Friday, February 12, 2016


Starting to wind the warp for a special order of place mats, thinking about how far 'behind' I am where I had hoped to be nearly half way through February and from there the thought squirrels jumped to working efficiently.  And that any creative practice is not a contest with anyone but ones self.  

Since I was winding a warp I started thinking about the things that I do, and do not, do. 

I do not use a guide string.  When I was first starting out I did and inevitably I would tie the guide string into the warp chain.   Then I realized that after the first few passes it couldn't be seen, so why was I using one?  Instead the first pass of the warp became my guide.

Some of the people wind tiny warp chains.  For me this is way too time consuming.  Each chain has to be secured, then unsecured.  My warp chains do not exceed 15" (of 2/8 cotton).  If a warp is wider than that I will make two more or less equal chains.

I do not keep scraps of yarn to use for ties.  Instead I have a cone of yarn next to the warping board.  People are constantly giving me odd packages of yarn not suitable (imho) for weaving with so I use that for ties.  Some people would consider that wasteful, but I choose to waste yucky yarn rather than my time.

My warping board is securely affixed to the wall so that I can work as ergonomically as possible.   Since I lay each pass of the yarn parallel to the previous one and then push the threads together, I need the board to be secure, not leaned against a wall, laid flat, or hung from one hook so it can wobble or sway.  

I don't chain my warps any more.  My warps do not have active twist in them, though.  If they did I would use Peggy Ostercamps 'kite stick' method for controlling the yarns, keeping them under tension and therefore under control.

When I tie the chains I do not tie the 'waist' of the X just the arms.  I found that, regardless of the method used for dressing the loom, compressing the threads at the waist leads to difficulty finding the next threads in their sequence. 

I do try to use at least two yarn packages to wind from which effectively halves the amount of time required to wind a warp and I do keep a finger between the two yarns so that they don't twist around each other.

Everyone must find their own 'best practice'.  For me, I want to work as efficiently as possible.  Once the coin of time has been spent, there is no making more.


Peg Cherre said...

I have adopted most of your practices - some by your example (such as eliminating the waist ties), some by learning that it's not needed (such as eliminating the guide string). Although most of my measuring is currently done on my warping mill, I'm with you for warps of 8 yards or less (that's sort of my tipping point to use my mill). If I had a better place for my warping board I'd use it more, but that's the only thing I don't have a good spot for in my wonderful weaving studio, so I use the mill more.

Leola's Studio said...

In the same although I've been known to use up to 8 threads at a time without a paddle ( don't like paddles but they have their place!) without any problems. I don't use the amount of tension when beaming and have no trouble- I'm lazy but I'm fast! I go through the front and tie new warps to the old until I've exhausted the threading and resorting etc. I love warping!