Friday, October 11, 2013

Warping the Loom - Part 2

Yesterday, I showed part of the process. Today I will continue the explanation. However, I did the entire process yesterday.  It does take a little time, but certainly not that long!

After the warp is wound onto the back beam, It is time to untie the "choke" and cut the warp loop.
You can see that it is still a loop here.  I didn't take a cutting picture since that requires both hands.
When I cut the loop, I like to keep the sections separate.  I use one of my shuttles for that purpose.  The shuttle slides into the loop and I separate it into "top and bottom" sections.  The bottom sections will stay in the slots.  The top section yarns will go through the holes in the heddle.
The loom I have came with a simple hook that slides through the holes and pulls the yarn through.
I always start from the right side.  There are two yarns through each slot. I pull out the top one from the back.  I put the hook through the hole to the right of the slot. If you miss a hole it will make a flaw in your fabric, so this is how I make sure I am doing it correctly. You may see the stick shuttle laying across the "bottom section" yarns that will stay in the slots. Again this makes it easier for me to see what I am doing.

Once all the top section yarns are pulled through the holes, it is time to tie onto the front apron rod.  It is best to separate the warp yarns into fairly evenly sized sections. Those are split in half and tied onto the rod. I separate the groups, then start in the middle. I alternate from side to side until the are all tied on.
The knot used for this is simple- it is like the first part of tying your shoe but you wrap the yarn around a second time. This helps it to hold much better.
When they are all tied on, I see if the tension is fairly even. If a group is loose, I pull the ends of the knot up and toward the back of the loom to tighten them.  When they are all evenly tight, I go back and tie the ends into bows.
Next I take scrap yarn to use to even out those ends. I move the heddle down which makes the yarn in the slots come to the top while the yarn in the holes move to the bottom. This forms a "shed" (opening) to put the weft yarn through.  I feed a loop through, (the short end and a long end are hanging out on the right side) Then I raise the heddle and feed it through again in a loop.  When I have three loops woven in, I pull the heddle back to "beat" the yarn together. Then I repeat with one more scrap yarn.
It now looks like this:
See how those warp threads have evened out?  Now I am ready to start weaving with the real weft yarn. 

Thanks for bearing with me through the long explanation.  By the way, this is a Schacht Cricket 15 inch loom.  (Just in case you wanted to know.) That black mark on the top of the heddle is the exact center. It is an important registration point when you are putting on the warp threads. Centering your weaving on the loom is also important for the tension. 
If you have questions about weaving I would be happy to tell you what I know.  I am still learning all of this myself.  
What new things are you trying these days?

Comments are welcomed. I will reply when possible unless otherwise stated. Foolishly posted "hate speech" comments will be swiftly removed.


Marjorie said...

I am absolutely amazed at how you have mastered this. It looks like so much fun, but I am resisting for now. :)

Unknown said...

looks great, smart man.....

Barbara said...

My new things are trying to do what you are doing without the heddle loom. I know it looks confusing, but am sure you have mastered the learning curve and are on your way. So, by tomorrow(!) I bet we see a finished woven piece! Thanks for the process explanation and photos!

Pat said...

This still looks complicated to me. *sigh* As for my "new" toy......I bought some kind of hook recently...called a Knook, I think. It is supposed to allow you to get a result that looks like knitting but the process is more like crocheting, which I know how to do. I have never gotten adept at knitting, so I figured I'll give this a try. Didn't get to do it yet, though.