Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Mutha Effing O

I finally have one. I must get pictures. This morning, at 6:30 AM, after an all-night weaving marathon, I FINALLY finished the nine (million) yards of fabric for my weaving class from last semester.

Of course, by "finish" I meant get the damn dog off the loom.

Next, I must weave in the broken warp thread (fun), fix the loom mangle spots, then wash it out. About the loom mangle—nasty thing! Not MY loom, the school's—it tried to eat my fabric at the very beginning when the little hooky jobby that holds the heddle thingy on the first harness came undone from the harness and hooked into my cloth just like a fishhook into a Big Mouth Bass. I was weaving along, and began to notice some resistance when I tried to advance the cloth. Oh, I was almost sick about it when I saw it. Another weaver came to inspect after hearing my moan of agony. She turned green and had to look away while I surgically removed the cloth from the hook. Then I rehooked the harness and taped the sucker down. It would not have happened except for some reason every time I tried to advance, all eight harnesses moved forward with the cloth.

That loom gave me so much trouble. One harness came unhooked and tilted and tried to have the heddles fall off in the middle of weaving. One treadle kept disconnecting itself from some of the harnesses when I stepped on it, which altered the pattern (more tape—that thing is duct-taped from castle to floor now). But I made it out alive. Sore, achey, with a neck migraine, but alive. The loom mangle is in the weft, but fairly easy to fix by tugging on the selvedge threads. The selvedges aren't critical because I'll be whacking up the fabric to make a coat.

This is the biggest lesson learned: when planning a woven project to be done within two weeks' time, do not decide to make a blazer/coat with a hem that hits below the knee; do not decide you'll need nine yards long by 45" wide of carefully-placed warp stripes; and do not, under ANY circumstances, choose a wool crepe yarn that could pass for stiff embroidery floss (20 wpi but turns out to be more like 24 wpi) in its thickness. Then, do not weave a dense 50-50 eight-harness meandering twill. Because it will take forever when you can only weave 12 inches per hour. Nine yards. Twenty-seven hours. In three-hour stints because that's about as long as one can stand to do that before the pain sets in.

Oh, the fabric is lovely. The pattern is subtle and the stripes pop.

Rolled up, it weighs about the same as an area rug.

I can't wait to see how heavy it is when it's wet.



At 7:49 PM, June 13, 2007, Anonymous tiennie said...

Must post pics!


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