As I mentioned yesterday, I did "customize" the loom in several ways to make things easier for myself. I used Texsolv cord instead of the strings provided by Ashford, to secure the cloth rod to the cloth beam. I also used a similar arrangement on the warp beam, threading Texsolv cord through the warp beam, but keeping the warp rod accessible and free. I did replace the warp rod, which is fairly thin (it matches what is shown here in the photo), with a cut down broom handle. It's not pretty, but I think it works better, as it is stronger with no give/bending. I might buy steel rods (Home Depot will cut them to size for me) to replace the broom handle and front cloth rod........we'll see. ;)
I was VERY pleased to see that the loom stand could serve another function to make measuring warp easier. It is the perfect height for clamping the warping rack onto it, which allows me to measure warp without having to reach up too high or down too low. :)
The sock yarn I used for my 1st sock yarn scarf, is what I use for cranking pairs of socks on my circular sock machine. It is 75% wool and 25% polymide. This was more of an experiment to see if 1 skein of sock yarn was sufficient to weave an entire scarf. I can happily report that it is quite sufficient. ;) Unfortunately, I was not happy with the "feel" of this particular sock yarn after it was woven. It is "OK", but not as soft as I would like for wearing around ones neck. Further experimentation was called for......and I'm happy to report, I believe I have found a sock yarn that fits the bill for me. It is Knit Picks "Bare" sock yarn, which is 50% Superwash Merino Wool, 25% Superfine Alpaca, 25% Nylon. I had a hand dyed skein on hand, which I experimented with yesterday. I will post about it tomorrow. **(It seems, this particular blend of sock yarn is no longer available, but similar blends of Merino with Silk or Nylon are. Hopefully, they will give the preferred "feel" when woven. I'll try some and report back.)
In this photo, I am spreading the warp along the warp beam. This is prior to my customizing the rods and beams with longer Texsolv cords.
Here I am using a permanent marker on the Texsolv heddles. Each shaft has a different color of marker, helping make it easier to follow a pattern when threading.
The loom came with 480 heddles, so I decided to concentrate on the front 4, allowing each shaft to have 80 heddles, and the back 4 shafts given 40. Eventually, I will be purchasing more to "fill out" each shaft.
The sock yarn threaded through heddles and reed, tied to the front rod, and ready for me to begin weaving.
This is what the warp looked like after being tied up and under tension.
I'd not used the "hem stitch" until I began weaving scarves. It is used after 3 "picks" or rows of weaving at the beginning of a scarf, and also used at the end of the scarf to help bind the warp threads together in groups. I like how it works very much. I'm sure I am missing many little tricks of the trade by not having attended/taken many workshops. One is never too old to learn, eh? ;) In this photo, I'm following a tutorial video of "Laura Fry's Hem Stitching", on You Tube, using Don's iPad. Technology is wonderful!
I was very pleased with how the pattern developed when the hand dyed yarn was woven. It reminds me of wet pavement reflecting a multitude of white lights.
After taking the scarf off the loom, the next step in finishing it was to twist the fringe. This photo shows "my set up", which works for me. I'm sure others have their own way of doing this.
One end of the scarf completed.
Don modeling the finished scarf. I'm pleased with how the scarf turned out, but will keep this one for myself, as I would prefer giving a softer scarf as gifts.
Customized set up using Texsolv cord on the warp beam and rod as I begin scarf #2, using Knit Picks Merino, Alpaca, and Nylon sock yarn. I also made myself a little 2 board platform to lie behind the shafts to make it easier for me to "dress" the loom. I don't like to deal with the lease sticks sagging, etc. when I am threading warp. A quirk of mine. These boards are removed prior to weaving.......
I started AND finished (except for twisting the fringe) scarf #2 yesterday. Don has a computer class on Tuesdays, leaving the house around 6 AM and not getting home until after 9:30 at night. Without having to think about making any dinner for the 2 of us, I spent the morning, afternoon, and evening working on the table loom, taking the completed scarf off the loom around 8 PM. It was a very pleasant and productive day. ;) More on that tomorrow......