I must be warped

Well, the wicked witch of the warping weaver (how’s that for alliteration?!?) has paid me a visit today. Sad face.
I’ve been waiting for a sectional warping beam to arrive and then waiting for the right opportunity to get it all set up and learn how to use it.
I finished a warp at the weekend and the next one planned was for a scarf commission for 5/2 bamboo in stripes (it’s a pinwheel draft so that means a stripy warp with a stripy weft to make cute little windmills) so not too fine and fairly straightforward.
Ha! You think so…?
Ok, first I had to work out how much yarn to wind onto the bobbins, the yarn winds straight from these onto the beam and you need one bobbin for every thread in the warp.

For the beam on my loom, I can wind it in 2cm (all metric, I’ll have to learn not to think in inches) sections so for this I needed 16 bobbins for each one. Well to be honest I kind of winged it; the instructions suggest weighing the bobbins and then winding on the weight of yarn needed and subtracting the bobbin weight from the final weight to work out how much yarn you have wound on….eh?!? What a performance. Firstly, I don’t think in terms of yarn weight anyway, well maybe for knitting but definitely not for weaving; so I simply couldn’t be doing with trying to get my head around that. Secondly, it seemed like a real faff; winding a bit, taking the bobbin off the winder to weigh it, winding a bit more…you get my drift?
So I simply kind of looked at it. And then wound on a bit more, just to be sure and to abate the weaving Goddess.
Then the bobbins go onto the bobbin rack, a la the photo. Easy. Well, until I knocked it and all the spindles fell out and the bobbins all slid off and the ends got tangled up. Much swearing occurred at this point.
Next came the threading of each end through the tension device (the scary looking thing with the big cog attached to the loom).
Each end. Through the tension device.
I’ll say no more about this part.
Once I’d managed to attach these to the beam, I could start to wind the section onto the loom, bent double while holding up the friction break. This bit hurt.
That’s it, no harder than this, except to repeat this step a further 19 times.
And this was a relatively narrow warp (39cm). Once on the loom (several days later) it looked like this.

Lots of neatly lined up threads, all smoothly sitting on the warping beam. Not. As you can see, some are all a bit wobbly and wibbley and some threads had kind of hopped over into the next section while I wasn’t looking too, the little monkeys. I foresaw horrendous tension issues later on.
I managed to sort these out as best that I could and get it all threaded and tied on. It was lovely to be doing something familiar and comfortable, I was looking forward to the actual weaving, my favourite part.
I wound some pirns (the bit that holds the yarn in the shuttle), sat in front of the loom and pressed down the first treadle. Yikes!! What was that?!? Half of the threads went all scarily loose. I tightened the warp and tried again. Heavens, there it was again. Then I looked around the back of the loom, ready to glare threateningly at the sectional beam and saw this.

I’d neglected to take the warp over the back beam. Horrors!
At this point Mr Weaving Heart happened to walk passed and caught me with my head in my hands, muttering softly to myself, possibly drooling a little too. He came to my rescue with a strong cup of tea, several chocolate biscuits and A PLAN. What a star!
He managed to take off the back beam, slid it under the warp without disturbing the threads and get it like this.

All good and proper like. Hurrah!
Anyway, no tension issues later (how this happened I know not but I am oh sooo grateful), it looks a bit like this.

IMG_1267.JPG and this

IMG_1263.JPG (rubbish iPhone photo, it’s really purple, teal and blue, not that weird brown colour). Much prettiness.

6 thoughts on “I must be warped

  1. Fiona

    Well done you! I bet this’ll bee one of those things where in a few weeks time you’ll look back and wonder how you survived without one! You’ll read this post and have a giggle! Beautiful scarf by the way!

  2. KerryCan

    I’m much too new to weaving to even understand a lot of what you wrote here but the end result is gorgeous! Is the ultimate point of the sectional beam to allow you to wind a really long warp or a complicated one or what?


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