Monday, March 4, 2013

High Fiber--Warp Drive or Impulse?

I started warping/dressing my loom on Sunday afternoon. Um...I made a few mistakes.
My mistakes:
1. I picked soft, thin, stretchy, clingy sock yarn for my warp for a nice scarf.
2. The pattern that was my inspiration called for two yards. I upped it to three to make the scarf longer and to be sure I had enough. Then I doubled it, so I could make two scarves without re-warping. Bad idea! Longer warp means more trouble to get into!
3. The pattern called for several colors of yarn in the warp, so I couldn't just go through the process with one yarn. I had to spread the different yarns across the warp. (What was I thinking? Don't answer that.)
4. I didn't want to bother DH to play my DVD "Warping Your Loom" for the third time, so I started doing it from "memory." (Don't attempt this at home, especially if you have ADD!) I somehow missed that one circuit of the warping board (pictured above) would make TWO lengths of warp, not one.
5. When the instructions said, "Cut at the point furthest from the cross," I did it. Too late to undo it, I discovered they wanted me to cut right by the cross, too. (Weavers will understand this part.) I didn't do it, because I realized I would have twice as many warp threads half the length I wanted. My cross was in the middle of the warp threads, instead of the end.
6. I proceded anyway. Sleying the reed was no problem, but it left me with very long warp threads hanging behind the reed. Then they were hanging over the warp beam after I had threaded the heddles. (If you aren't a weaver, you're probably lost at this point, but bear with me.)
7. Concerned about all the looooooooong warp threads hanging off the back of the loom, I wound them up into little tidy balls and tied them with yarn (somehow, although I spin, not realizing that I was adding twist to them by doing so.)

This is where I stopped doing things wrong and started to correct my mistakes. I realized the only way I was going to have tidy threads on my warp  beam was by winding the threads forward onto the cloth beam (in the front of the loom). I tied the warp threads to the tie-up bar on the front apron (hope I'm getting the terminology right, but basically, I fastened the front end of the threads to where they belong in the front of the loom). To get the threads to go through the heddles and reed, however, I had to untwist each little ball, straighten out the threads, detach them from each other (they were clinging to each other in fright), and feed them back through the heddles and reed a little at a time. Then I had to wind the warp back in the other direction, onto the warp beam, making sure the cardboard was between each layer.

Success! Here's my warp on the loom:

I wish I had kept track of how many hours this took. I was now into day four of warping my loom...for a scarf! And for plainweave, not even anything fancy! (Too bad I didn't take a photo of all those little twisted balls!)

Then I watched the DVD again, and saw and heard where the warp on the warping board was supposed to be twice the length needed for the warp. Oops!

At this point, I checked to see if I had an open shed (pathway for the shuttle). I had two places where the threads crossed. Piece of cake! I knew how to fix this problem. I unfastened the offending threads from the tie-up bar thingy, pulled them out of the reed...and the heddles, since the cross was there, and re-threaded and re-sleyed.

Here's my open shed (one thread in the middle on each side is the floating selvage and supposed to be there):
I can't tell you how good it felt to get an open shed and all the warp threads on the warp beam! I also wish I could tell you I had made all the mistakes possible in weaving, but I'm still making them. 

Here's a photo of my first weaving on my own warp:
It has been fun so far, in spite of the challenges. Now I'm working on getting my selvages tidy. That may require a temple. (No burnt offerings or religious services required. This is another weaving term.)

Here was my progress as of Thursday:
My first scarf will remind me of all the errors/trials/tribulations/fun I've made/had/committed in my first journey into weaving. Maybe I can get another scarf out of it that will be worth giving to a friend or relative. Here's a look at 30 1/2" of weaving:

The yarns are: Schoeller + Stahl Fortissima Socka sock yarn in color 1006 (green), Essential sock yarn in Grass (no longer available), Essential Kettle Dyed sock yarn in Gold (no longer available), Stroll sock yarn in Tonal Yellow (color no longer available) and Chroma fingering in "New England" (color no longer available). As you can see from my yarn choices, I'm drawing from long-term stash.

Vintage Stitchers met this week at Rebecca's. We had lots of great projects to look at. Ellen's Christmas quilt top is done:

Rebecca showed us a quilt her grandmother made. It's hand-appliquéd and quilted:

Here's a closeup:

Rebecca made and hand-quilted this log cabin back when the only quilting fabric available was "calico."

Ellen showed us her finished quilt top from a Whimsy Cottage kit purchased at the old Whimsy in Heber. This one is based on the traditional "drunkard's path."

Rebecca has prepared this appliqué for sewing:

Julie had finished Barbara's quilt...interlocking squares all in batiks:

Here's the back...

...and a closeup of Julie's quilting:

This was another quilt Rebecca made a few years ago:

Barbara got this little quilt top from a friend. The tulips were paper-pieced and three-dimensional.
In spite of the warping fiasco, there's been progress on my "Delectable Pathways" quilt. I finished a few more paper-pieced blocks and put everything up on my design wall. I placed some scraps of the cheddar fabric behind the rows of blocks and hung up the partially finished appliqué panel, so I could see what it's going to look like. Other than the pieced blocks, nothing has been sewn together yet.
For those needing a baby fix, Soren and his parents have been vacationing in Kauai. They went on some hikes. Here he is, traveling in style:

What's on my needles: Christmas Waffle Cardigan, some progress made this week, and Dogwood Blossoms.
What's on my loom: My first scarf, about 50" long now.
What's on my Featherweight: Still the Delectable Pathways blocks, about 2/3 of them done.
What's on my wheel: Still the Full Circle Roving in "Pigeon," almost finished.
What's on my iPad: Listening to the Weavecast podcast, and The Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet by Jaimie Ford from Also listening to The King of Torts by John Grisham on CD from the library.
What's in my wine glass: Bota Box Zinfandel 2011, 3L box. Pretty good. Quantity doesn't matter, since it's Lent, and I've given up my second glass of wine each evening until Easter. (I might have to shop for a bigger wine glass....)

Note: This blog post was produced entirely on the MacBook, using the iPad for photo processing. No other computer was used in any stage of composition or posting, and no Windows were opened, waited for or cleaned.

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