Purple Paradise

What a terrible name for a shawl.  The name is derived from the names of the tops I handspun and I’m now weaving into a shawl.

One of the yarns is a 2-ply Blue Faced Leicester, that I spun worsted style from hand-dyed tops called Violetta.  The other is a single of Corriedale spun long draw from hand-dyed tops called Birds of Paradise.  I spun these originally nearly 2 years ago!

I’ve tied a 100” (2.5m) warp onto my 16” rigid heddle loom, set at 7.5epi.  I’ve warped up nearly the whole width, leaving just one eye on each end of the loom without a warp thread.  When it came to warping up I wasn’t sure the thread was going to be robust enough and I want to minimise warp threads getting broken.  The rigid heddle has slots and eyes, threads in eyes experience the most stress and wear during weaving. Threads at the selvedge often get drawn in and therefore also experience more stress and wear than other threads.  So I wanted to avoid having a selvedge thread that would experience further wear from also being in an eye.

To further help with wear I’m keeping the tension as low as possible and winding the warp on regularly.  As for an earlier project I’m winding paper onto the front roller when advancing the weaving.  This is helping to keep the tension on the weaving even across the whole work.

I’ve woven about 18” so far and it’s looking good.  The weft thread is fairly slubby, but that’s making the weaving look very interesting.  I’m not too sure how the woven fabric will behave when it’s off the loom as the weft is a fairly active single, so it may collapse.  I’ll have to see what happens!

Here’s progress after tying on the warp and weaving a few picks: