Ask Madelyn: Temple Trouble

I am weaving a chenille afghan and using a temple to keep my edges straight. The afghan is 56” wide on loom, and I wanted the finished width to be about 50”. My question is what width should I set the temple to? I have it set at 54 1/2” now and it seems to be really pulling the chenille warp apart where the temple teeth are. I adjusted it from 55” after weaving a few inches because it was just pulling too much. I hate to readjust in the middle of the afghan, so hopefully you won’t answer this until I’m done! I haven’t had this problem before but I’ve only done rugs with the temple. Is the chenille too soft a yarn to use a temple with? Will the pulled out edges full back in when I wash it? 
Hi Melanie!
I’m sorry, but I must answer before you continue another minute!
The problem is that you are not allowing enough weft angle; it’s the lack of weft length that is pulling in; there must be enough ease in the weft to allow its over and under path. In addition, the temple should always be set to the width of the warp in the reed, in this case, 56″. I hope you do get this email before you go any farther because you need to start over, TRULY, and reset the temple at the start and then concentrate on allowing a LOT more weft ease. The edges will not pull back out and everything will get worse if you continue.
Hi Madelyn!
Thanks for your prompt reply! After much moaning and groaning I spent two days unweaving and then started over with my temple at 56”. I’m allowing much more weft, and things look so much better! When you said I “truly” needed to start over, I knew you were right!
Hi Melanie!
Ah, good, good, good!
The wonderful thing about starting over, as horrible as it is, is that what was wrong becomes only a dim memory and eventually goes away completely. Forging ahead when you know something is wrong means that it will never go away. I have a rule of thumb. If something I’m looking at as I’m weaving (some little irregularity I see) bothers me three times, I take it out. If I find myself saying, for example, this will probably wash out or this probably won’t show when I’m finished or this just doesn’t quite look right, anything like that three times, I start over. I’ve never been sorry I’ve started over, I’ve only been sorry when I haven’t. Good work!

Posted February 15, 2013. Updated July 26, 2017.

If you have a weaving question we would love to hear from you! Please email Madelyn! Pictured above: Summer Lace Placemats and Mug Rugs by Suzie Liles Handwoven May/June 2017. View related & recent “Ask Madelyn” posts!

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