The loom has been sitting there needing attention for ages and I finally stopped procrastinating. Winter is a real challenge to get stuff done. I knew there would be threading errors; there are always threading errors when I do a loom. So I cracked out a good light and checked over the warp and found two. One required that I undo about four inches and re-thread everything, yuch. But the other was much easier. I just needed to move everything over by one thread in the reed. Very easy to fix.
All that needs to be done is wind 4.5 yards of warp yarn onto a bobbin, weight it, thread it through the empty space available in the reed and the harness, and let it hang out the back of the loom. The harness is the part of the loom that goes up and down and raises the threads and has wire “eyes” for each thread. I just use a very lightweight to keep the bobbin dragging a little. In this case, I used napkin rings.
Next, I had to load up the really nice ski shuttle specifically designed for rag and rug weaving. The tools for weaving are sometimes the most beautiful things you can imagine, really beautifully made with an elegant design.
After a few passes, I noticed more threading errors. I fixed them and then noticed another. It became obvious the problem was the lovely ski shuttle was damaging the warp. I did a bit of research online and found out that the shuttles need to be maintained to a very high degree. The bottom of the shuttle needs to be polished and extremely smooth, none of my hand me downs were of that quality. I’ll fix them later, but for now, I needed an alternate solution. Back to fixing the warp.
I dug around in my baskets and found a different sort of rag shuttle along with several stick shuttles. The stick shuttle is a slower method of weaving, but it is all I had. I was really pleased with how well it worked.
The silk is weaving up softer and more flexible than I thought, the colours seem very compatible and I’m pleased with the results. The strips are attached with small knots and these are being used as design elements. I like the way they look when they pop up out of the warp. Because this is an experiment I will try to hold in my optimism for this to become the jacket I had hoped for; that might be too aspirational, but I am aiming in that direction if I can get enough yardage, but for now, I’m really pleased with how things are moving along.