Sunday, March 24, 2013

I'm partially warped!!! =P

Many of you probably already understand the "warp/weft" idea from fabric/sewing/quilting. 

Hold onto this idea...then, follow a beginner (me) as threads become warped so they can eventually dance and play with weft threads.
This is looking from the top...down onto my
And, these threads (Maysville 8/4 cotton) are going to be my warp.
(side view)
I'm soo excited (...I can't hide it!! - Pointer Sister's style).  See those little loopy-ties?  Each loop represents 8 single threads through the eyes of stainless steel heddles.
This is the view as I will sit in my chair to weave.  Although, the loom is still not fully dressed and ready for it's weft fibers.  Each of the threads still need to go through a reed
One heddle eye
I put a white paper behind so that you could see the 8 heddles in a row, threaded and
looped together. 
In all, I threaded 240 threads thru those "eyes".  It took about 2.5 hours.  That might be slow.  But, it's only my second time.  First time I had someone actually helping thread. You might be thinking, YIKES! THIS looks VERY tedious.  It wasn't for me.  I really enjoyed the semi-relaxing, almost think-less motions of the process.  I was a little sad when it was complete.  That's good, right?  Yep, 'cause I will be looking forward to my next threading.
However... this isn't the beginning.  I had to create the warp threads from cones of thread, 240 strands of thread, each to be 5.5 yards long. The length was predetermined by how long and how many towels I'm going to make and including some waste.
I came up with a rather crazy method to get my warp threads ready. It's a bit unorthodox.  You know me...I'm always looking for a way to re-invent "the wheel".  Sometimes I just waste time trying to find an easier way. Sometimes, I'm lucky enough to bump into a way that works better for me than the "normal" way.  =P
The three methods pictured below, all have something in common....

They use lifted arm(s), mostly (and can cause the back to feel really tired) to create the proper length and number of threads needed.  It's important that each thread of the warp be the same/correct length.  I see these methods, and I start to think (which is usually dangerous).  After wrapping the length I need a bunch a times around the pegs, using mostly my arms and arms/shoulders/back will really be complaining of aches the day after. 
Now, if there was a way to use more leg, keeping my back straight and not having to lift my arm for long periods of time... that would be a lot better.  I don't mind walking all that much and if they take the brunt of the work, my arms and shoulders are MUCH happier.  Thought juices flow and light goes on!
...enter two saw horses from my husband's workshop and a dissected warping board.
With this method, I don't have to make as many wraps because I can space the pegs further away
from each other.  And, I can walk back and forth between the pegs using a lot less arm and more leg.
If a person didn't have enough space in one room, the saw horses could be placed down a hall or (weather permitting), in the garage.
I kept the cone of thread in a bucket so that it wouldn't run all over the floor as I walked and passed the thread around each peg.  One problem did surface.  If I pulled the threads just a teensy taught, the saw horses slightly tipped inwards towards each other.  Solution for next time - weight the legs of the saw horse down.  I'm not sure with what tho.  Would you have any ideas? 
The important CROSS needed to help keep threads straight when they go to the loom. More info HERE

There are more steps to get the warp to where I was able to thread each thread thru a single heddle eye like the photos at the beginning of the post.  Those steps are a bit blurry in my memory. takes several a bunch of times for me to learn a process with multi-steps (usually more than 3, =P!).  I was concentrating while the teacher was instructing me...and I forgot to take better pictures.  But, maybe next time the concentration will make a better imprint.  And with photos, I can explain this area of the process more clearly. 
Anyway,  I'm having fun...learning to get WARPED.  You're whispering under your breath..."she's been warped for quite some time now, poor thing".  =P
Dare I ask for a Whoop-Whoop for a "warped" accomplishment?  Are any of you, out there, weavers? or have you ever thought about learning to weave? 


IHaveANotion ~ Kelly Jackson said...

The only weaving I've done Annie is with my pot holder loom as a child. I've always admired those who had and used their looms....but I've never had the experience. I'm with you though...use the legs girl....they'll last forever...but the arms may give out and then hurt! If you had a could use telephone poles and ride between far fewer times than walking between your husbands saw horses! idea is really Warped....yours is excellent so I'm giving you a Whoop Whoop and another Whoop!


Granny Annie said...

Thank you so much for this in depth information. My mother always said the most difficult part of weaving was putting the warp on. I never understood. Sadly, even after you expert testimony, I still don't understand. My sister and I both dropped the ball on taking up this age old family craft.

Pokey said...

I have always admired the art of weaving, but wow! I had no idea it could be so involved. I only have done smaller paper and art weavings, but I'm happy for you! Very cool ~

Dorothy Matheson said...

Yes I have been a weaver but has been about 15 years ago.

Blue Toe Spinner said...

Whoop-whoop! Very inspiring! !

Chatty Crone said...

I see it - I read it - but I am not sure I understand it. I have weaved a pot holder and a basket. lol You are so incredibly talented Annie. sandie

Blue Toe Spinner said...

Whoop-whoop! Very inspiring! !

Chiska said...

Whoop, Whoop! That's fantastic! I enjoyed your expanation.

Sarah Craig said...

You definitely get a whoop whoop from me - and does all that walking count in your daily exercise total? I would suggest plastic bags of kitty litter or sand or rice to weigh down your sawhorses - something that could fold over the cross-braces....

Whoop whoop!!

Redecórate con Lola Godoy said...

Wow, your blog is wonderful, congratulations. Kisses from Spain.

Anonymous said...

I don't weave. I've always thought it interesting. My son does some and wants to get a regular loom when he has more space. Right now he has a sort of lap loom. We used to watch the Navajo weavers at Hubbell's trading post when I taught in Ganado in the 70s. Amazing what they did!