Sunday, November 13, 2011

Finishing the warping process

But first: Last night as I was sitting at the computer, I realized that the wind was pretty fierce. It was blowing the porch swing against one of the chairs out there. So I took about two yards of clothesline and lashed the swing to the porch post.
 While taking this picture this morning, I also took one of the maple tree next door. This was a spectacular tree until the Ice storm 2 1/2 years ago. You can see a couple of large limbs still hanging. Angela had some men trimming it a few weeks ago. They wanted to take the whole thing down (I think they should), but she still wants to save it.
Anyway, back to the warping. I started threading the heddles yesterday after I posted. First I took the reed out of the beater.

Then I used my sleying hook (sley rhymes with they)
 to reach through the harnesses/shafts, grab a thread (in the correct order) and pull it through a heddle (a thin wire-like thing with an eye in the middle). My loom has four harnesses, but I am only using two of them for this project.
I took eight threads at a time out of the raddle, threaded them through the heddles and tied them together in a slip knot to make sure they didn't slide back through.

This procedure means I was sitting, leaning over the front beam, reaching and pulling. I got about 2/3 of the threading done, and took a break from it until this morning. After having oatmeal and coffee, I finished the threading, and removed the raddle from the top of the loom. Then I put the reed back in the beater and started sleying it; that is pulling one thread through each space in the reed.
Again, I pulled through eight threads and tied a slip knot to keep them from sliding back. After this was complete (I took a couple of breaks to stand up and move around.), I tied the warp onto the cloth-beam apron.
See all those nice little knots? The red stuff is to space the threads out evenly. After this I wound two bobbins with the same thread I used for the warp, put them in my double shuttle, and wove about three inches. When I take the rugs off the loom, I will make a hem out of this three inches.

So now I'm ready to weave some rugs, but I will do that at the Walk through Bethlehem five nights next month. I'll be weaving outside with freezing fingers, by the light of an oil torch, so I know the weaving will not be very good. I'll donate the rugs to the animal shelter - the dogs and cats don't care what they look like.

I loosened the wing nuts on each side of the loom, pulled out the pins, and folded the thing up to be ready when someone from the church comes to transport it.

Did you notice the long shoelaces in several of the pictures? They come in very handy. Here are a couple of ways I use them.
 Holding the beater between the castle (that middle section of the loom that holds the harnesses/shafts) and the front beam while I sley the reed.
Holding the lease sticks between the castle and the back beam while I wind the warp on and do the threading. I also use them to lash the raddle to the top of the castle while I need it to help spread the threads out to the desired width.

Another item that makes things easier is my secretary's chair. I have it all the way down while I thread the heddles, and all the way up while I sley the reed. Having the different heights makes those operations much easier on the body.

1 comment:

Sandi S said...

Wish I could find someone to help or figure out how to set up my 18 inch wide table top loom. Have had it a long time but just can't figure out the way to do it. No one around here weaves and I can't afford to buy books now on how to do it. Your pictures might help me a bit. Wish me luck.