I do like texture, and am intrigued by waffle weave. I’ve done a little bit, and then I saw a page titled: “Waffle Weave Disasters” (Weaver’s Craft Issue 29, page 14), and I knew I would have to check this out.
I had some 8/2 cotton that wasn’t earmarked for anything else, and thought I’d try my hand at this very textured 8-shaft structure, and see what happened.
The beginning started out quite well, even though it waffled up right away, and there was a lot of draw-in.
Starting a ways in, I had a consistent problem with shaft 6 catching on something and not going down all the way after being lifted. I searched around for what it was catching on, and couldn’t locate anything, but soon learned I could lift it slightly with my finger from the middle and it would un-catch, only slightly slowing my shuttle-throwing rhythm.
All continued to go well, and I noticed a few things about this deep waffle structure – one was that the weft floats on the top of the cloth were looser going across the fabric than the weft floats on the underside. This seemed to be because raising the heddles pulled the threads under the long floats up and stretched them out a bit, which of course didn’t happen on the underside because the threads stay flat there. These threads stayed looser when finished, but it’s no big deal since the color placement on the two sides looks different as well. It just adds to the interest.
I was a little concerned as I got near the end about loose warp threads. This was due to the long warp floats over the length of the scarf. The threads with the longest floats got to be quite loose, but never so loose that the shed wasn’t clear.
I did a couple of picks of plain weave at the beginning and end, just to anchor the threads, and didn’t think it would make much difference in the weave, but there was so much draw-in that those two picks splayed out the ends somewhat. No big deal since this is a little wild anyway.
And here it is, showing both sides. By the time I had machine washed (cold) and dried flat, it had shrunk about 15%, but it’s still plenty long as a scarf. It’s actually 3/8″ thick, which may make this cotton scarf warm enough for winter. It’s really unusual and fun.