Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Stick Shuttle

Took this photo for a blog post for Craftsy but it's out of focus so I won't use it after all.  I'm planning on a post about winding weft packages and when using a stick shuttle, I always wind the weft only over one edge of the shuttle in a figure 8.

I often see people recommending winding over both edges and around the middle which effectively makes a very fat weft package.  I'm told it's to cram as much weft onto the shuttle as possible.

Unfortunately that isn't really the best way to do it, in my opinion.  So, some free advice - and remember what free advice is worth!

By winding the weft in a figure 8 over one edge of the shuttle, the yarn builds up at the back of the shuttle and most of it lies on the top.  My stick shuttles are Leclerc brand, and I think you can clearly see that they are beveled on the leading edge.  By winding the weft on the other side, the 'spine' of the shuttle, in a figure 8, the shuttle can be used as a beater when weaving on a loom without one.  By putting the majority of the yarn on the top of the shuttle, the bottom is mostly wood, which will glide much more easily than yarn rubbing against yarn.

The weft package takes on a wedge shape which closely matches the shape of the shed.

All in all it just makes more sense to me to work with the tools and yarn.  A stick shuttle wound with a great big fat weft package will not go through the shed easily, will abrade the yarn, both on the shuttle and the warp and in the end is a form of 'hurrying' which really isn't very efficient.

Every yarn has a beginning and an end.  Learn how to deal with joins and ultimately, again in my opinion, make weaving a lot more enjoyable by winding smaller more efficient weft packages.  And that includes bobbins, quills and pirns.


sandrajager said...

Craftsy? Now I'm curious. Will you be teaching a course through them?

Laura Fry said...

No plans to do a class. I've been doing blog posts for them. I am woefully behind in submitting so I hope to get some written next week.