Friday, October 23, 2009

Pendleton Selvedge Rug Begun

The Glimakra is tied up, the warp is beamed, threaded, sleyed, and tied on, the shed is good, and weaving has begun.

First, I wove a long header of waste yarn (in this case, 3/4-inch-wide cloth strips that at one time I intended to use to weave rag-rug-style placemats, but that never happened so the leftover strips will either find their way to the guild sale next June, or to the landfill). The header will guarantee there's enough yarn at the beginning to do one of the edge finishes from Peter Collingwood's rug book.

The next step was to weave an inch or so using the warp yarn (8/4 cotton rug warp) doubled. What turned out to be easiest was to load up two shuttles with one strand of yarn each, and send them through the same shed from opposite sides. That way I can interlock the wefts at the edges, and there isn't that problem of trying to get two strands onto a single bobbin evenly, so they both unwind at the same rate.

Here's the selvedge "yarn." It's about 1.5 inches wide, with only 3 or 4 warp threads forming the core of the chenille-like structure. However, unlike true chenille, there's no twist on it, so it's a little fragile - the tufts tend to slide along the core with the slightest encouragement (like stuffing the "yarn" through a shed).

Next, I had to figure out how on earth to wind the selvedge "yarn" onto a shuttle. I tried to wind it onto a ski shuttle using the traditional rug-weaver's figure-of-eight wrapping technique. Ha! This stuff is so thick and shaggy, it wouldn't even think of fitting through the Glimakra's generous shed.

Turns out that it's too fat even when wound onto a stick shuttle with no figure-of-eight. So I'm going to have to cut it into maybe 3-yard lengths and just stuff it through the shed with the end of the stick shuttle, then overlap the core ends in the middle of the web.

Here, I've woven 3 picks of the selvedge "yarn," with 2 picks of the warp yarn (singly this time) between each one for stability.

Now, how do I coax those shaggy chenille-ish ends to stick out of the rug? Hair pick? Dog comb? I think I'll have to do it every time I advance the warp (which is alarmingly frequent) so it gets done before the cloth rolls over the breast beam. I haven't measured with any accuracy yet, but we're talking just over 3 picks to the inch, total - one of selvedge "yarn" and two of warp. At that rate, you'd think the weaving would go quickly, but it ain't so! This is MUCH slower than 40 picks to the inch on a silk scarf........

By the way, kudos to Joanne Hall's document on countermarche tie-up. I followed her directions while tying up the loom this time, instead of the booklet I got when I bought the loom, and found that everything is working smoothly and well. There were only slight differences between the two procedures, but that was enough to make a difference.

I used to set the shafts quite a lot higher when in the locked position, and the cords to the lower/longer lamms were on the other side of their respective shafts and higher/shorter lamms, but this seems to work out better. Small changes, good results. Thank you, Joanne!


Laritza said...

This I have done with great success. You do not have to use the figure of 8 on the ski shuttle nor cut the selvedges. Just wind them around and around and around, that way you don't get any bulk on the top, the bulk will be towards the sides...if you look at the shuttle like a real ski. That way you can get a lot of weft in and it will clear the shed without a problem. The bits of hairy stuff will stick out on their own. Someone suggested to use a fork, but I found it is not necessary. I set warp at 6 epi and my rugs are nice and 'hairy'. The other thing is to look at the yarn and lay it on the shed always in the same direction, it has a hairy side and a 'flat' side. You have to be consistent and the rug will be hairy one one side and flat on the other. There is a picture of one of my rugs here:

Beat HARD 4 times each pick with both hands remember Mary Meigs Atwater said 'a rug is not good if you can stick your finger in it'

Merna said...

Me too -- ski shuttle wound around and around, also the wide sett for the warp worked beautifully. I used the same wool warp I prefer for tapestry weaving. It must feel odd to you to weave with this stuff Sandra, so different from fine threads.

Sandra Rude said...

Thanks for the tips, Laritza!

Yes, Merna, it feels really strange. Especially the shuttle part. I normally use a fly-shuttle and never ever touch the weft except while putting it on the pirn. So coaxing something through the shed *by hand!* and tugging it into position at the selvedge is just plain alien.

Stefanie Roché said...

Oh, would you share the tie up tricks? I fight pretty badly with my Glimakra and don't feel so comfy contacting Joanne (again) when I don't even live on the same continent.