I've had the Louet Spring loom for 3 - 4 years, but have only had 2 warps on her. The first, a "holly" dish towel design, was a limited success. I had a lot of tension problems and the selvedges were pretty terrible. When I put the second warp on, I re-read all of the materials, watched the Jane Stafford video, and I'm pretty sure I didn't lock the breast beam when I put the 1st warp on. This was an enjoyable weaving experience.
I wove 2 towels each of 3 different pinwheel tie-ups. I've looked all over for the drafts, but I may have (gasped) tossed them since I got it off of the interwebs and would be easy to find them again. Not. I did put them in Fiberworks. That's something.
Fibers (used in warp and weft):
Blue 8/2 Mercerized Cotton
White 8/2 Unmercerized Cotton
Red 10/2 Mercerized Cotton
White 20/2 Mercerized Cotton for plain weave hem warp
24 EPI in 12 dent loom
Width on loom:
Used Glimakra temple
Things I did different:
- Well, warped it right... locked the breast beam, back to front, lease sticks, raddle.
- Used a temple. This kept the weaving from pulling in, no shredded floating selvedge.
- Advanced the warp more frequently.
- Those red threads were not the effect I was looking for. I need to really work on color theory.
- Uneven PPI. All the pinwheels should be the same size. You can tell my mood by how packed the weft is. Not a good feature.
- Left too much hem between towels, so the last towel was a little short.
- Not totally happy with my method for carrying threads up the selvedge for color changes. There was a method explained in Handwoven last year and it made my head hurt. I'll have to revisit that. (http://www.weavingtoday.com/media/p/10258.aspx)
Things I learned:
- The red mercerized warp and weft didn't shrink at the same rate as the other fibers.
- Each weave structure shrunk at different rates. Each towel was the same size on the loom, but each structure ended up different sizes after finishing.
- Finishing is more than washing, hemming and pressing.
I didn't feel like I was getting the finished look I wanted from simply pressing with my iron. And I pressed HARD. I decided to try cold mangling as demonstrated by Laura Fry in this YouTube video.
Laura uses a much larger rod than I had. DH had a closet rod and that was good enough to test the process. I was mostly concerned about the trauma to my hands.
I have Dupuytren's Contracture in both hands, but it's worse in the palm of the left hand. After rolling one of the 6 towels, it was apparent that this qualified as trauma. To protect my left hand, I wore the brace I have from the last procedure. This worked well. For the right hand, I held a 4" x 4" x 1" block and rolled the rod using the block (kinda sorta like the Swedish method on a very small scale).
The results were worth it as far as I'm concerned. I don't know if these pictures really show it:
I'll be headed to the hardware store to look for a large maple round this week. We'll see what I find! I've heard that Vavstuga will be importing powered cold mangles from Sweden. I sent off an email to them as I WANT.WANT.WANT!
P.S. I am a big fat liar about UFO's. I found "a few" more. I'll share as I work them off.