Tuesday, January 7, 2014


2/8 natural cotton looped over the apron rod.  There is enough twist in this yarn that once let off tension it will tend to pigtail or twist back on itself, causing a rather distressing looking mess.  However....

in spite of the warp looking rather nasty at the lease sticks, it took about 5 minutes at the back of the loom to open the pigtails and then...

by grabbing the choke tie and gently pulling, the slack in the threads equalized so that the warp looked quite tidy by the time I was ready to insert the rod from the overhead warping valet and add a weight in the form of a half-filled gallon jug so that I could begin to wind the warp onto the beam.

With the tendency of the warp to twist and grab onto a neighbour, I moved the lease sticks more easily by tipping the stick to open a bit of a shed and separate the two layers of yarn.

I use the lease sticks to clear and hold any errant ends at equal tension to the rest of the warp.by sliding them as far away from the beater as possible, then allowing them to move forward as the warp is being beamed.

And yes, indeed, if the tangles are too persistent, I will even use a brush to help straighten the threads.

Now I won't use a brush on every yarn, every time.  Sometimes it isn't necessary as the yarn is more co-operative than this one.  But if the yarn is strong enough, I will use a brush to make the beaming go more efficiently if necessary.

There are all sorts of people who have just gasped in horror at this confession I am quite sure. 

I could carefully beam a warp without resorting to such tactics but it would take me a whole lot longer and I'm not a patient person.  Nor do I have the time to coax my yarns into behaving.  If they won't behave nicely, I will brush them if the yarn is strong enough and smooth enough.

My bottom line is this:  I have limited time in order to accomplish what I want to do.  I am not going to waste time messing about with something when a little bit of brushing or finger combing etc., will give me decent results.  I don't advise messing about with the brush, either.  A quick swipe here and there to straighten ends is all it usually takes.  

Not all looms are crated equal.  Nor are all yarns.  And least of all, not all weavers are the same.  Learn as much as possible about the nature of the yarns being used, understand how the loom functions and most of all, learn as many different ways and about as many different tools as possible so that appropriate methods can be used for the situation in hand.  

Are you happy with your results?  Great.  If not, try something different.  Do what is necessary to obtain the results you desire.

Oh, the warp is 15" wide, 20 epi, about 11 meters long and it took about 10 minutes to beam it once the pigtails were straightened out....

Video of a similar type of warp here


MegWeaves said...

I had thought that the valet on the ceiling was much much higher and often wondered how you "hooked" the new warp on it, then watching the video I thought perhaps you're VERY tall. Now I must go check out some of your old photos to see exactly where they are! Fascinating stuff for me.

Laura Fry said...

I am tall but the studio is in the basement so the ceiling isn't very high. But there are various ways of adding height for a good drop. I groom about a meter and a half at a time so I can roll on a meter or so at a time. Makes beaming much more efficient.


MegWeaves said...

Aha... And I'm 145cm and my basement work space has a higher-than-usual ceiling. Back to the... warping board??

Laura Fry said...

Kati Meek has written a book called Dance With Your Loom showing how to build a stand that fits onto the loom for vertically challenged...