I'm surprised that this yarn held up for the warp.The chenille i've worked with has such a fine, useless binder threat that I would never try it as a warp.

    So great to see you learning a whole new vocabulary & experience at the loom!

    By Blogger spinnity, at 3/02/2011 12:58 AM  

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