I’m this close to finishing the process of dressing the loom! The last step is winding on the yarn. I must admit that of all the parts of the process, this is my least favorite. I’m not sure what makes this kind of repetition less fun than the other steps. I would imagine that it has to do with the fact that the end is in sight! Very soon, there will be weaving! So, here goes!
When I was threading the heddles, I wanted to get as close to the loom as possible. Thankfully, the entire back of my loom folds in for that process. So, in order to wind everything on, I need to stretch out the back of the loom.
The back is snug to the loom
The back is extended
There is a rod lashed on to the back beam that the yarn will be tied to. I like to start in the middle and work my way out.
Tying onto the rod
Ready to wind!
So, the goal of winding on, is to make sure all the yarn is under the same tension. (Weaving when the tension is wobbly and uneven is just not fun!) There are plenty of ways you can sabotage yourself – believe me, I’ve done them all! But, I’ve found that I am more consistent when I break up the yarn into groups and give them a tug. After each tug, I wind it on the beam for a turn. Tug, wind, tug, wind,… you get the idea!
Groups of yarn to tug!
Bird’s eye view
The magic ingredient for winding on smoothly is sticks! In this case, yard sticks! My loom is 36″ wide. So, they are the perfect size! I have no doubt that I am solely responsible for all the yard stick sales at our local Ace Hardware in the last 4 years! The sticks keep the yarn from winding on in mountains and valleys, which would disrupt my nice, even tension. Needless to say, I love my yardsticks!
Winding on the back
My beloved yardsticks!
So, after hours of tugging and winding, all the yarn is finally on the back. All that is left is to tie the yarn to the rod that is lashed to the front beam. Then, all will be right with world and I’ll be weaving! It’s getting good….
Fancy knot on the front!
All knotted up!