Friends Penny and Sheila had given me a generous gift certificate to one of my favorite online fiber sources, Halcyon Yarn, in Bath, Maine. What better to do with that gift certificate than to buy something "special" and weave them a gift in return, eh? ;) I'd benefit from trying something I'd not normally have been able to try and have a great learning experience, with something concrete in hand to show for it, too.
I chose 2 "Douceur et Soie et Amis" yarns, red and blue, each a blend of 70% mohair, 30% silk. As I had mentioned previously, I wanted a new learning experience, and I got one. :) I learned that using a "sticky" yarn, which means a yarn that likes to grab itself and stick together, makes one "re-think" how dressing the loom (winding/threading the warp) needs to be handled.
Fortunately, measuring the warp on the warping rack presented no problems.
Attaching the warp threads to the loom also caused no problems, but see the "halo" emanating from each of the warp threads? That innocent little halo will prove to be troublesome, which I will write about when I go from Penny's blue scarf to Sheila's red scarf, only because of a photo which illustrates where the problem arose.
Threading the heddles in a 1, 2, 3, 4 shaft sequence. I will be weaving the scarves in "Plain Weave", or also known as "Tabby". Shafts 1 & 3 will be raised together, as will 2 & 4, giving me a "Plain Weave".
The beginning of Penny's plain weave scarf. I "Hem Stitched" the beginning of the scarf, too, which will lock the warp and weft together so they will not unravel when the scarf is removed from the loom. I will also hem stitch the other end when I am finished weaving prior to taking it off the loom.
This photo shows just how open the weave is. I had to gently beat the weft, leaving a very small space between each weft thread, otherwise it would have packed too tightly.
Penny's finished mohair/silk blend scarf.......
Measuring out Sheila's red yarn. Notice the "cross" between the 2 upper right pegs on the warping board. This cross needs to be preserved to make threading the heddles easier, so each section of the cross is tied before removing the warp from the rack.
The 2 measured sections of warp attached to the loom, chained and ready to undo so I can wind them onto the back beam.
Here began my problems with "sticky" warp. My "lease sticks", seen here connected with a small metal ring, are always inserted in the warp to keep the "cross", which I wrote about. Since I had bought this table loom, I've used these metal rings to keep the lease sticks together to preserve the cross. With the new mohair/silk yarn, the cross was where the yarn began sticking to itself. It grabbed the halo so tightly that I was not able to wind the warp onto the back beam without undoing the stuck areas. This is where my learning something new began. :) After struggling with this problem for awhile, and physically removing tangled halo bits, I had to re-think my set up. And what a simple solution it was to fix my problem. I unhooked the small metal rings from the lease sticks to allow more room between the sticks, which in turn, allowed the warp threads more breathing room and they did not stick! Talk about a simple fix, eh? ;)
From then on it was clear sailing and I had no problems whatsoever with sticking.
Another photo showing the openness of the plain weave.
Sheila's finished scarf.
The scarf feels so light and airy, but when folded or bunched up, it feels much more substantial. I "believe" that even though it has such an open weave, it will still have the ability to be quite warm if needed.
The finished scarves......