Sunday, March 18, 2012

What did you learn Dorothy? The Wayward Warp Episode

I'm beginning to feel like I'll be using one of my favorite Wizard of Oz movie lines frequently when it comes to my weaving adventures - "What did you learn Dorothy?"

Well, friends I learned that tying knots in bulldogs tails would be much more simple than getting a knot that holds tight through winding on to the back beam, and only for 89 ends!  I heard some snapping I admit as I wound on.  In my defense, I had used some leftover under the wood flooring green liner instead of brown kraft wrapping paper this time.  AND my darling husband was trying to keep the tension on the 8" warp consistent while I wound on.  The first pop I heard I stopped winding and thought it was the sound of the green foam liner fitting itself around the beam.  And then I saw the pain he was in in standing on his foot and trying to do the tension all even and well I just kept winding.  Eventually they stopped popping.  ;)

So of course once I started weaving I had limp threads AGAIN!  I was thinking my loom just does not like the first 6-10 inches of weaving (nor the last 10-12" of weavable warp either for that matter) and was going to keep going until the limp threads corrected themselves.  Then I remembered the popping/snapping noise when winding the warp on.  I also remembered that I had said after I did the twill sampler  I was going to go in search of the 3 harness /4 harness sticking together issues for warp threads and other limp threads problems in it.

On Wednesday night I cut the narrow color gamp for rug mugs warp off of the loom and started with the number of heddles on each harness.  It took me three nights to:
-correct the counts to be actually 10 in each section with a color marker on the top of the heddles
-balance the count of heddles on each side of each harness
-check with a square if the harness were indeed square-they are

Today I managed to accomplish the following:

-take apart the treadles and bar and rotate them so the treadles used more previously are on the outside and the lesser used ones are in the middle.  (I think I may not count my treadles the way others do, I have centered my tie-ups for the sampler I wove)

-try to make a replacement spacer for the paper towel roll tube, cut to length and put into place by the previous owner, out of a 1 1/2" wood head.  Only to find that the hole I was able to drill in it - all by myself if you please smile- would only go on if hammered and it was too "deep" to use anyway so I did not attempt to widen it by rolling the drill bit around in the hole forcing it to be wider.  The next sized drill bit we had was way too big unfortunately.

-installed with dh's help the sectional beam I had purchased right after getting the loom.

-hit my head several times on the spokes of the sectional beam while crawling around under it (owie)

-took all of the harnesses off the loom again and craweled around underneath checking the lamms very closely.  playing with pushing them up and back down without instance of noise or hanging up.

-had dh help me with listening for the noise difference on the harnesses being lifted.  He agreed harness 4 was sounding different.

-discovered some of the tie up cords were twisted when looped through the loops so correct those.

-discovered that the tie up cords were not consistently installed. How? you might ask.  Some times the loop had been pushed through from the front and some times it had been pushed through from the back.  At first thought it might not make a difference, but when I saw that the harnesses I had the most problems with had a LOT of graphite, indicating she had been having harness issues too.  And that there were many of different attached tie ups types back and forth in that area I concluded they needed to be the same too.  That resulted in a lengthy retying of a good deal of the tie ups.

-got my hands totally blackened by graphite that was already existing on the loom and its various parts, especially from those tie up cords!

-looked unsuccessfully for graphite in our house and sheds to lube the loom up during her going over.  I don't know how there can be any graphite left anywhere in or on the loom with so much of it all over my hands and forearms.  If it was on my face, my husband must have decided to not mention it. :)

-determined that the track on the metal portion of the loom for harness #4 is indeed just a hair different at the bottom on both sides of the loom.  This appears to be caused by the lack of a screw at that position to hold the metal section onto the loom.  If I press with my finger there the slight ridge of difference between the front 4 channel section and the back 4 channel sections goes away.  This presents a dilemma as the reason a screw is not at that point is because the black knob and bolt for tightening the loom for staying open is located directly on the other side of it and the bolt goes all the way up to where a screw would need to be to hold it tight.

It feels like there was so much more that I did just today than the few items on this list.  I also found I am bruising easily and have immediate green and yellows appearing in the oddest places from crawling around on the floor to do all of this.  Thank heavens we have wood floors and I purchased those interlocking foam mat pieces to put the loom on to protect the floor, because they are protecting my knees and hips and ankle bones etc as I do all of this.

So "What did you learn Dorothy?"  In a nutshell two things.  First, if you hear popping or snapping noises while winding on to the back beam.... STOP!  Secondly, if you tell yourself "When this warp is done I'm going to give the loom a good going over" then you should do just that!

Which brings us to the "What will you do about what you learned Dorothy" portion of today.  What is a very good question.  Husband is unable to bend down and look directly at what I'm referring to on the screw, due to his foot pain, so I can get no help there right now.  His suggestion was to put a warp on it and see what happens!  A very good suggestion too.  EXCEPT!  That is when I realized that by putting the sectional beam on and not having the tension box or yardage counter already I was going to be doing a very narrow warp using the marble rolling pin and its curved tray.  I've come not very far from my warping days on my 32" Kromski Harp.  I should have gotten a 12" wide weaving width loom as I appear to be doomed to narrow warps all of my life!

Have a day filled with all that you enjoy,

denise/deBrat waiting for husband to wake up so I can get back at the loom and not worry about making noise that wakes him up.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Let there be Pictures!

Because I found I did have a few pictures of the actual cloth I'm making from the 62 pattern 4 shaft twill sampler I now present for your viewing pleasure.....
The warp (on the back of the Kromski Harp) is better than 3 yards long. I believe it was 120". It is written down somewhere, but where?

threading!  a straight 1,2,3,4 twill.  I think i have that right on how I worded it.

Charlene helped me to get the warp off the Harp and onto the loom.  She mentioned getting a block of wood to make the threading easier.  After just a couple of groups I went and found these pieces of wood and started stacking them up until the eyes were exposed.  so much easier!

What do we have here? Ah, the 4 wayward threads that fell out of the cross from the table to the loom some how.  I looked at and worked backwards from the ones that were correct at the cross and put each of the four threads over or under where they belonged.  the one by itself is my floating selvedge thread.  I can see where one could get very attached to using those!

the first 4" of weaving.  plain weave and basket weave, patterns one and two, and then the number three pattern in the sampler.  I now have 54" woven and the next pattern is number 34.  Only 29 more to go!

The cottolin yarn for the original Caribbean Tea Towel Kit at Halcyon yarn.  A truly annoying adventure in purchasing, but I worked out what I need to do to get the pink in the matching 22/2(to me anyway- they all need to be 22/2 not one be 8/2-even though they insist it is the same - and it wrapped at a4 less wraps to the inch than the other three cones did).  Yesterday the actual original pattern arrived after receiving the current Caribbean Kit pattern which did not have the count for the change in weft picks.  I have longed for these towels for nearly 5 years and they will either be the next warp or the one following it.

Oooh lookie here actual progress!

And because everyone else seems to have some sort of picture like this I thought I'd post mine too.  other than the blurry bottom of the picture, isn't it just grand?

Thursday, March 1, 2012

And? She's weaving!

I have taken pictures, truly I have, but it is such a trial these days to even post on here - let alone actually upload a picture. So let it suffice to say that I am indeed weaving.  After all of the shed problems were resolved it has been very smooth sailing ever since.  I even went back to putting the basketweave tie-ups permanently on the outer two treadles so I  could stop with re-tying those up each time I finished an inch or so of a sampler pattern.  As of this morning I have 53.25" woven and thirty two of the 62 sampler tie-ups woven.

So what have you learned Dorothy?  Well, I've learned that it is really nice to just walk into the room and quickly weave off a pattern.  For the 6 treadle ones I am currently on, I throw 18 picks/3 repeats.  I have forgotten how long my guide string was for the warp.  I know it was longer than 3 yards.  And 120" seems to ring a bell, but that was a huge learning curve while ago.  I know that I planned for 36" of loom waste.  But I used a good deal of that to tie on to the front beam.  So what did I learn?  The last thing I do before I go off to get ready for work or go to bed or just stop weaving for that time period is to ready the loom for the next pattern to be woven.  Now all I do is go in the room, double check the treadles lifting the correct harnesses and start weaving.

I learned that a small sticky note kept under the pattern line in the magazine helps me see readily which pattern I am on.

I also am keeping track of amount each pattern weaves for length for the number of picks I threw(?)/did.  I know there are many variables to this whole thing, but it is a place to start.

So the update for today is that I'm weaving away and loving every moment of it!  I am plotting the next warp.  And while it is/was to be waffle weave towels I'm almost leaning towards a soy silk (Infinity by SWTC) scarf that I found in yet another old Handwoven magazine I have. 

And today while searching for my planner pages to refill the good 'ole planner, I found yet another old Handwoven issue!  So I will get to pour over that one the next few days in the few minutes I get here and there to do nothing but fill a short period of time.

Have a grand and absolutely glorious day today!