I went to the Figure my Figure meeting for the Guild’s 2016 Yardage Challenge — how to figure out how much you need to weave for the pattern you’ve chosen. These are my notes.
First, you’ve got to pick a pattern. The upside to a pattern like this one is that it has many pieces — many pieces tends to mean that each piece is not super-wide, and that means that you can weave your cloth on a smaller (narrower) loom. Most patterns have the yardage labeled for 45″ or 60″ cloth — and if your loom’s that wide, bully for you, but if it’s not . . . well . . .
Our intrepid weaver’s guild president, Sarah Laudenbach, a long time seamstress, suggests tracing all your pattern pieces on to tracing paper, and using the tracing paper pattern for your garment, keeping the original for reuse. If you use (or cut down your) tracing paper to the maximum width of your cloth on the loom (minus the selvage, minus shrinkage), you can’t go too wrong.
Remember, you have to line up the pieces with the grain. Check the arrows, and get everything going in the right direction. When you get everything traced, and before you start cutting the tracing paper, measure the length of the tracing paper. This, plus shrinkage, is the minimum length you need to weave for your pattern. Weave more.
If you are using cloth with an obvious pattern/stripe/grid, you’re going to need more cloth, because you’re going to use the little dart-arrows in the pattern to line up with the lines in the cloth. You may need substantially more cloth to do this, if you have a long repeat.
I don’t know about you, but I’m still not feeling super-sure about this whole thing . . . weaving yardage, no problem — cutting my cloth . . . . eek.