My 100% wool waffle weave scarf is hem stitched, off the loom, wet finished and has had its fringe trimmed to 3 inches. I had to put myself under pressure to get it finished in my final weaving class last week. I knew I could pop back in to the guild on a Saturday to finish it but I have other projects to be getting on with.
The scarf was designed to be very short as I wanted it to circle around my neck, rather than being tied or looped. That’s for two reasons – to reduce bulk under my coat and because this was designed to be a chunky, textured scarf. You CAN have too much of a good thing.
Technical details (Please let me know me if I have any terminology wrong. I’m still learning.)
Planned length: 91cm
Length before wet finishing: 93cm
Length after wet finishing: 89cm
Planned width: 10 inches
Width before wet finishing: 9 1/2 inches
Width after wet finishing: 9 inches
Ends per inch: 5
Reed Size: 12 epi
Sett: 01 001 01 001 001
Total number of ends: 57
Warp length: 1.66m
I spent quite a long time hunting for instructions on wet finishing and have been disappointed by the paucity of information on the web. Search results related to weaving seem to repeatedly point to the same couple of sites and forums, one of which is too commercially focussed for my taste. If you’re a weaver you’ll know which site I’m talking about.
The Weaver’s Workbook by Hilary Chetwind was a little more helpful. I had borrowed it more than once from my local library and when I saw it come up for sale on eBay I jumped on it, even though it was a little expensive for an ex-library copy, and even though ex-libraray is not my preferred choice. The book provides a very good overview of weaving techniques and how to fix common mistakes and also contains a number of drafts.
Hilary Chetwind recommends using soap flakes for washing and using a slatted roller with an open core to dry long weaves. I don’t think I’m quite ready for the slatted roller, yet.
Given the heavy texture in my weave I decided to go with a gentle hand wash using barely a teaspoon of Lux Flakes, a medium fast spin in the washing machine and then drying on a drying rack in the living room. It’s winter here right now.
When the weave came off the loom it was very even width-wise (I got big tick from my teacher for that) and the selvage was OK. I worked hard to catch my floats to make that happen and I think it worked most of the time. If I caught an error early enough I unwove and re-did it. In short, I did my best. Having said that, I will do better next time.
The biggest areas to work on are achieving an even beat and making sure the cloth beam doesn’t separate the weave. The tensioning of the weave over the cloth beam caused the picks to separate and I ended up with gaps. A few days of fiddling with the scarf prior to wet-finishing mostly sorted that out.
Next time it would be good not to make any weaving mistakes either. It’s not super visible (part of my plan for this project) but there are a couple of places in the pattern where I lost my way.
Next time I would also increase the number of ends per inch to at least six, to give a more square pattern.