Project 8 – Two fibre sliver scarves.

I took a month off from my Kani weaving (project 7) to create 2 scarves that will be Christmas gifts for younger son’s exchange parents in Germany. In order to make these, I borrowed Emily’s loom which is the same as mine except that the shafts are lifted from each end by handles in the centre of the castle (photos below show the handles from the top, front and back).

I started this project on 19 Sept 2019 and finished it on 26 Oct 2019.

The warp and main weft are Ashford mercerised cotton Ne 5/2 Fog (cream, 03).  A supplementary weft of fibre slivers was inserted. The fibre slivers were Ashford silk/merino blend (20% mulberry silk/80% merino), alpaca/merino blend (30% baby alpaca/70% merino) or 100% merino.

The colours used were:
(AM = alpaca/merino, SM = silk/merino, M = merino, numbers are the colours)
Reds and oranges – Sorbet (SM, 111), Primrose (AM, 335), Tangerine (M, 048), Sunset (SM, 110), Rosehip (AM, 320), Scarlet (M, 028), Gemstone (SM, 112), Granite (AM, 305)
Greens and blues – Seamist (AM, 310), Blue (M, 021), Damson (SM, 107), Turquoise (M, 026), Salvia (SM, 103), Lime (M, 043), Moss (AM, 325), Peppercorns (SM, 102)

I threaded the loom using a straight draft.  There were 132 warp threads, each 5m long, the sett was 12epi. Project 4 was 16epi and resulted in quite a firm fabric. I wanted these scarves to be much softer than project 4 and so thought I would try decreasing the epi used. Emily’s loom has an 8dpi reed, so I threaded it alternating 1 thread per dent with 2 threads per dent.

19 Sept – Began winding the threads on to the warping mill
22 Sept – Began sleying the reed (I’m threading the loom front to back using the method described in “Learning to Weave” by Deborah Chandler)
24 Sept – Threaded the heddles using a straight draft
26 Sept – Wound the warp onto the back beam, tied onto the front beam and wove the header. The threads on the right side were “shorter” when tying onto the front beam than those on the left.

26 Sept – Began the weaving with 4 rows of plain weave and then started the colours. I used a boat shuttle for the main weft.
The fibre slivers were woven in an abstract triangular shape with a thick end of 5cm. Each scarf should be approximately 2m finished length, so 5-6 repetitions of each colour sequence to get the desired length; the number of repetitions depends on packing of the fibre as the weaving progresses.

The weaving progressed with few issues. I noticed that the warp threads were not wound on evenly – the right end is looser than the left, this didn’t cause any problems.
The main problem was that on the first scarf, the right-side of the weaving was being pulled in more tightly than the left, which resulted in the final warp thread on the right end fraying and breaking. I mended this by inserting a piece of yarn and knotting it in place. After this, I was very careful to avoid pulling the weft too tightly at the end of each row.

13 Oct – Completed the last of the colour inserts on the first scarf – 6 repetitions of each – and wove 4 rows of plain weave. I wound the warp on leaving 20cm of unwoven warp – this will be the fringe on each scarf. Another header was woven in to give something to beat the first 4 rows of plain weave of the second scarf against.
24 Oct – Finished the 5th repetition of each colour on the second scarf and realised that there was insufficient warp to complete a 6th repetition, so wove the final 4 rows of plain weave. 5m of warp results in a large roll of finished fabric on the front roller!

Completed fabric on the front roller

25 Oct – Cut the warp from the back roller and knotted with a reef knot (4 threads/knot). Once the end was knotted, I unwound the fabric so that I could cut between the scarves, remove header yarn and knot the fringes before doing the same at the final end of the fabric. On the blue/green scarf I knotted a double row of knots and a single row of knots on the red/orange scarf.

Part way through knotting the fringe – single row of knots on the left side and a double row of knots on the right.

The scarves were machine-washed with warm water on a delicate cycle. I gradually increased the spin speed from slow to medium to fast.

Dimensions Pre-wash Post-wash
Peppercorn end 24.5cm 23cm
Seamist end 25cm 23.5cm
Blue/Turquoise side 178cm 171cm
Seamist/Damson side 173.5cm 167cm
Granite end 24.5cm 23cm
Sorbet end 25.5cm 24cm
Sorbet/Tangerine side 196cm 187cm
Primrose/Sunset side 191cm 181.5cm

Fringes were trimmed to 6.5cm using packing tape to hold them flat and to give a straight line. I finished by stitching my”signature” symbol (see previous post) in the corner of each scarf using black embroidery thread.

Stitched with signature

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