Saturday, 1 August 2020

Hooked on Huck

I seem to be hooked on huck at the moment.

I wove a silk scarf for a friend using the same pattern as my gold silk scarf which I described in my blog for October 2017 about the online Guild Challenge. 

I thought that it might be useful to describe some of my working practices when weaving. So here are a few tips for setting up the loom.

Winding on the warp.

I always use sticks for the first turn of the back beam and then change to thick paper. My husband is very adept at being the warp winder on!

Threading the warp

I tie the warp  into bouts which correspond to the pattern threading.  In this case each loosely tied bout is one half inch.

When threading the pattern, I always choose the correct number of heddles in a group. Then I thread the group - in this pattern it is 25 warp ends. This means that if I have an empty heddle  or an additional warp thread at the end of each group, I have made a mistake.

Threading the reed

Why is it that any mistake at this stage always happens in the middle of the warp and never at either side?
 I had woven a few picks when I realised that there was a reed threading mistake. I had crossed two groups of yarn in the reed. 

Tips for weaving.

Weaving a sample.

I weave a short sample and cut it off the loom.  This means that I can have a final check for any errors.

Winding the bobbin.

Wonderful cone holders
The scarf is made of 2/60 silk used double.  This means that I have to wind the bobbin with two ends of the silk yarn.  I bought a set of these very useful yarn holders at the last Weave Fair in  Vaxjo, Sweden in 2017.

 Ideal for larger cones of yarn.

Wind carefully near to the bobbin

Winding two ends of yarn together can be tricky especially with silk which creates a lot of static electricity. Here is my bobbin wider.  I hold two ends of yarn firmly between a scarp of folded paper. I hold the warp close to the bobbin and gently feed the yarn going back and forth over a short distance.  Gradually the yarn fills the bobbin. Do not overfill.

Unwanted loop of one of the strands of yarn

This is the problem I am trying to overcome when winding the thread onto the bobbin.  After a while the two ends of yarn do not come off the bobbin evenly and a loop forms. if this happens, I cut the yarn and then rejoin it to the weaving taking up the loop.

Weaving the scarf

I use a Schacht shuttle which is excellent. I also use a stretcher to help keep the edges straight.

Checking the woven length.

Before the woven cloth winds around the cloth beam, I slip a length of coloured yarn into a pick at one side.  I measure how much I have woven and make a note.

Every time the coloured thread nears the cloth beam I add another thread at the side and again make a note of how much I have woven.

Then I know how long the scarf will be at the end.

Ending the weaving

I use a thicker coloured yarn to weave a few picks in plain weave.  The weaving can be cut off the loom leaving a sufficient amount of unwoven warp ends for the fringe.

Finishing the scarf.

I make the twisted fringe before washing the scarf.  The hair braider make this process easier but it is still time consuming.

I measure each fringe and then knot it. 

Once the fringe is finished, the scarf is washed. 

Natural silk is washable, but most soaps are harmful to silk. Use a small amount of delicate wash liquid.  This silk is dyed and dye will come out in the wash. 

Washing instructions.

1. Use lukewarm water. Use a very small amount of liquid soap and dissolve thoroughly before adding the scarf. Do not rub the silk fabric, but gently agitate it in the water.
2. Put a very little amount of distilled white vinegar into the last but one rinse (no more than one teaspoonful in a bowl of water). This helps to neutralise alkaline in soap. The final rinse should always be in pure water. 
3. Once the scarf has been washed, hang up to dry.  It can be ironed on silk setting. If you store the scarf rolled up, there will be no creases.  

Once the scarf has been washed, I check the fringe length.  Any part of the fringe that is not even, I retie. I iron it and press the knots on the fringe firmly. The fringe is now trimmed.

At last, the finished scarf.

All this weaving made me want to design another scarf.

A new design.

I have two large cones of 2/60 silk in a deep pink. I wanted to design a different pattern so I came up with this smaller pattern repeat.

My new huck lace design on 10 shafts.

Scarf on the loom

Here is the scarf being woven.

I always weave a sample to check that the pattern is correct
and the sett is right for the handle of the material.

The sample has been washed and you can see that the pattern has a texture.

I was pleased with the result.

The Finished Scarf.

The finished scarf

Here is a close up of the weave pattern. 

Susan J Foulkes  July  2020