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As you probably know, sett is critical to getting your project right: if it’s too open, the weft beats in too much and covers the warp. If it’s too close, the fabric can wind up stiff and unsuitable for its purpose. When working with a new yarn or a new structure, we usually make a reasonable guess at a starting sett, dress the loom, and hope for the best. If...
Have you ever started weaving and realized that the fabric on the loom doesn’t look like the drawdown or picture?  That happened to Susan Palwick recently, so she posted pictures of her drawdown (draft #80355 from Handweaving.net) and her fabric on Facebook, and asked if anyone could help figure out what was happening. Most of the time when the cloth doesn’t match the drawdown, it’s because you’ve used a rising...
OK, I admit it. Housekeeping is not my favourite (or even tenth favourite) activity. I can think of LOTS of things that I would rather do than clean or tidy. But I do it a lot more frequently now that I weave. When I sit down to design a warp, I first need to tidy off my desk. Once that is done, I can put any sketches out, and I...
If you don’t have a yarn balance you can determine yards per pound (YPP) or meters per kilogram (MPKG) of a yarn by measuring a known length and extrapolating from its weight. A short length is bound to be too light for most scales to weigh accurately, so the best approach is to wind yourself a tiny little “warp” and weigh that. Measuring out the yarn Tie some other yarn...
As I’ve been working on updating the courses for the Color Editor and its Gradients Editor, I’m also working on learning even more about the Draft Editor to put together a course on it.  This means I am taking our courses and focussing on using the Draft Editor to complete the exercises – and boy, oh boy – what fun I’m having! For some context, I consider myself a competent...
If you’d like to figure out the fiber content of a mystery yarn, the quickest and easiest approach is to do a burn test. A burn test is just what it sounds like: you light a piece of yarn on fire and record the results. Things to watch for include: You’ll find any number of burn charts online, most of which are designed for fabric rather than yarn. I compiled...
Sometimes creating handwoven fabrics feels like wrestling mischievous imps. A project that looks gorgeous in the initial sketch, or in a weaving software simulation, turns into a muddy mess when woven. A garment that looked great while you were sewing it blurs into shapelessness from across the room. Figuring out what happened can feel hopeless. Many times, though, the problem is pretty simple: You’ve designed at the wrong scale. Your...
Need to find the sett for a draft that isn't plain weave or twill, or in an unfamiliar yarn? Here's how to calculate it.
Need to calculate sett for an unfamiliar yarn? Ashenhurst’s Rule will help. In this blog post and its sequel, we’ll explain how Ashenhurst’s rule works and how you can apply it in your weaving. What is Ashenhurst’s Rule? Thomas R. Ashenhurst (1849-1902) was the chief instructor in weaving and pattern designing at the Bradford Technical College in West Yorkshire, England in the 1880s and 90s. In the course of writing...