re-sleying the reed
I like the task of sleying the reed. By the time you get to that point in the process the planning has all been done, the warp has been measured and wound onto the back beam of the loom and each warp thread has been threaded through it's heddle. Dressing the loom is almost complete. Once the reed is sleyed the only thing left is to tie the warp in small bouts onto the front beam. Interestingly, I hate the tyeing on. That's the point where you need to get the warp tension even. It doesn't have to be tight but it should be totally even so the cloth you weave will be straight and even too. Sleying the reed means you are almost ready to weave.
I put 6 yards of warp on my Baby Mac to weave linen tea towels. It's a color and weave pattern in black and natural that should look totally elegant. 100% linen will require ironing unlike the cottolin kitchen towels that come right out of the dryer looking good and ready to work, but they will be wonderful. I decided on 20" wide with a sett of 24 ends per inch and with 6 yards of warp I should be able to get 8 towels. I wove several inches but wasn't happy with the cloth.
This isn't a complicated pattern but it should be even and I was having trouble making that happen. If I beat with my normal kitchen towel beat, each section was thinner than it was wide. I could beat it with a lighter touch and make the sections more even but the cloth felt sleazy - not dense enough to be a nice solid tea towel.
I decided I needed to increase the sett from 24 ends per inch to 30 ends per inch. This makes my tea towels a bit narrower since I am compressing the ends closer together. Now they will be 16 inches wide in the reed as opposed to 20 inches wide.
My reed has 12 dents per inch so the first time the warp was threaded 2 ends per dent. Now that I was increasing the sett I needed to change reeds or put more threads per dent. The 12 dent reed is the finest one I have for this loom so I switched from two threads per dent to alternating 2 and 3 dents per inch. That works out to 30 ends per inch:
The other thing I did while the warp wasn't attached to the front beam was to untangle one thread that had gotten crossed before it went through it's heddle. Not a big problem but it made the back of the loom look unkempt. So with all changes made, I reslayed the reed which made me very happy. Then I had to tie onto the front beam which as usual was tedious and unrewarding except that I'm now back weaving my towels. I think they will be wonderful and I'll take pictures when they're finished.