Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Softly, Softly

tied on ready to start spreading the warp out

throw three picks before bringing the beater forward

weave 6 picks in total.  The wedges between the warp bouts will have evenly filled in and you're ready to weave!

These shawl warps have turned out to be the ideal 'recuperation' projects.  The cloth is very loosely woven which means that although the warp is 20" in the reed, there are actually only 200 ends.  Threading is a straight draw, so no thinking required - just put my brain in neutral and keep threading, 4, 3, 2, 1 over and over until done.

The actual weaving is also very easy.  Since the cloth is so loosely woven, beating is not so much a beat as it is a gentle squeeze to get the weft pick to lie nicely in the cloth.  It's a slow, rhythmical dance, perfectly suited to my reduced energy levels this week.

I think I've shown how I begin before but thought it would be nice to show it again.  So many people weave inches of paper towel (or toilet paper!) or use up 6 or more inches of warp weaving sticks into the web in order to get the warp threads spread out.  In reality, all you need is 6 picks to spread the threads out to their proper width.

Throw three picks *before* bringing the beater forward, then weave 3 more picks and voila!  You are ready to weave.

It is possible to use the length tied to the apron rod as part of the fringe, or leave it as loom waste and measure the length of the desired fringe and weave four more picks before beginning the textile.  Either way works.  In the case of these warps, they are more than long enough for a shawl so I'm not trying to save any warp length and just let the tie on length be part of the 'waste' yarn.

The whole point, after all, is to get these warps woven up and reduce stash!


Dee said...

Hello--beginning weaver here. Thanks for this helpful info. I have a question--do you use the shawl yarn for those 1st 6 picks--and they are the beginning on the shawl?

Laura said...

No, I'm using a 'waste' yarn to set the width. Then before I start tying or fringe twisting, I cut the waste yarn in several places, removing small sections, and only deal with knotting or twisting a few inches at a time.

I've got a video on You Tube showing how I do the fringe twisting.

Diane said...

Thanks Laura for the advice. I have used paper towels, but do like your method so much more. Now on to warp and give it a try!

Judith said...

Paper towels??? I was taught to use toilet paper!n This certainly
caused a lot of odd looks to be cast at the loom by visitors if I forgot to put the roll away! Your
6 pick works so much better.

Laura said...

Here is the URL for the video where I show how to prepare for fringing.


Dee said...

I just watched the video--it was so clear and helpful. I really appreciate all the wisdom you share. As a very new weaver, this is invaluable to me!

Robyn said...

thanks for sharing