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