The pile of samples that sits on top of my printer / photocopier is growing slowing, and gives me a little pleasure in doing so. This week I took my first rag sample off the loom – after the linen warp came apart. The good thing is – I know why. It was a salutary lesson. I know I have to be more careful, more exact. As a result, and before going any further, I spent a little time with my library of valuable books, mostly acquired with my tapestry loom, books I am still discovering from the pile of fifty or more that are still unshelved. Very slowly I’m learning how to read and digest (though not wholly understand) Peter Collingwood’s classic The Techniques of Rug Making – if you want to dip into this it is available from the Arizona Universityy archive as a PDF. This week I made a little progress with a few necessary pages of this book, and came to understand what I have been doing wrong / badly. So, time to be careful I thought. And it’s paying off.
Before I go into the whys and wherefores let me tell you about my new warp. After linen I’m now trying an ecru Pure Bourette Silk – described as Chinese No.817 – 17/8nm from Texere. I have a cone of this in my ‘warp’ drawer (I keep some of my yarn in a rather unusual filing cabinet that used to house trays of cassette and DAT tapes). It was a treat to put on the loom and I’ve threaded a warp of 80 ends (no selvedge extras this time) using the same spaced pattern on a 8 reed as my previous samples with the intention of making a 96cm by 48cm rug. The intention is to put into practice just two, possibly three of the patterns I’ve learnt and worked with in my recent sampling. Colours? A grey and a cream 2-ply wool, and possible a cherry red (but just a touch).