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  1. #1
    New Member viktor's Avatar
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    Trouble With Asymmetric Hammock Lay

    Hello HF,

    I recently made my first DIY gathered-end hammock, and am very excited. However I'm having some trouble with the lay of the hammock seeming quite asymmetric, which based on my (beginner) opinion is related to the whipping.

    Some background: It was constructed using 1.0oz/yd2 calendared ripstop, with dimensions of 53" x 116". There's currently an adjustable ridgeline on there (thanks Dutch!). I will soon be adding a stretch footbox mod, and ridgeline organizer. I used the Warbonnet whipping style for this project, because it seemed simple, and I had an example handy in my Blackbird.

    The Problem: The hammock seemed comfortable at first, when I was laying with my head on the left and feet on the right side (what I'm accustomed to from my BB). But when I tried to switch diagonals, the hammock was not nearly as comfortable. It felt like the fabric was not evenly distributed on either side, and the left-lay had much more slack available in the fabric than the right-lay. In When laying on the right, the fabric on my left side seemed to pull very tight and rise very high compared to the seemingly-normal left-lay.
    Thinking that it might be a mental trick because I'm not used to one side, I adjusted the loose fabric to experiment, and switched my head end to compare. It definitely seemed as if the fabric on one side pulled out further than an equivalent point on the opposite side. In my opinion, this could only be caused by the whipping not being done evenly, but it didn't seem like there was much to screw up when I did that Warbonnet style.

    Happy to share photos, but won't be able to take and post until tomorrow.
    I also now remember, that lengthening the ridgeline slightly (I had not been exact with an 83% measurement initially) seemed to help somewhat.

    Any advice for me, friends?

  2. #2
    Snowball's Avatar
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    First of all forget all about the 83% ridgeline. It is a “guide line” but you have to adjust till you feel comfortable.
    You can try to turn the hammock inside out and lay the same way. If there is a difference it is likely your hammock isn’t symmetrical.
    The next thing is the fabric. It is 1.0 oz. depending on your weight you may have stretched it?
    If there is nothing left to learn itís time to die.
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  3. #3
    New Member viktor's Avatar
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    Thanks Snowball!

    I did indeed treat the 83% as a guide. Whatever length loosening it resulted in, it seemed to work well so I didn't bother remeasuring. I weigh ~130lbs, so I don't think I'm putting too much stress on the fabric. I can feel a little stretch/give, and it seems to feel unrelated to the problem.

    Perhaps another way to describe it: when swinging my feet/legs from one side to another, it seemed like they would drop into the sag (on one side or the other of the center line of tension) much more easily (and with much more sag to spare) on one side, whereas on the opposite side, there was little room for error, and it was much harder to find a comfortable lay.

  4. #4
    SilvrSurfr's Avatar
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    If you're comfortable with head left/feet right, why do you want to lay the opposite? I'm a head right/feet left person and have never considered laying the opposite.

    One thing is certain - 53" wide is pretty narrow. I have a 55" wide hammock that I don't even use any more because it's too hard to get comfortable in (feet pop out all the time). I'm used to a minimum of 58" and can't seem to adapt.

    I also don't use Warbonnet or any other whipping method - sewn channels and a continuous loop provide me the most repeatable option. I hear there are whipping methods that are infinitely more customizable, but whipping has always seemed like a black art to me, so I avoid it.
    "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds." Ralph Waldo Emerson

  5. #5
    Snowball's Avatar
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    You cannot compare a GE hammock to a BB! It has a foot box and the side is pulled up because of that. It will to some degree force you to the opposite side. I haven’t actually tried a BB but I have made clones.
    At 130 lbs I doubt there is any stretch in the fabric.
    If the ridgeline is short in my experience you will feel “pockets”. Try to lengthen the ridgeline and do it in steps of at least 3-4” at the time. I doubt you can feel the difference with smaller steps. You will most likely have to adjust the hang angle accordingly. If you have a sagging ridgeline the changes won’t have any effect.
    You can eliminate the “pockets” by adding a outwards going curve to the foot end but I suggest trying radical adjustment first. From what you describe I think your ridgeline is way too short.
    If there is nothing left to learn itís time to die.
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  6. #6
    New Member viktor's Avatar
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    My comparison to the BB was only meant to suggest that I'm more used to a lay on a certain side, no worries! I only plan on installing a stretchable footbox on one side, so in the end, I will probably only be laying in one direction anyway: I just want to make sure the hammock is as good as can be in all aspects. In addition to not weighing much, I'm pretty narrow, so not too worried about the width, in fact I think it will be quite comfortable for me when I get this sorted out. The Warbonnet whipping method does make use of an end channel and its super easy. It's not whipping so much as tying the end into a ball, indeed the other whipping methods threw me off when I first looked at them.

    Snowball, the "pockets" seem like a good word for it. I had tried playing with the ridge line length in increments previously, but I think some more experimentation is an order to see if the length is directly related to this issue. Will report back!

  7. #7
    Snowball's Avatar
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    This is the foot end shape I was talking about. You will find different opinions about how big the curve should be but as far as I can tell 2-3” is the most common used. As SilvrSurfr have pointed out yours is a narrow hammock so you have to be careful not to overdo it. Because it is a narrow hammock I would not go beyond 1.5”or so. What happens is you lower the center ridge in the hammock but it is a balance because if you overdo it the “pocket” will be in the center instead and then you won’t be able to lay diagonal because you will be forced towards the middle. Even if you do this mod you have to play with the ridgeline.
    It can be a bit tricky to sew a curve on the end. I make center marks on the fabric and start at the middle and sew towards the hammock edge. Then I turn it around and do the same on the other side. Then your fabric is lined up and you can sew all the way across without it moving. Why? The length of a curve is not the same as the width of the hammock.
    When you make the stretchable footbox don’t overdo your stitching the first time. It is a narrow hammock and it may not behave like you want it to. It’s easier to stitch a row or two later than it is to rip it apart. Tagging is the worst to undo.
    Footend w. curve.png
    If there is nothing left to learn itís time to die.
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  8. #8
    New Member viktor's Avatar
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    The curved foot end cut makes sense. My followup question is regarding the end channel design results from using that curved end. Would the end channel follow the curve around? I'm wondering if style of whipping used (here's what I copied from Knotty) will alter the results of this design; I would think not.

  9. #9
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    Yes, and that is why it’s not so easy to do but take your time.
    If there is nothing left to learn itís time to die.
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  10. #10
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    The material does stretch, but it is hard to compensate, I say impossible if all 4 possible diagonal lays are required and are equally used.
    Personally, I have found the answer to all lay questions is the mode of gathering. Hennessy style works the best, and provides equally comfortable flat lay, no calf ridge, in all 4 directions, at least at first, while there is no stretch yet.
    There are 2 sub modes to try: 1) fold the ends of the fabric to its center point, making a tube. Then fold and roll each closed end toward the center about 5 times, then whip as usual. 2) fold the ends of the fabric to its center point, making a tube. Then fold the closed ends toward the center in halves again, then again, and again, about 4 times. Then whip.
    There may be a real tube if 2 ends are sewn together for 20 to 25 cm at the 1st fold, but that is not necessary, but that will hold the edges of the hammock taut, the ridge line will support them while in working position. Or just pull out the two edges out for an inch or so when whipping them.

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