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Geeking Out: Doing a Loom Waste Audit

Most weaving patterns tell you how much loom waste they allow in the warp length within the project specs. In general, I allow 18”– 22” for the direct method, which requires that you tie onto the front apron rod and 22”– 26” for the indirect, which requires that you tie onto the apron rod in front and back. How much loom waste you need for any given project depends on how much yarn you use to tie on your knots, your loom type, and your finishing technique.

Loom waste is the length of warp that you can’t weave due to loom mechanics and the bits that you use to tie onto the apron rods. I’ve observed that beginners tend to use more loom waste than more experienced weavers. This is largely due to dialing in your knotting technique. Your style of loom can also dictate your loom waste. On my Cricket, I use about 6” of loom waste in the front and 11” in the back. I increase this by 15% when weaving on my Flip. If my project includes fringe, much of this length isn’t wasted, it is used in the final project.

Loom Waste on the Front of a Schacht FlipThe next time you weave a project, take the time to do a quick loom waste audit to determine how much loom waste you actually use. If using the direct method, you can do this by measuring the amount of warp left that you can’t physically weave at the end of your project, before you cut it from the loom. Then you can cut the project free of the back apron rod, unwind the project from your front beam, untie the warp from the front apron rod, and measure how much warp you used in the front. Include your headers in these measurements. If using the direct method, you will need to untie in the front and back before taking the measurements.

By taking the time to do this, you have your own personal guideline as to how much yarn you need to allow for any given project. If you are trying out a new Loom Waste on the Back Apron Rod of a Flip Loomtechnique or fiber, I recommend increasing this amount by 10%–15%, to allow for the learning curve.

Schacht Spindle Company wrote an article in their July newsletter about lashing as a way to reduce your loom waste. It is a tried-and-true method weavers use to decrease their loom waste, particularly when they are trying to eke out those last few inches at the end of a project. I generally don’t recommend this technique for beginners because it can be tricky to get your tension even when your learning curve is steep, but after you have a few projects under your belt, you may want to experiment with lashing. That said, you never know what you can do until you try.

Heddles Up!

Liz

Reading a Pick-Up Pattern

We are in the midst of the Spring 2018 Yarnworker Weave-Along, weaving the Linen Facecloths from Handwoven Home. This project provides all sorts of interesting challenges for new and experienced weavers alike by weaving windowpane with linen, using multiple colors in warp and weft. The thing I love best about the weave-along process is that I …

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How To Avoid Shaft Envy

There is far more weaving literature written for the floor or table loom weaver than the rigid-heddle weaver. This leaves many rigid-heddle weavers wanting to know if those tempting patterns they see in magazines and books are something they can make on a rigid-heddle loom and if so, how do you make heads or tails …

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Doubleweave WAL Finishing Tips

Finishing your handwoven throw: adjust the weft and tie off your ends

For some folks, their love of weaving is just that — they love the act of passing the shuttle back and forth and placing the weft. Warping and finishing aren’t in the same bucket. The handwork involved in finishing a piece of fabric can be very satisfying, but I know it can also be stressful. Here are …

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Doubleweave WAL Weaving Tips

Weavers never cease to amaze me with their good cheer, adventurous spirit, and curious minds. Oh, and how we laugh! The Yarnworker Weave-Along is in full swing. Most WAL weavers are warped and ready to go. Some are already done and ready to warp another throw. If you aren’t warped yet, don’t sweat it.  There is still plenty …

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Doubleweave WAL Warping Tips

I’m delighted and a little overwhelmed that so many of you are joining me for the Doubleweave Throw Weave-Along (DWWAL)! We are nearly 150 weavers strong! As you know, necessity (i.e. a train wreck) has offered me the <cough> opportunity <endcough> to reweave some of my teaching samples.  On a whim, I thought, “Why not invite …

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