Thursday, July 09, 2009

Knots in Warp Yarn, and Static Electricity

Laura thinks her loom looks "tatty" because it's got a few replacement warp ends hanging off the back of the loom. Well, if this were a contest (please, no!) I'd win hands down:

There are 9 film canisters (the lower ones) weighted with washers and hanging off the raddle. Then, there are 9 more (the upper ones) which are unweighted, and are there just to organize the warp ends that had knots in them, and will get swapped back in at the cutting line between the current scarf and the next scarf. Now that's truly tatty!

What happened was, I needed three skeins of 60/2 silk, one for each warp color. I had three skeins, bigger than I needed, but I was lazy and rather than winding off the yardage I needed, I just dyed the skeins as was. Unfortunately, the factory made the skeins a little sloppily, with uneven tension, and the yarn got too tangled in the dye process to unwind politely onto cones. So there are a bunch of knots in this warp! Next time, I'll know to re-skein this yarn before dyeing. Even if it were the yardage I need, it's still less work in the long run to re-skein than to deal with all the knots.

The weaving is going slowly. It's the time of year when a high pressure front causes extremely low humidity (it was in the single digits yesterday) and fine silk, being caressed by a steel reed, just loves to work up static electricity by the kilojoule, and plaster itself firmly to anything within reach, which tends to cause nice little loops at the selvedges. As I wove, each time the arm working the beater moved over the warp, I could feel the hair on my arm stand on end. Even dampening the yarn on the pirn to kill the static doesn't fully resolve the problem. The next weaving session will require a humidifier, to lower the frustration level.

I finally gave up and did something else. My beloved 8-shaft Glimakra will need to be sold to make room in the studio for the jacquard loom, so I've got a few projects I want to weave on it before Jackie arrives. The Glimakra has such a small amount of warp waste at the end of a warp that it's the go-to loom for single-item pieces. I had some mixed lots of cotton yarn from Cotton Clouds, and made a warp for a throw. The colors are deep, rich tones:

And in glorious closeup:

I've dyed some 10/2 mercerized cotton in Dharma's Cobalt Blue for weft - it's a dark blue with a green cast, which I think will go well with the warp. The warp is wound half as wide as the finished width and twice the length. There are crosses at both ends, so what would be the threading end will become the raddle end for the second half. That means the stripes are exactly mirrored on both halves. This project won't get woven until after ACC San Francisco, but I'd like to have a few things queued up to weave on the Glimakra before it finds a new home.


Laura said...

Hi Sandra,

You might win this time but I do understand about lots of danglies.

Our humidity doesn't go single digit, but when it gets low I defintely use the humidifier - for silk, Tencel, linen. Too much grief otherwise. :)



neki desu said...

can i participate in the danglies contest, please?
how bittersweet those last weaves on your Glimakra.and how exciting to be making space for the big puppy!

neki desu

Deanna said...

Can't see the danglies because I was dazzled by the gorgeous flow of water onto the cloth beam!

I'm SO looking forward to the upcoming posts about Jackie!

Sandra Rude said...

Of course you may join, Neki! It's not an exclusive club by any means. I suspect every weaver in the world belongs, automatically. (Any weaver who says they've never joined must have lots of knots woven into their cloth!)