Last we chatted, I was winding the yarns on the loom! The theory is that when you are finished winding on, all the yarns will be evenly wound around the back beam at completely equal tension. That’s the theory, at least!
Both the front beam and back beam have methods for rotating them. The back beam has an awesome crank! (It is very cool until you forget it’s there and slam a thigh right into it I’ve had some lovely bruises to show for my forgetfulness!) And why might you forget it’s there? Well, it comes off when you don’t need it! So most days, it’s sitting nicely in the bench with my other random loom pieces.
View of the back of the loom
As I’m winding on all the yarn, I add a yardstick about every rotation. This ensures that I don’t start developing mountains and valleys of yarn on the beam, which would then affect the overall tension. Tension is the name of the game, I tell you!
Love me some yardsticks!
(I am sure that my local hardware stocks yardsticks just for me! Who uses yardsticks anymore – right??? And I tend to err on the side of overkill when it comes to adding in yardsticks! So, the Ace Hardware folks love me!)
View of the front
So, there is a sort of dance that happens when I wind the yarns onto the loom. Stand at the front, give all the groups a yank, release the brake, wind on the back…. then, repeat a thousand more times.
Yarn, patiently waiting
This part of the process is always the toughest for me to get through. Somehow, it seems the least exciting – probably because it’s the last thing standing in the way of actually weaving! But, 3 hours later, it’s time to tie everything to the front! Yay!
See my fancy knots? When you pull the shorts ends, the loop pulls out and the knot comes undone. It’s a very cool trick! Because of the kind of cotton yarn I use, most times I put a basic knot underneath so it doesn’t pull out quite as easily!
Most times, I end up with some yarns shorter than the others (typically on the left – I must pull harder on the right side?). So, I don’t always have enough inches left to do the fancy knot. And in that case, a regular square knot does the trick!
So now, everyone’s neatly and evenly positioned in the loom! Next, the weaving magic will begin! Soon… very, very soon…
Lots of knotting going on!
Ready to weave!