Help - Stiff Warp!

Hi, I am a real beginner working on an Ashford Knitters Loom.  This is my third scarf and I am proud to say that I am making a completely different set of mistakes each time!

I am allergic to all animal fibres, so am a real cotton fanatic (also silk, but I thought I would learn on cotton!)

I have warped on Butterfly Super 10 which is a mercerized cotton DK yarn showing 22 stiches for 4 inches.  I warped it at 7.5 DPI.

I wanted to use the same weft, but a sample proved that it is too stiff for a scarf.  It would make pretty good chain mail, I think!

Could someone advise whether a thinner cotton (8/2 or 2/8 depending if you are American or Canadian) or 5/2 or 2/5 would be softer?  Or, any other ideas?

Thanks...

Comments

Posted on Mon, 10/12/2009 - 23:12

Hi Harper!

That's interesting rabbit picture! Is it a purebred or just a pet?

It's hard to tell from the picture but it looks like a chinchilla colored rabbit?

My cotton items have the best drape when I don't beat the weft tightly. Think "place" instead of "beat"

I measure my weft placement so I don't have more weft than warp. My 8 epi warp gets 6 or 7 weft per inch.

The pieces soften up a good bit after wash/dry finishing cycle. I use a rigid heddle loom.

Have a good day!

Franco Rios

Posted on Mon, 10/12/2009 - 23:30

 

Hi Franco -- Princess is definitely a pet. She is a lovely grey, apparently a Netherland Dwarf, but since we got her at a pet store, she could be almost anything.  She is bonded to Larry, another pet store rabbit who is a sleek, black "Holland Lop" (or something).   They are both about 2 years old.  I love rabbits -- my parents used to raise new Zealand Whites for food -- but I just like having them around.  They were bought for my then 14-year-old daughter, but (surprise, surprise) they are now mostly my rabbits. 

I will try again, beating more lightly.  I think I have more weft er inch than warp per inch.

As a contingency plan, would a finer weft help?

Thanks,

Helen

 

 

Posted on Mon, 10/12/2009 - 23:42

I think a finer weft might help.

Try the beating lightly first,

My first cotton distowel was very stiff after beating the daylights out of it. You could almost use it for a horse blanket.

If you are not allergic to rabbits, think about using angora rabbit fiber.

Have a good day!

Posted on Tue, 10/13/2009 - 00:26

hi Harper, you may need to get a much finer warp. You can still use what you have for a weft, either on this or another project, but what you are aiming for is a balanced weave, the same number of wefts per inch as warps per inch. Franco seems to have good results with Peaches 'n Cream yarn, but I don't know what size heddle, or brand of loom.

I don't have much idea of US yarn sizes, but as I understand it you would not want to use a yarn as thick as DK with the 7.5 heddle. In Australia we are recommended to use a medium sports weight yarn and I would not want to use anything thicker ( I have a knitters loom). The yarn you use will fluff up a bit once you have it off the loom and wash it. It will also move and settle into its proper place so you will find your fabric on the loom might look a bit thin, but looks great once finished.

Posted on Thu, 10/15/2009 - 05:32

Well, that site has just about the most gorgeous stuff I have ever seen....and they have classes.  I am trying to figure out where to go to learn more about my rigid heddle and its capacities-- although, given the size of my stash, I could do trial and error for some time!

Posted on Thu, 10/15/2009 - 06:07

Harper, do you have any weaving books? The bible is probably the Betty Davenport book, Hands on Rigid Heddle Weaving, closely followed by the Ashford Book of Rigid Heddle Weaving (I have the first not the second), but Creative Weaving has some pretty good ideas for stash busting and making lovely fabrics - it is more ideas than technique, but the how-to section at the front is easy to follow, and you are only worrying about plain weave - its the yarns that get fancy.

You don't actually need lessons - there is plenty of info around on the internet, and we have an active Rigid Heddlers group here that are friendly and happy to help. Franco organised a WAL for complete newbies so that should make good reading for you. Once you have done your first successful weaving, there will be no stopping you as you experiment and find out just what you can do with your little knitters loom!

These looms were designed to be user friendly, and fun to use, pretty much like the people who own them, ;-)!

Posted on Thu, 10/15/2009 - 23:58

I do have books!

I always have books.  My 16-year-old daughter unkindly pointed out that I spend more time reading about weaving and knitting, buying yarn to knit or weave, and going to workshops about knitting and weaving than I ever actually do weaving or knitting.  Trouble is, she's right!

Seems I have to read the books, try it out, then read the books again to find out what I did wrong.  I have spent my life with numbers and words, not so much "instructions".

I have two by Betty Davenport, the Ashford Knitters and the Ashford Rigid Heddle, plus some other more general books.  They are all very interesting in their different ways.  

Thank you for your input -- you are right, people are very friendly and helpful and fun. 

Also, there are a lot of rabbits about, which is a good thing, although I notice that you are a cat person.  My mother was a confirmed cat person.   The cat was two years old when I came along.  I was allergic, and the cat did not like me very much, but my mother kindly let me stay anyway  ;-)