Weaving Woes

Pretty on both sides

Pretty on both sides

My 3-Color Inkle Pick-Up band is done and off the loom.  While I enjoyed weaving this band, it did not come out as well as I had hoped.  The design is beautiful and even, but the width of the band varies considerably.  It was difficult for me to maintain a consistent width.  I plan to weave another band, this time with Omega Sinfonia, and I think the second band will work out better.  I have a different design in mind for it.  I will give it a try to see how it looks.  I think the practice I gained from the first project in this new technique will pay off as I weave this new band.  It always seems as though I make every project twice.  I haven’t wet-finished or blocked my band yet.  It may make it better – it may make it worse – perhaps it won’t change it at all.

See the narrowing at the heavier motif?

See the narrowing at the heavier motif?

One problem is that I had too many warps for the width I was trying to weave.  Consistently pulling my weft for extra draw-in creates its own challenges.  It’s ideal to let the band be the natural width it wants to be, then maintain straight sides, checking frequently to be sure things aren’t drifting.  There is such a difference between trying to weave a band exactly 2 inches wide, and allowing the weaving to find its natural width.  Sampling goes a long way.  I counted threads from a band I had woven several years ago.  I used this as a measure for what I needed.  However, I obviously have a different weaving style today.  Wrapping the yarn around a ruler, I got the same warp count.  In the future, I will need to do more sampling, or care less about the specific width of my project, and let it be what it wants to be.  

Finished band

Finished band

I notice the band narrows at the motifs which have the largest amount of warps picked out from their natural shed.   It narrows at every Motif requiring a fair amount of pick-up.  I attribute some of this to the fact that there are no warps dropped, only picked up.  The rest to not having the foresight to predict and account for it.  The motifs that have only one color picked up, don’t have this problem.  It would seem that there is a finite amount of “picking up” you can do before there is simply too many warps sitting on top of your band and not enough on the bottom.  This allows the band to narrow very easily, and the weft doesn’t need to be pulled with the same tension.  When I look at Annie’s band with the same design, I have to look very closely to see any narrowing at the same motif – mine is more obvious.  I think the fact that Annie as a lot more experience with keeping clean selvedges, went a long way to making a nice looking band.  It could be that she has so much experience that she changes tension without realizing it – an intuition of what the textile needs.  Maybe I just need to listen to my weaving more.

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