As I enter my fifth year of hosting weave-alongs, I’ve been musing on how we spend our time. Besides generally geeking out on all the things weaving entails, we seem to spend the most time talking about the endlessly fascinating topic of yarn selection, sett, and beat, or what I like to call, the weaver’s trifecta.
Woven cloth is created when threads interlace with one another. How the yarns interlace is what forms the structure of the cloth, that we give names such as plain weave, twill, lace, etc. The glue that holds all of this together is clearly the yarn itself, but also how it is spaced in the warp and how open or close it is beat in the weft.
Here is a round-up of the top bits of know-how I spend the most time talking about:
- Warp yarns don’t have to be as strong as you think they do.
- Understanding color value is often the greatest color choice you face.
- Knowing how to determine an open, balanced, or close sett for any given yarn is the key to yarn substitution. Character is a close second.
- Unless you are weaving weft- or warp- faced cloth, leave room between your weft yarns.
Wrapping your head around these essential bits of know-how gives you a great sense of confidence in your approach, allowing you to weave up the cloth in your mind’s eye and enjoy the surprises along the way.
2 thoughts on “The Weaver’s Trifecta: Yarn, Sett, Beat”
Have you addressed variable dent on rigid heddle? Any advice? Am planning to use some bulky gauge yarn.
A former student
I have one, but I’ve not spent a great deal of time using it. What I found interesting is seeing folks use the gaps between the heddles as an extra big slot to introduce single ends of bulky art yarn in a warp without putting undo stress on it.
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