Keeping Track of Your Pattern - Weaving

Weaving for Cutting Apart
Placemats, napkins, and towels are some of the many handwoven fabrics woven as a single length on the loom but meant to be cut into sections later. If you know where you'll want to cut, here’s a good way to prepare the place.
After the first piece, weave two rows of contrasting yarn—two rows because the valley between them forms an indentation that’s easy to follow with a scissors. Plain weave provides a clear path for cutting, although any two treadles that lift opposite shafts work well.
When you are ready to separate the pieces, stitch on top of the first yarn of each section, next to the contrasting yarn. Stitch up one side, turn the fabric, and stitch down the other side of the contrasting pair. Stitching before cutting prevents the last rows of each section from loosening.
Use a zigzag or straight stitch. If you choose a zigzag, set its width so that it encloses only one yarn and sew with that yarn centered in the presser foot opening. If you choose a straight stitch, set the length slightly shorter than the number of ends per inch so that the needle pierces every warp end as well as the weft that the stitching follows.
For a firmer edge, stitch again next to—but not on top of—the previous stitching.
When you cut between the two contrasting yarns, these rows ravel out, but bits of them may stick if the yarn is caught by the sewing machine needle. If you’ve sewed evenly, they ravel out easily leaving a clean edge with a very tiny fringe that helps taper the cut edge.
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Making a Weaving Guide
Use a weaving guide for each of your projects to make weaving more enjoyable.
A weaving guide is a strip of cash register paper marked with the weaving measurements and pinned to one edge of the fabric on the loom. You can buy rolls of cash register tape at office supply stores.
To make a weaving guide, calculate the finished length of the piece, including hems. Then add shrinkage to determine the woven length on the loom. For instance, a towel with a finished length of 28" plus a 1" hem at each end equals 30". Add 10% for shrinkage and the woven length on the loom is 33".
Cut a length of cash register paper longer than the project length, about 40" long for this example. At the beginning end, write the name of the project and the date. Then draw a starting line. Measure 33" and draw an ending line.
Attach the weaving strip to one side of your weaving with two long pins, about 4" apart. Leapfrog the pins as you weave, taking out the first pin and re-pinning it close to the fell of the cloth while the other pin keeps the strip attached to the weaving. Both ends of the strip are unattached—if the strip is very long, wind up one end and fasten it with a paper clip. When you’re finished with the weaving, roll the strip with the project name and date on the outside, fasten with a paper clip, and keep it for reference for future projects.
Example of a weaving guide
There are many advantages to using a weaving guide. Let’s say that you want the two ends of the towel to match. Fold the strip in half, matching the starting and ending line to find the middle of the towel. As you weave, mark the strip with repeats and color changes. During weaving, when you reach the middle of the towel, remove the guide and transfer the marks to the other half of the strip. Reattach the strip and weave to the end of the guide. With very little effort, you’ve woven a towel with matching ends!
Using a weaving guide for every project allows you to weave faster and with more confidence. It helps ensure that your project turns out the right length and keeps track of your pattern when you mark treadling and color repeats. Once you try a weaving guide, you’ll wonder how you ever wove without it.   

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