Warping and weaving with Harrisville Shetland yarn

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I’m warping the Harrisville Shetland for six blankets, so beaming a warp 16 m long.  Given all the information on your website about sett, fulling, etc., it appears that it is suitable for warp.  However, I’ve noticed how easily it breaks and I’m getting worried that I’m going to have broken warp ends as I weave.  But with a sett, it means it’s warp. Any advice for me at this early stage?  I’m using 12 epi and will sley 1-2-1-2 etc. in an 8-dent reed.   Thanks for whatever help you can provide!

I understand your reluctance but do not fear, it will be okay.  There is only one thing you have to watch and that is your draw-in.  I don’t know how you beat but I will share my technique with you and you should have no problems. I beat on an open shed and I make sure I have a good angle on the weft before I beat. So here is the sequence:

  • Step on a treadle
  • Throw your shuttle (watch the angle of the yarn laying in the shed and keep it high)
  • Beat watching the negative space so you get your nice 50/50 cloth
  • Leave the beater against the fell of the cloth and change your shed
  • Then bring the beater back to the castle so you can throw your next pick

over and over and over. If you weave it like this you will have no problems.  If you want to add a little strength to the warp at the selvedges you can put sizing on it. Take 1 tbsp of flaxseed and boil it up in 2 cups of water for 10 minutes of so…..it will start to look like Metamucil (yum, yum).   Strain the seeds out of it and you will be left with goop.  You can thin it out a bit if you want to and paint it on your selvedge threads behind the heddles.  It all washes out but it adds cellulose to the yarn which gives more strength.   However having said that, I have never had to do it with Harrisville.

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