Finding my 10 dent reed
I've got a new run of kitchen towels on the Gilmore loom. They are made with cottolin - our most favorite kitchen towel yarn. Cottolin is 40% linen and 60% cotton so it makes a strong and absorbent towel that just keeps getting better and better the more it is washed and used. I generally use a sett of 20 epi (ends per inch) for the warp and try to make the weft picks match to get a balanced and even weave.
I got the warp measured and wound on the back beam of my loom and threaded through the heddles. The next step is sleying the reed. I have several reeds for each of my looms because you need to be able to accommodate thicker or finer warp yarn. The dent count for a reed is the number of slots per inch. I used an 8 dent reed for the blankets I wove recently. I was weaving with nice thick woolen yarn so I sleyed one warp thread per dent - my sett was 8 epi. If I wanted the sett on my towels to be 16 epi I could have used the same 8 dent reed but sleyed two warp threads in each dent. You can pretty much make any reed work by sleying fewer or greater number of warp threads through each dent although it can get complicated. If I wanted the sett of my towels to be 20 and I was using an 8 dent reed I would need two threads in each dent plus a third thread in every other dent. I like two threads in each dent. It's straightforward and easy to remember while you are working along.
I wanted to sett these towels at 20 ends per inch which is two threads per dent in a 10 dent reed. So where is my 10 dent reed? I had just taken the 8 dent reed off the loom when I finished up the blankets. I found the 11 and 12 dent reeds just where they were supposed to be - in the reed stand - but no 10 dent reed anywhere. A reed is not something that's easy to misplace. In this case the reed is about 5" wide, 40" long and weighs something over two pounds. But I think I only had three reeds for this loom. Am I crazy? I'm afraid the answer is yes.I went back and checked all my notes of previous runs of kitchen towels and they all say the sett is 20 epi. That would indicate I really did have a 10 dent reed. But I sort of remember doing towels at 22 epi which is what you get with two threads per dent in an 11 dent reed. Harrumph!
For now I'm using the 11 dent reed. The towels will be slightly narrower and slightly thicker than they would be if I could find my 10 dent reed. They will still be wonderful!