This is just a reminder for longterm blog readers who are used to me writing about what's happening right now... I'm in a production crunch and about five days behind in my blogging, so the stuff I'm writing about here all happened a few days ago. I just don't want you to think I'm being dishonest next week when I post photos of my booth and there are a bunch of grey garments.
Just a few hours after the sleying was finished, the beam, harnesses and reed were transferred to the production loom and ready to start weaving. The sandpaper beam means that I don't tie anything to start weaving.
I just stick the threads to the beam, about 12 threads in each little bunch, and carefully start weaving. It magically evens out before the cloth even reaches the sandpaper. You can see here that even the first few picks are weaving fine. The only thing to watch for is that the threads don't stay stuck to the beam and wrap around it. This makes a mess.
I've got a standard habit for starting a beam now. The first piece of weaving from each beam is a sample blanket. It has stripes of each major weft color that I think I'll use.
Once it's woven, I finish the edges, wash and dry it, and hang in the place of honor, above the bobbin winding station. It then serves as a guide for weft thread mixing for all of the garments woven on this warp. I take it as a point of pride, and a way to keep my interest, that I never use the same weft combination on any two garments. They are all slightly different. This is one reason why I need such good lighting in my booth - so that people can see the differences themselves.
This predominantly grey warp is the most versatile that I've ever wound. There is no weft color that I tested that I would not actually weave. In fact, I'm tempted to use even more extreme colors than usual, knowing that the grey warp will muddy them down to acceptable levels. As always, these extreme ideas will be tested on a scarf before I commit to a whole garment.