Sunday, July 19, 2009

More Backstrap weaving

The next morning: After weaving to the middle of the piece, I turned the loom around and started weaving from the far end. I will end my weaving in the middle of the piece and have all four sides with finished selvedge. With about 3 inches of weaving to go, I remove the flat shed sticks and use 3/8 dowels to hold the sheds.

In the picture above, the upper most stick is a shed stick, with safety string, holding the upper shed. The lower shed is controlled with a string heddle stick, which is flopped down so you can see the upper shed stick.

In the next picture, we see the string heddle moved up over the upper shed stick so you can see the lower shed. which I have opened with a 3/8 dowel. This dowel has a flat wedge on one end put there by using sandpaper. This helps me to push the stick through the warp to open the shed.

When the shed is open, I push the weft through with a needle made from a chopstick, which is in the picture. If I try to pull the weft through without that shed stick holding open a space for the needle, the weft drags through the closed warp (shed) and pulls the warp out of line. It also becomes difficult to keep the right amount of slack in the weave. My chopstick is not long enough to go across on one throw. So I used the blunt end of a plastic crochet hook to push it the extr 4 or 5 inches out of the shed (see the small yellow plastic rod in the lower right of the picture).

To beat the weft, I am using a pet grooming comb with metal pins for teeth that happens to have 1/4 inch spacing, which is just right for my project. I can also use a dinner fork if I need to.

More later!
Have a good day!

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