The heddles have been threaded and I’m ready to start winding on! The plan is to connect the yarn to the back of the loom, wind it all on, and finally, tie it to the front – all while keeping an even tension and not breaking anything! That’s all…
When I thread the heddles, I try to get as close as possible. Thankfully, the back of my loom collapses, allowing me to sit nice and close. But, when I begin winding on, I need to unfurl the back to it’s full extension. (You can see in the bird’s eye view below, how close the back beam can sit – the back beam is the one with all the cording wrapped around it.)
To give you an idea of size, when the back is extended, the loom uses a little less than a 4′ x 4′ space. There’s a skinny rod that is lashed onto the back beam. This is what all the groups of yarns are tied to in the next step.
I don’t know if you remember way back when I was sleying the reed, but it was there that I started bunching the yarns into groups of 12. (Each inch is made up of 12 yarns, so the math is lovely!) I typically group the yarns the same throughout the entire process. It tends to keep me honest and prevents me from making crap up! And when you are setting up a loom (or dressing, as it’s called), it’s smart to pay attention as much as you can!
So, you’ve seen all the pictures of the back of the loom during the process. Here is what is happening at the front! I started with 4 bunches of yarn still tied together from the very beginning of the project.
Then, I break up the yarn clusters into smaller groups. Each group gets a tug before I wind the yarn on the back. The theme throughout this part of the process is even tension. As crazy as it sounds, if I yank on really large groups of yarn over and over for 8 yards worth, I’ll end up with pretty uneven yarns at the end. So, the more tricks you have to help with tensioning, the better!
Next up, I’ll walk you through more of the winding process (somehow, I took a lot of pictures this time!) Talk to you soon…