I recently finsihed weaving 4 meters of commissioned cloth for a friend. Although she does intend to use it for re-enactment, she was not particularly concerned with an authentic weave structure. She had seen what I can only really describe as a tabard on a website and really liked the cloth, which was listed as jacquard. Over the course of many months, I drafted a cloth in a similar style, which resulted in an undulating point twill. I originally used 8 shafts, then was able to take it to 4 shafts, which Medieval weavers used.
In the course of being commisioned to weave this cloth my life went a bit topsy turvy. I became pregnant and moved 2 times in the span of 7 months. The first move 1 month before giving birth and the second 3 months after. Needless to say it was nearly a year before I was able to warp uo this cloth. In the meantime, I "accidentally" bought a Glimakra Ideal on Ebay. I decided this cloth should be my fiest cloth on the Ideal.
So off to warp the new loom I went, no biggie I had become quite accomplished at warping. Well acconplishment comes with practice, which I had not had recently. Thus started a series of warping mistakes, which were likely a result of being out of practice and deciding to use my warping board bottom to top. The catastophic mistakes I discovered before the warp went on the loom. I had skipped a peg on the warping board. The first bout I wound again. The second I was able to fix on the board. The final issue I faced was a twist in several warp bouts. I noticed this before threading and properly fixed all but one. I thought I had fixed them all properly, but the last twist was not apparent until the warp was under tension. I weave with the lease sticks in and decided to kerp my fingers crossed and hope for the best. After weaving .5 meter sample to allow my friend to make a final choice of weft colour, I was confident I could make it through the rest of the warp. I was correct. Since the twist was behind tge lease sticks, my experience allowed me to carefully seperate the warp and move tge lease sticks back. This made weaving take a bit longer, but probably not as long as the otger options.
Once the cloth was all warped up and the decision was made to soldier on, I was a bobbin and a weavin'. One of the things which really sank in while weaving this cloth, was the impirtance of winding a good bobbin. A well wound bobbin not only speeds up the weaving, but also helps keep selvedges even. A poorly wound bobbin will catch and come to an ubrupt halt. This can cause several problems. First the sudden halt will pull in the selvedge more. It will also cause the bobbin to jump in the shed, which may result in the bobbin going over and undr tye wrong threads. Finally it will waste time in having to reach in the shed to retrievw thw bobbin. I realized how important well wound bobbins are, because I wound my bobbins quite well this time and thus experienced to true joy of weaving with good bobbins!
I inititially used an aide de memoire to help me track my treadling. I treadled the cloth straight through 3 times, then treadled backwards 3 times. I think a small abacus would be a useful medueval tool to use for this purpose. By the time this occured to me, I had feel into a goid rhythm and found myself rarelt using the aid.
Finding your rhythm in your weaving is essential to efficient weaving. It also produces a very pleasant weaving experience. Finally, a rhythm allows you to reach a meditative state. This is one of thw tru joys of weaving and can be found in every step of weaving.
Finally there are 3 places in the 4 meters which areb't quite right. I could not decide if these are missed picks or picks which were improperly packed. In the grand acheme of things 3 picks of approximately 1500 picks isn't much of a flaw. They are only visible on one side, which is odd. I am exceptionally pleased with the cloth. I look forward to my Laurel having a look at it and giving me feedback.
For now I will just say ta ta!