So I went into major crack down mode this weekend. Over Fall Break, the most I was able to do was get my warp combed out and ready for threading with the help of my darling roommate, Jacqueline. It took us a few hours, but by the end of it my warp was nice and straightened out. The bamboo is so heavenly soft; I couldn’t resist running my fingers through it several times.
I felt like I spent a million hours down at the Station Building this weekend sitting at my loom and not weaving. About four or five hours on Saturday getting the threads (500 ends) through the heddles, which was a lot longer than I expected. It was exhausting, so I decided to come back the next day to thread them through the dent reed, which took considerably less time, but still around two or three hours. I photographed the process in various stages below.
This is about three quarters of the way through, all through the heddles and halfway through the dent reed. Luckily my draft was pretty simple and I was able to keep up with it, only losing my place once and it wasn’t hard to find where I was again. I found threading the loom from back to front to be a lot easier than front to back (at least, once I remembered I could lower the breast beam and sit closer to the heddles- I don’t know how many times I banged my elbow!). I feel like the margin of error is a lot smaller, and it’s a lot more difficult to get threads crossed or to miss heddles.
Alas, I am all finished with threading! The feeling of relief that washed over me was so incredible. I did have two warp threads break on me, but it was as I was pulling them through the heddles- I guess a few ends had gotten frayed at some point in the process. Luckily they broke as I was pulling on them, so I easily removed them from the lineup and continued my pattern as normal. The end result is 498 ends then, thanks to the two fallen threads.
Here I have sectioned off the warp and tied it to the apron, adjusting the tension of each section until the tension is good and even. When I got to this point, all I wanted to do was weave, but I was so exhausted by that point (and I had to get dinner and get myself ready for the Great Halloween Lantern Parade!) that I didn’t even want to set up the the treadles, even though it’s a really simple sequence (see related post: Weave Draft). I left that, as well as filling in the front, for class on Monday.
Monday night I set out to make my skeins, all twenty five of them, sixteen of which I accomplished in class using the dowel method (which I learned in class):
- Set up two dowels apart from eachother, clamped down on a table, at a distance that equals the width of your warp. I had intended for my warp to be 25 inches across, but I guess somewhere along the line I lost two inches, so I’m down to 23.
- Wrap your yarn around the dowels as many times as you need to fill however many inches you want to cover on your warp. You can find out the ends per inch of your weft by weaving in an inch of plain weave and counting the lines.
- Tie off appropriate chokes and label with sharpie on masking tape attached to one of the ends, as necessary.
I didn’t want to stay in Station all night, however, so I took the rest of my yarn home intending to set up chairs the same way the dowels were set up, and as it turns out the diagonal distance between the legs of my kitchen chairs was the perfect distance for my skeins, so I flipped one over and made the rest of my skeins by wrapping my yarn around the chair legs.
I still had to bind them for the resist dying, so I stretched each skein back out by looping them around my feet, and, looking at my photographs, bound them with cut up plastic bags according to where objects were placed on the chair.
Lots of inventive negotiating with process.
All my skeins have been made, dyed, and dried. I forgot to take my camera with me when I went to work this morning, so I’ll post pictures of the dyed skeins (which came out great!) and the amount of weaving I’ve done to date (so far seven skeins). The Sweedish Lace Draft is really perfect for the ambiance I’m trying to capture with this project, and I’m really happy with how it’s turning out.
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