Monday, May 27, 2013

Be Not Afraid

painted warp being beamed

warp is twisted and tangled

after de-tangling

done - about 70 minutes from start to finish

I am not exactly sure when I started working, let's say about 9:40.  Between then and 10:55 (you might just be able to see the clock if you biggify the photo) I rough sleyed, beamed, threaded, sleyed and lashed on.

Some people have commented about my 'scary' painted warps.  The truth is that I have instructed the dyer to not de-tangle the warps.  I have every confidence in my ability to straighten the warps, probably faster than the dyer can.  And quite frankly, I would rather pay the dyer to be dyeing, not de-tangling my warps for me.

A few statistics - these warps are 10.5 meters long, 200 ends.  It is inevitable that the warps will get disturbed during the dyeing process.  How could they not?  But I do not find that in the least off-putting for several reasons.

I have wound the warps myself so I know they have been wound with consistent tension.  I have chosen the yarns so I know that they will withstand the aggressive method I use to get them straightened out.  I have every confidence in my process and ability to apply it successfully.

New weavers often get the fear of god put into them about dressing the loom.  You must do this, you must never do that.  Ultimately so long as you get the warp onto the loom with consistent tension you'll be fine.

Learn one method very well.  Put several short narrow warps on and weave them off quickly so that you can cement your chosen process into muscle memory.  Once you are confident you know what you are doing, start to analyse your results.  Are you happy?  Are you 'comfortable'?  (IOW, how much pain do you experience at any point during the process.)  If you are having too much back or neck pain, what can you change to make the process more comfortable?

Human beings are unendingly creative.  We've had to be.  Think about what you are doing.  Does it make sense?  Can it be done differently so that you are more comfortable (experiencing less pain)?  Can a different process be a better fit for you?  Or just tweaking the one you are already using?  Maybe you need different equipment?

Above all, don't be intimidated by the equipment or afraid of the process.  It's just string after all.


Marianne's Focus said...

wow, I think I need to take a beginners course with you... you make it sound so easy.

Sue said...

Ditto what Marianne said! Warping has been making me a little nuts. I took too many years off from weaving, and feel the need for some hands-on instruction (sorely lacking in my area, or at least not very well advertised). Who says we don't need real teachers anymore??

Marianne said...

I think the main thing is to hang a weight on the warp to tension when beaming. I never subscribed to the notion that you have to keep a warp under tension at all times, because I have painted warps, and there is no way you can keep tension on the warp when painting it, and/or rinsing. Last summer I had a warp that got kind of tangled with dyeing, and I don't have a trapeze or butler. But tied a couple of half gallon jugs with water in them to the warp hanging over the breast beam,then the warp went through a raddle and lease sticks, and had no trouble beaming, and the whole 10 yards wove off with no trouble. Sure I had to move the jugs every couple of feet of beaming, but it still went pretty fast.

Dianne Stucki said...

"It's just string" might be the most empowering thing I've ever heard about weaving.

My entire life, whenever a member of family got a disastrous haircut or a horrible dye job, my mom would say "It's only hair, honey, it'll grow back."

It's only string. I can buy more.