Hello! The reed has been sleyed (threaded) and is now ready to slide into the loom, bringing all the parts together!
The reed’s job is to keep the project a consistent width. The reed is now tucked into the beater bar, that will move forward and back to keep the density of the fabric consistent while we’re weaving. The beater bar sits in front of the shafts which will move up and down creating a pattern in the fabric. Lastly, in the shafts live a bunch of heddles that hold each yarn, which will move according to the pattern. And that covers the inner workings of a loom! Go forth and impress your friends with your weaving knowledge!
When I’m threading heddles, I like to start in the middle and work my way out. Because I have a 4-shaft loom, I have 4 different options for each yarn. I’ll be doing a stardard 1-2-3-4-1-2-3-4 pattern for this project – keeping it nice and simple! So, the first yarn is threaded through a heddle on shaft 1. The next yarn goes through a heddle on shaft 2. Then, 3, and 4 and back to 1! Repeat over and over again until all the yarns are safely tucked into the loom!
(By the way, shaft 1 is closest to the beater bar and shaft 4 is closest to the back. Just for a little clarification, because I know you were dying to ask… I see your hand up over there!)
Here is a concept that might make your brain ooze out of your ears. Because I’m starting in the middle and moving to the right, the yarns will go in the order I mentioned before. But after that 1/2 is finished, I need to come back to the middle and move to the left – meaning I need to thread them backwards (4-3-2-1-4-3-2-1)… Yeah, it’s a little disorienting the first few times you do it! But ultimately, I want the pattern to look the same from one end to the other. Thankfully, it feels less weird the more times you do it!
I like to knot the yarns together about every inch. It helps me double and triple check that I haven’t flubbed up somewhere before this! The “flubbing up” does occasionally happen… I know, it’s hard to believe…
The heddles are threaded – woohoo! All that’s left is to wind the project onto the loom, and then there will be weaving! Lots and lots of weaving!!! Hang tight for all the fun to come! Talk to you soon…