Something New

Close up of project on 16s Toika
Napkins being woven on 16s Toika

I am trying something new.
Both looms currently have projects on them and I am going to write a blog post daily about the things I know best.  After weaving for more than a decade, I have learned many lessons.

1.  Keep records.  I have used several different project planning sheets, some found online and other from classes I have taken.  As a result, I have created my own personal planning sheet to include the calculation that are important for my planning process.  I start every project, even samples, by recording my project plan.  It includes all the information about the warp, weft and finished project.  I calculate my warp length and the total yards of warp yarn required to weave the project.  In addition, I calculate my ppi (picks per inch) and the total yards of weft yarn required to complete the project.  If I am uncertain about how much yarn I have in the color I plan to use, I will weigh it and calculate the yards on the cone.

2. Sample.  Include at least 18-36″ of warp yarn for a sample when calculating the length of your warp.  Make certain you include enough warp to take the sample off the loom when it is complete and tie the warp back on the front apron rod.  My first samples neglected to include at least 6-8″ for retying after removing the sample and I almost ran short when weaving my final project.

3.  Be willing to make changes in your sett and ppi based on the results from your sample.  In fact, be willing to change your weft yarn altogether.  Your sample should include weaving with several different colors to be certain you have chosen the one you like best.  If you change the sett of your warp, you will need to resley your reed.  If you choose a different size weft yarn, recalculate your total needs on your project planning sheet and check to be certain you have enough yarn.

When it comes to project planning, the most important single lesson I have learned is to be open minded.  You may have conceived of your completed project one way and your experimentation on the loom may take you in a different direction.  Make sure you leave enough warp length to sample each idea and be willing to try different things when you sample.  It will lead to the best possible result.

I could bore you with several stories of how I started with one idea, ran out of yarn or found a different way to do it when sampling and those things led to a different result.  Your sample is a time to have fun and try crazy things.  Don’t dismiss anything, try it all.  Save your samples and file them with your completed project plan and a snip of the finished project if you can.

I’ll write more about the pictures at the top tomorrow.  The planning was fun!

Posted in Blog Posts