So, I picked up three books by Peggy Osterkamp while I was at Carolina Homespun yesterday, and have been avidly reading through the first one. She explains weaving one step at a time, with fairly encyclopedic knowledge of each step. The best part about the first book is that it contains a detailed treatise on calculating yarn sett! Never again will I have trouble working out the proper sett. She even has some handy tables in the back of the book.
Peggy also has a VERY detailed set of instructions for project planning, including a handy worksheet for warp and weft calculations. Me being me, of course, I’ve already turned this into an Excel spreadsheet. 🙂
So I’ve been using this spreadsheet to run some numbers, and it appears I can make a rather nice scarf 7″ wide and 6 feet long out of the 432 yards of handspun magenta/purple silk that my sister-in-law gave me. I’m going to do it in a houndstooth/pinwheel design along with some black silk yarn that I still need to dye – the black should “pop” the magenta color quite nicely. I’m almost 1/2 way done with the other shawl, so I better get moving!
I’m not sure what I’ll do after that – most likely some cashmere. I just got two pounds of 2/14 cashmere, which is too weak to use as warp but would make excellent weft – going to warp up with some 2/12 silk and try weaving some samples.
Now that I’m armed with a little knowledge, watch out! I think I have just exited the era of “follow the recipe” and am ready to launch into new, freewheeling byways.