On the left is the sample I completed. After all that complaining, I realized it looks better off the loom than I thought it would, and I’m pleased with it, wavy selvedges and all. I’ve started a new one, all wool, and it’s also nice but doesn’t have the crispness that the cotton added. I altered the design somewhat so the bottom and top will match a little more. I’m thinking I can do several of these as bookmarks.
Is it me? Is it the heddle? Or, is it the combination of materials? Probably a little of all three.
I started an ambitious band design, something I found in the files of the Yahoo group, Bands and Braids. This design wasn’t charted, so I put it into a grid. Turns out it has 68 picks for one complete design… that’s a lot! You can see where I started and stopped and started again. I chose cotton for the background threads and wool for the pattern threads, and I found I had a similar problem to the previous band I completed: the cotton is saggier than the pliable wool, and that leads to tension problems. Plus, the wooden double-slotted heddle I bought has some snags here and there which are doing a number on the warp and it’s fraying quite a bit. I’m not totally thrilled with the heddle, but I’m willing to sand down the slots, which should help; however, I’ve gone ahead and ordered two different sizes of double-slotted plastic heddles and a few other doo-dads from Stoorstalka.
I’m anxious to try an all-wool band and set the cotton aside for awhile. I like the lacy and light feeling it adds, so I’ll use it again when I’m more experienced.
Here’s a Sami pattern I wove this weekend. It has 13 pattern threads. I’m using a rigid heddle with shorter slots in the center for the pattern threads. I’m planning on making this into a backstrap–to use to weave more bands.