Several of my flutes don’t have covers. And they certainly need a cover for safe transport. I’ve been buying up a lot of 40/2 linen, with the hope of making something pretty grand. And then I noticed I had some 20/2 cotton and a 16/1 linen that would get me primed, so to speak, for working with a finer thread. Grabbing a Santa Fe-ish type draft from Handweaving.net, I found three colors that balanced nicely, and went for broke.
Now, sett has been an issue with me ever since I stared on my weaving journey a LONG time ago. My thought was always to follow the pattern then beat the heck out of it, which resulted in a lot of stiff scarves and miscellaneous projects that never really found a good home. Sampling I can eventually warm myself up to, but I hate making something for the sake of it and then not having a good use for it. That’s one of the reasons why you’ll find so many wall hangings and table scarves scattered around my home. (I am fortunate enough to have a husband who will tolerate this!) With my history of beating it till it’s dead hand, when I see something that calls for a 30 epi sett I cringe on how to proceed. How can that be woven without turning it into a ironing board, even if I have a thin thread? Trial and error, plus adapting to a new environment are the personal growth phases I have to go through to get confident in establishing sett to get the right drape I am looking for in a fabric. And the experiments continue.
That said, I chucked the planned 30 epi out the window, and went with a 24 epi – two threads in each dent of a twelve dent reed.
It wove up pretty nicely. At first it took a while to get through one repeat. It’s not that the repeat was long – it was changing the shuttles for each color change. My final technique was to break and tuck the blue linen thread every time its turn came up, but keep the brown and grey cottons, and travel them up the side. Also, I didn’t really have to pass the shuttle through the last block of color on the right side (see Elisabeth Hill’s YouTube video on this selvedge technique) since I broke off the thread for the blue color change. The edges aren’t perfect because I hadn’t planned on them being perfect since my original purpose was to sew a seam along the sides. I’ve been a little nonchalant about my edges (based on the purpose of piece) ever since I watched a Donegal weaver at the loom. Very impressed with his speed, I had the chance to talk to him about edges. He surprised me by saying that he and his weavers didn’t dwell on them since they were making fabric which would be cut so the edges really didn’t matter. Duh. Another myth debunked, and another incentive to go to the next level and create yardage for sewing garments, or whatever. Sometimes the most simple truths can knock me for a loop.
After all that, weaving went pretty quickly. The piece was finished at the planned 60 inch plus hem allowance and ready to cut – and not a moment too soon, based on how much warp I had left – which was a big fat zilch. After I washed finished the piece, I found that it had such a wonderful drape that I couldn’t bear using it for a flute bag. My edges really aren’t that bad, either, and they will work for the final re-purposed piece. (Confession – I really do care about how my edges look.)
Look at this drape! I’ll be using the hemming to join both ends, and it will be just long enough to double wrap for a cowl (infinity) scarf. That makes me a happy weaver.