Along with finishing the bottom portion of my Laminaria top-to-be (photos are coming), I have been spending the weekend setting up my new loom, and building gear for it.
Saturday was going to be Measure Warp Using Upside Down Kitchen Chairs day, but instead Chris suggested that it wouldn’t take long to put together a proper warping board.
The two books and various magazines I checked all showed similar designs, but didn’t appear to have any hard and fast rules about the sizing, so we set about figuring out what parameters we’d use.
1 - I wanted to be able to wind a warp long enough to do a bedspread, so at least 7 feet plus loom waste (yes, I think in Imperial measurements for many things)
2 - I wanted to be able to wind the warp standing up, possibly with the board attached to a door (since the doors are some of the few areas that don’t get things piled on them, much)
3 - I didn’t want to bash my knuckles as I passed through the pegs (my recently-dislocated finger is still a bit swollen and doesn’t like getting knocked)
Scribbling, measuring of doors, and placing mugs a few inches apart to figure out minimum hand clearance requirements all led to the successful design, with fabrication to follow, of my new warping board. During production, I learned how to use a stationary belt sander to round off the edges of the pegs, and revisited the drill press to half-hollow places for the pegs to sit.
(It just occurred to me that in the way that other people murder knitting lingo when they try to describe something they don’t really know enough about, I’ve probably just done the same to woodworking language. Sorry.)
Glueing up and clamping done, the board rested overnight and then I started warping this morning.
Things I learned about warping:
1 - Do crosses at both ends so if you figure out a better way to warp without having to tie extra knots, you can implement it without having to rechain all of your warps.
2 - As a beginner warper, mohair is not your friend.
3 - You know that part in the books where they remind you to pull the back apron up over the back beam before you start lashing on? Yup, they mean it.
4 - If you’re going to ask your partner to help you wind on the warp, have all of the various warp threads under control BEFORE giving him the 5-minute call. Also, be prepared to spend some time discussing the wisdom of the method you are following.
5 - Venetian blinds appear to make great lease sticks for popping inbetween warp layers to keep them from imbedding in each other. They may, however, not be needed at every 1/4 crank.
In total, I think measuring the warp and warping the loom took around three hours. Cast On, Its a Purl Man and Lime n Violet’s podcast all kept me company during the process. Chris came back to help out during the heddle-threading and tieing to the front beam, and it was so much easier to have a second set of hands - one could seperate the yarn from its neighbors, and the other could do the threading or sleying.
First impressions on weaving with the floor loom? (A Leclerc, made in Canada! I was tickled when I found the maker’s mark.)
1 - Whoa. Totally cool having my hands free to just manage the shuttle instead of holding the rigid heddle up or down.
2 - Crazy! I was making weft-faced fabric without trying - the beater is a crusher if I don’t hold it back a bit!
3 - Sweet: Chris was having a turn at the loom, weaving twill, and just as I said, ‘I wonder if you can switch…”, he was about to try reversing the treadling directions to make the twill slant the other way. This synchronized thinking happens fairly often
Old knitting needles make great lease stitcks to work a quick header.
I'm not sure how pedals are normally tied up. These cords came attached to the upper thingys (though some weren't in the right place for plain weasve), so I used some split rings to attach them to the treadles.
Hot Man Weaving Action Shot!