Thursday, October 13, 2011
Because I have two looms! The previous scarf I wove on my rigid heddle loom, because it was familiar. The second was woven on my new (to me) table loom.
I had planned for the two to be identical so that I could focus on the difference between the two looms. Of course, I slipped up a little in my planning. To explain the subtle mistake I made I first need to digress into a long-winded explanation of the differences between a Rigid Heddle loom and a table/floor loom.
At this point I have no clue if I'm making any sense at all! But here's the thing. Since the shafts, beater, and heddles from the table loom are essentially all combined into one object on the rigid heddle loom, they do one major thing differently. When you go to "beat" your current weaving into place on the rigid heddle the "shed" (the space where you pass your yarn through) is closed automatically. That means the warp likes to close around that yarn and hold it in place so it doesn't pop back out. Now, on the table loom you suddenly have to make a decision. Once I put a shaft up, it stays there until I let it back down again. So I can beat with my current shed open. Or I can close the shed and beat. Or I can open the OPPOSITE shed and beat that way. Each way makes the yarn act a little differently as you beat it into the weaving.
That's one thing I'm working on figuring out.
But what tripped me up is that I forgot that my reed on the table loom is an 8-dent reed. And the rigid heddle I used on the Flip loom was 10-dent.
This wouldn't have been a problem if I had remembered the original plan. Because the heddles on the table loom are movable, you can thread the reed any number of different ways to change your ends per inch. For instance, if I thread one end in every dent on an 8-dent reed, I have 8 ends per inch. But I could thread two in every dent and have 16 ends per inch, or three in each and have 24 ends per inch. Or I could get tricky and thread it 1-1-1-2 and get 10 ends per inch. Which is what I was going to do.
But I forgot!
It's not a tragedy. I have two interesting scarves. I prefer the 10-ends-per-inch version. But I have an 8-ends-per-inch version as well and it is fascinating to feel the difference. It has much more drape. If you lay both across your cupped palm, the 10-dent version stretches over it like a tent, but the 8-dent version falls into the cup of your hand. The 10-dent version is much more "squishy" and what I expect out of a scarf, but they're both very nice.
And I hope I haven't bored you all after all this rambling!