Let's get it started!

Let's get it started!

Yay! A new project!! Starting a project versus finishing a project… hmmm… both are awesome! It’s the middle section I usually have trouble with!

Starting the winding process!

Starting the winding process!

This time around the block, I’ll be creating a bolt of fabric for a series of handbags. But, I want to mix it up a bit. In the past, I’ve planned for the warp yarns to be spaced about 8 to an inch. In an effort to bring them more prominently into the forefront of the fabric, I’m going to change it to 12-18 per inch. This effects everything that happens on the warping board and will definitely translate to more yarns and more time setting it up. Hopefully, the result will be worth it! Here goes nothing!!!

Warping Board!

Warping Board!

I want to create a warp with wide, distinctive stripes of color and just a white/neutral in between. Each stripe will have a fine black outline just to add to the contrast.

The 1st stripe is brown...

The 1st stripe is brown…

When working on the warping board, I’m always looking for natural stopping points. Because, it’s rare that when doing a project this width, I can fit it all onto the board in one shot! The pegs are only so big! In this case, I’ll do a stripe and then twist it off. It all comes back together at the reed anyways. So, no one would know when they saw the final product. Just tricks of the trade…

Brown stripe - done!

Brown stripe – done!

Plus, it can be confusing enough staring at my chicken scratch trying to determine what yarn comes next! Anything I can do to simplify the pieces of the process is helpful! Funny how weaving deals in contrasts. Create a complicated pattern just to find simple ways to execute it… I’ll have to ponder that more in depth… Never occurred to me before! (Weavers can be plenty philosophical – don’t you worry!)

Then, green

Then, green

(You know there must be green…. It is still me doing the project!)

Piecing it together!

Piecing it together!

In most steps of the “dressing the loom” process, you are sitting or even squatting. So, I rather enjoy standing at the warping board. Or in most cases, swaying! The width of the board measures just shy of a yard. So, when winding the yarn from left to right and top to bottom, and back again, you can imagine the motion – constantly shifting your weight to place the yarn on the correct peg. It can be sort of meditative once you get in the groove!

And now, blue...

And now, blue…

One of the key goals when winding yarn onto the warping board is to do it in the same order that it will eventually go into the loom! This can mean more work up front, but a huge time saver later. The way you do that is by using the “cross”. The cross is a place at the warping board where the yarns jog over and under (2) pegs such that the intersection tells you exactly which order the yarns are supposed to be in. So, once you’ve gone to all that work creating a lovely cross, it’s important to be sure you can find it once it’s off the board. I like to use a contrasting-colored yarn to tie up the bunches (shown below). Then, when the yarns are free and look like yarn soup laying on the table in the next step, I can still locate the cross!

Keeping the cross...

Keeping the cross…

And finally, cranberry!

And finally, cranberry!

I’m nearly done at the warping board! Next up, it’ll be time to sley the reed – my favorite! And even if it wasn’t, it’s just fun to say you’re going to “sley” something! Sounds medieval, doesn’t it? Ah well, a good time will be had by all – I promise! Talk to you soon…

Run 11 Warping 18

By |2014-01-23T07:00:29+00:00January 23rd, 2014|Art, Dressing the Loom, Weaving|0 Comments

About the Author:

Chris Acton is the President, Chief Weaver, and Jack-of-all-Trades for Acton Creative, based in NW Indiana. When she isn't weaving away, you can find her absorbed in a book while slurping gallons of hot tea.

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  1. Sonja MilojevicS January 24, 2014 at 12:14 pm - Reply

    I love starting a new project! It Is always exciting to plan which colors to use,how to arrange them etc. It can be the most creative part of the weaving process. ☺I can’t wait to see your fabric finished!

    • Chris January 28, 2014 at 7:48 pm - Reply

      I am so with you!!! It’s so much fun! You feel a little invincible at the beginning, which is exhilarating! Thanks, Sonja! chris

  2. Elizabeth Frenzel January 25, 2014 at 4:17 pm - Reply

    It’ll be exciting to see how your new wide stripes pattern turns out! And I’m with you on the swaying motion at the warping board. It becomes something of a gentle dance. How creative! Lizz   Wishing you peace, love, light, and the joy living of an Inspired life!

    • Chris January 28, 2014 at 7:49 pm - Reply

      Oooh, I love that – a “gentle dance”! It’s perfect! Thank you for the lovely comment! chris

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