Monday, 17 September 2007

Back to the loom.

As I was threading the heddles, I found that having the lease sticks unsupported was probably not ideal, the distorted path of the warp was leading to alternate warp looking longer than the others. Things getting out of alignment makes me a bit nervous. I don't like my warp tension to be uneven. I decided to support my lease rods better.

Sometime ago I tried a method that involved resting extra sticks between the shafts and back beam, but this wasn't ideal because the sticks were high at the back beam, so the lease rods weren't quite level and everything could slip out of place too easily.

This week's solution is shown in the photo. Another task for the G clamps! As these are oversize, 4 inch, clamps they easily coped with holding an extra pair of short sticks to support the lease rods.

When I was ready to tie to the front apron rod, I used an extra cotton cord at the outer edges of the apron rod tying it to the back beam. This held the apron rod steady so I could tie the warp threads and at this stage I removed the G clamps and used this string to support the lease rods as well. The reason for holding the apron rod steady like this is that otherwise it depends for support on the warp threads. I would tie the outer edges of the warp first and these would stablise the apron. The first bunches of warp are therefore difficult to tie, and adjustments are difficult, as all the weight of the apron is carried by the knots I'm tying. I've used a temporary extra tie like this a couple of times and found it makes the task much easier. See photo below, arrow points to the cotton cord at the outer edge of the apron.

As the weavers reading this know, there's another stage between threading the warp yarns through the heddles on the shafts and this stage of tying the warp to the front apron. That is the sleying of the reed. The reed hangs in a moving frame to beat weft threads forwards on the warp, with the aim of creating an even weave. For this sampler I'm preparing to weave, I am using a reed with twelve spaces, known as dents, to the inch. I'm threading 2 warp ends through every dent. Or that's the intention - spot the error in this next photo.

It may not be immediately apparent to someone not used to looking at loom set ups just where the error is. I didn't notice it until a while afterwards, in spite of thinking I was looking carefully and checking as I went along. When I realised I'd made a mistake I moved the loom a bit in order to get it in a postion where I have better light, and can see better! The next photo has an arrow to indicate the error, in case you missed it too.

By the time I spotted this I had tied bunches of warp threads to the apron rod. I had to untie and shift every pair of threads one dent sideways until the error was gone.

Something I have been finding as I set up the loom was this warp is that it is very helpful having different coloured threads. It does make it easier to spot if threads are twisted or crossed out of place. I hope you will agree, when I get around to posting the photos of the sampler I'm now weaving, that they look good in the cloth too. I'm enjoying weaving on this warp.


Leigh said...

Interesting post and photos. I just finished tying a warp onto the front apron rod and wish I'd visited your blog first. The clamps are a very good idea. I'll have to keep that in mind too.

Peg in South Carolina said...

Wonderful post. By the way, if you want still more security, tape or tie the lease sticks to the sticks they are resting on. I always worry about them falling, though of course if they fall the shoelaces holding them should keep everything OK. I just get a bit obsessive about possible problems!