Friday, November 11, 2011

The mobius that's not mobius

The "Weaving in the SAORI way" group had a thread featuring a woven mobius.
This appeals to me because - well, a finished garment comes right off the loom (except for weaving straggely bits in, finishing etc) and because the SAORI philosophy about weaving is such a fee one - no major worries about producing something that looks like it was comercially produced - quite the opposite - the freer the the better.
So, eyeing my big stash of handspun yarns in all sorts of colors and weights, I decided to recruit some of them for a mobius.
Except it's not really a mobius - as I , like some others on the list, didn't want to add in the twist that gives the infinity symbol it's shape, rather,  make one big loop that wraps around oth shoulders and neck.
I decided to make the warp 120" long to get a finished size around 100" - and 12" wid, aiming for a cloth of 10 - 11" wide. The biggest component of the yarns I choose had about 14 - 15 wraps per inch so I planned to use the 7.5 dent heddle. The narrower yarns could be doubled or trebbled.

The warp yarns are mainily lilac or yellow and lesser amount of grey or black. They are all wool - mostly from my mixed breed sheep with some other UK/EU breeds in small quantity (black Wensleydal and grey Gortland). The dark ones are silkier and very strong, the colored ones are springy. The springiness meant that I knew my hands would be in there separating the warps after each change of shed and that beating with the heddle was out as it would shear the fibers too much. Beating was done with the side of the hand after laying in the pick and with the stick shuttle on the nest shed. I got into this rhythm fairly easily and it was not a problem. In the event, just 2 warps came apart - each time it was a wooly single and I just tied on another warp so it wasn't a big deal. The big deal was waiting for the end!
The weft was laid in at 6 ends per inch - less dense than the warp to make a less dense or less rigid cloth.
I felt quite bold using red yarn where there was yellow and lilac yarn but it didn't look as loud as I feared as the colors of the hand dyed yarn tend to be muted anyway.

The idea with this (or so I gather anyway) is to weave a length of fabric as you would weave a scarf or table runner but leave it less than the desired finished length by an amount equal to the width of the fabric so that, in the end, the fringe from the beginning of the cloth (origionally tied to the front beam) could be freed and woven into the fringe at the end of the fabric - so completing a circular shape (or mobius if you twist the cloth oncce before doing the final cross weave). I weanted 100 inches so I planned to weave about 68" then untie the front fringe and stretch out the fabric, laying it over the front beam, pin the cloth to itself around the front beam and weave the free damgling front fringe through the still tied on back fringe.
I couldn't wait fo rthis end part as it somehow fascinated me. I'd done the maths (being aware that things would not be exactly as calculated owing to draw-in and a host of other imponderables), I'd measured out a 68" lenght of yarn to travel with the fabric and give me an idea how much I'd woven.

All went swimmimgly with bouts of weaving when I got the chance, then I got to the end and - darn! I hadn't left enough beginning fringe to stretch across the fabric and have a fringe too! I went and removed the cloth (bad idea) to think about it but decided  well, I want to do that cross weave!! So I unwove a section at the beginning to make the beginning fringe long enough.. But now I needed to replace the end fringe - attach it to the back beam after rethreading each warp through a slot or hole! Grrr - no! so I tied it in bundels to the back beam then stretched it back to the front beam and pinned it around it and - gulp! - threaded a darning needle and over-undered my way across for each of the 150 ends.

Actually, you can get used to that too and it did work out. I tied overhand knots after weaving in 5 picks and had 15 nice knots then I detached it and did the same with the end fringe.
I quite like the look of this wrap on me. If it gets cold ennough, it may replace the knitted sawl I've been slinging around my neck recently.
All folded up
No, that's not me - I'm not a weird white plaster boy-head from an auction room in the 1970's

Needs a bit of tlc- next week.


1 comment:

Lindy said...

That is a really impressive bit of weaving!