Monday, September 17, 2007

Warping Day 2 & 3

Things are moving real fast today...yesterday I finished getting the entire 900 ends of polyester thread through the reed and heddles. I also was able to roll on the entire 5-6 yards in less than two hours. Far far better than the last time I put on such a thin and long warp.

Most interestingly, the majority of the tangles in the threads were on the first section of warp. That was the section where I wound on two threads at a time with my finger separating them. All the other warp bundles used my handy dandy straw warping utensil. Clearly, I will be using my straw warping tool in the future and not my fingers.

I couldn't quite get the right angle while winding on the warp around the back beam using the trapeze. So, I ended up lowering the trapeze until the warp was level, as in the photo, and it just started to roll on nicely. It took about twenty minutes to move all the weaving stuff out of the dining room, den and living room. The house returned to normal.

This morning I looked for and fixed some errors, smoothed out the tangles at the end of each warp bundle and tied on the ends to the front beam.. The loom is all ready to weave...all in about 2 1/2 days!

I was so inspired about finishing the warping process, I actually got the needle and thread out and sewed my backing on my latest tapestry and the tapestry is now being blocked in the backyard. Pictures later.

Warping Day 1 - continued

I wanted to finish up writing about day 1 before I go complete my weaving chores for day 3 of warping. My loom should be ready for weaving by the end of my tapestry should be ready for blocking. This does give a clue as to how successful my latest techniques were.

In this photo you can see the start of the warping with the mint green polyester thread. I warp front to back. Through the reed and the heddles and tie on the back. By rolling the thread onto the back beam through the heddles it forces me to get rid of all the knots and kinks leaving a lovely tensioned warp. The polyester thread is strong enough to handle it. I rarely have a break...breaks occur usually occur intentionally...when my patience is low and a knot or tangle cannot be untangled.

I have one of my favorite bricks weighing the thread down and keeping the threads from shifting. From the brick the threads go up and over the trapeze and over a chair at the end of the living room with the small copper candle sticks at the bottom. To give you some perspective, that crossbeam in our living room at 11 feet high. And yes, I had to climb up the ladder to throw the warp over the trapeze.

I am also using one of my favorite C clamps to attach the two popsicle sticks onto the loom. [I use these clamps all the time. Since they have the top bar - they are great to warp up a quick scarf between the two clamps. On short scarves I never use a cross - too much trouble. However, here on a 5-6 yard long piece a cross is essential. Between the popsicle sticks is my cross...wound in sets of two. I insert it while on the warping board and tape it closed. The clamp keeps it snug so I do not have to hold it. Remember, I only had three cones of mint green vs. four. If I had had four I would have wound on with all four and had four threads in each cross so they could go easily into the dent then split up into the heddles. What is pictured is 265 ends.

For winding on the color gradations in my warp, I created a warping paddle specifically for my four cones of warp. It consisted of four straws cut down to about four inches long. I taped them together. Each warp thread went from the cone rack through the straw and then onto the warping board. This is the best design of a warping paddle - at least for me. It is small and easily navigates along the rods on the warping board. I can hold it like a piece of chalk and by using what feels like a natural writing motion - the hand remains level and the thread goes on without twisting. Plus, it warps up the stuff real and no tangles...great.

By the end of day one, I had about 600 ends onto the loom, all graduations of the color change except for the 100% turquoise. I alternated between winding on warp, threading the heddles and doing some mad cat/stretching dog poses. The back was a bit sore during the work but not too bad afterwards.

Back to work...

ps Bonnie - I will take a picture of my weft...and discuss it later this week.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Warping Day 1

Not much blogging recently...probably because I have been involved in finishing. I don't much care for that last 5% of a project and I have a number of projects in that stage.

On a more inspiring note, I began preparing my loom for the piece I am creating for the yardage exhibit at convergence. I want to put on a warp - about 5-6 yards of sewing thread...actually Maxi-lock serger thread made of polyester. I am using a 12 dent reed sleyed 4 threads per dent for a sett of 48 epi. I am going for 900 ends...just a tad over 18 inches.

I remember the last time I put on a long warp with this type of thread. Quite a nightmare due to the threads clinging to each other, twisting around and making knots. If I recall, I spent four or five days last time slowly...inch by inch...moving the thread through the reed and heddles. There was not an inch without at least one or two knots. Fortunately, I had lots of patience. I am planning on a better result this time.

This will be the first time I have warped up the 16 harness table loom with a long warp. It is not the best loom for front to back warping but that's the way it goes. I need the goes out to 24 inches and I definitely need the 16 heddles. My design uses all 16 although it does look like it is woven on a loom with 27 harnesses.

This time warping I am going to use the theory that the less you touch the warp and the more under tension the better the result. I am going to try using a trapeze which I think Charlene discussed perhaps a year or two ago. I need the trapeze set up real high since the warp is 5-6 yards long and I want it to hang under tension. I set up the trapeze in the dining room/family room. It was stung across the weight bearing rafter which required a huge ladder to reach. The loom rested on the dining room table. Do notice how I have taken over this entire two room space. My DH is very understanding.

I also took over the den where I hung my warping board on the door with wreath hangers. I also put out the spool rack...since I had three cones of each of the two colors I wanted to use. I am using a mint green and a turquoise and all gradations of those two colors in the warp. I want to subtly show a color shift from the mint to the turquoise as your eye goes across the finished piece. Both these two will blend nicely with the various weft colors I have selected. So each spot in the piece will have a slightly different hue and along with a few metallic colors it should resemble the ocean.

[ Notice the little copper candle holders - I bought these for five bucks at a recent garage sale. I attached them to the end of the warp as a weight to maintain tension. I decided these would be easier than water jugs. ]

I have learned from previous projects in taquete that you should do everything in sets of four. Hence, four threads per dent... four threads per block... knot every four threads... color combinations in sets of get the idea. Now how does having three cones of each warp color fit into the theory of four? Square peg into the round hole... more later.

To be continued...