Tuesday, 22 July 2014

First sleeve finished

I found a better way to align the weft rows. I pinned a strip of paper below the working area and used my transparent ruler regularly. I only had to move the paper when I exceeded the length of my ruler (15 cm).

When the weaving was finished it was time to mark the vital features of the armhole edge. There are matching points: the centre of the shoulder and underarm and two predetermined side points. There are four distinct groups of warp threads: a set under the arm that will become warps down the side of the body, ones that go across the top of the shoulder, a few interspersed among those at the top of the shoulder that end at the shoulder (creating "gathering") and all the others which will be weft threads in the front or back of the jacket body.

Now I have all the pairs of warps tied around their pins with the groups tied loosely. I'll leave them like that while I repeat the whole process on the left sleeve.

Friday, 18 July 2014

Starting to weave at last!

The first step was to tension the sleeve warps. I untied the pairs, tied them more firmly around the pins at the armhole and anchored them in groups of four pairs. Then I began weaving at the cuff. After numerous mistakes in the first two rows of weaving I discovered that I needed to be able to see the threads better, so I slipped a sheet of black paper behind the warps. After that I made great headway (a couple of inches per hour!) with hardly any unpicking at all. 

In order to try to keep the weaving even, I regularly measured to keep the frequency at four threads per centimeter.
But even though I was doing that, as I wove around and around and up the sleeve, the weft subtly formed waves of higher and lower points. I felt it was essential that the weave be as perfect as possible to avoid distortions in the final garment. So I went back a bit and gradually straightened the lines of weft. 
I realized I can use the two rows of contrasting yarn I already had in place as measured markers to help keep the weft straight.
Then I finally met the armhole section where I stopped going around the sleeve and began to go back and forth across the top of the sleeve. 

Sunday, 13 July 2014

The main weaving form

Front and back joined at shoulder
Building the weaving form for the body of the jacket was a bit tricky because I didn't do it all in the right order. But I got there with a bit of figuring out.
The warp is mostly applied. There are two sections left to warp: the sides where the sleeve warps will be inserted; and the top of the front panels which will be warped after the "under pocket" is woven.
Shoulder section warped
Back section warped

Friday, 4 July 2014

Warping the sleeves

As I apply the warps I measure the amount each thread needs to extend according to where in the weaving it will be needed. I've knotted them in groups out of the way at the top of the sleeve. I'll make a final tension adjustment of all the ends before beginning to weave. 

The hem of the sleeve works well with the slits/holding thread method so I'll definitely use this same method for the hem of the body of the jacket.
Crossed threads were a problem while weaving the previous jacket. I often had to correct the order of the threads while weaving by twisting around each other back to the right order. The tweedy surface hid a multitude of errors! This time I have hit upon a simple solution to hold things in the right order. I weave in two strands of a contrasting yarn as I lay the warps. This is the same principle as having a cross when winding a warp. (Why did it take so long for me to think of that?!) 

Now the sleeves are both warped and the next job is building the weaving form for the body of the jacket.