I am very much enjoying weaving with three heddles on my SampleIt loom, and although I already suffer from shaft envy and really need an eigh shaft loom, there is so much my 40cm Ashford SampleIt has to offer. So I embarked in another twill weaving – this time straight draft twill, but playing with colour. I wove yardage that will eventually become a summer dress. You can jump straight to the summary, or read on!
I was unsure which pattern I wanted, so I started off with a sample – and did that turn out to be a good idea! Since I was using a sports weight knitting cotton yarn, the very lovely Lana Grossa Landlust Sommerseide, I thought 10dpi would be the right heddle, and since I was going to wave a twilll structure, surely 12.5dpi was the heddle set to use.
Well, the first sample turned out stiff as a board – not sure why, maybe I did not have enough tension, but it came out quite compressed. So I thought I’d go for a second sample with 10dpi heddles. Well this was way too lose, really see-through fabric, so that was out as well. What to do? I tried again 12.5dpi, this time being careful not to beat too hard, and it came out just right – I like how the fabric draped, and the texture is just about close enough to be not see-through.
The extensive sampling did dent my stash for this project, and so I had to make compromises on the background colour – though I liked it in natural best, I had to warp with the natural but weave with the grey green.
I also had to decide which pattern to use – so I folded the third sample so as to isolate the pattern:
I did not quite like the Bumberet, and I feared that the flowers would be too large and visually “heavy”, so I concluded I’d have waves, alternating those with more blue to those with more red – I do like the resulting yardage a lot!
With a lot of odd ends, I decided to indirect warp. The consequence was that without a lease stick of the right size to attach to my back apron rod, I had to leash at both ends. Chaining was kind of allright:
I was using the rather lovely and soft Lana Grossa Landlust Sommerseide, a knitting yarn which blends in equal parts cotton and silk. It really is lovely, but hans’t got much of a twist so rather springy tension wise, winding on was a challenge, and I considered giving up several times, here is why:
I did eventually manage to tame it, and wind the whole lot:
I warped 199 ends and two floating selvedges, in the following colour order (where N stands for “natural”, R for “red” and B for “blue”):
- 24 ends in N
- 3 repeats of *RRRNBBBNRRRN – block of 16 N – BBBNRRRNBBBN – block of 16 N *
- 7+1FS natural
Well, then it was just the matter of threading, and weaving. Threading was a straightforward point twill:
For the weaving I used the following order for each repetition:
- I & II up
- II & III up
- I & II down
- II & III down
- I & II down
- II & III up
And here is the draft:
One word of advice on weaving yardage – I generally hemstitch the ends while on the loom, but I wasn’t quite sure this was the best course of action with yardage. So I followed the advice picked up on the net to weave four picks with sewing thread at both ends, as below:
Then I washed and pressed – and the ironing did make a difference, the cloth became much more reflective of the light.
I can’t wait to sew it up – before I do so, though, I must weave the cloth for the bottom band!
Warp ends: 199+2
Sett: 12.5 epi, 12.5 ppi
Width in reed:
Width off the loom before wet finishing: 34.8cm/13.7”
Width off the loom after wet finishing: 32.3cm/12.7”
Width off the loom after wet finishing and pressing:33.2cm/13”
Horizontal shrinkage: 5%
Length of woven fabric off the loom before wet finishing: 345.5cm/136”
Length of woven fabric off the loom after wet finishing:331cm/130.3”
Length of woven fabric off the loom after wet finishing and pressing:335.5cm/132”
Vertical shrinkage: 3%
Loom waste:about 40cm/16”. However variable, because of the tangled mess that indirect warping was with this yarn; with hybrid warping it should be less.