Upcycling clothes into rugs!

Upcycling clothes into rugs!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Warping up

I know I've read in a lot of weavers' blogs and books about very complicated methods of warping a loom, but I only know one way. It takes a lot of time, patience, and ipod music to get through the whole process. The first step is to decide what colors of warp to use.  Then you haul out the warping board, that  looks like a medieval torture device. Someone made it for my mother about forty years ago.

It has 28 huge nails in the bottom, and heavy staples in the board across the top.

With supervision from the Simple Dog, Jon and I decided on a mix of colors, framed by black and white.

Each warp must be threaded up through the staples and through the Official Metal Hanger Thingy, in specific order. Then the bunch of threads are taped to the back beam and wound around and around -- twenty times in this case.

You really should keep track of how many times each section gets wound. Of course, this supposes you live in a world where your children don't call your name half a dozen times, your husband doesn't ask you questions while you're doing this, and the dog doesn't have to pee Right Now!

Now the backbreaking part of the job. Each section (24 threads in this case) must be taken one thread at a time, over the back beam and put through metal heddles. I have a four harness loom, and each thread must go in a heddle in the correct order of harnesses. I'm doing plain weave or tabby weave, so the pattern is 4 3 2 1 on the right side of the loom and 1 2 3 4 on the left side. Again, don't get distracted, or you'll end up having to redo this part. This step can take hours, especially since sitting bent over the back beam with your arms extended to the middle of the loom is uncomfortable to say the least. I tend to work in spurts, interspersed with things like... writing on my blog.

There's still more to be done, but at this point I've put in a lot of hours today working on this, and I'm done. I like the color combination. Sarah says it looks Mexican, which I can see -- it does sort of look like a serape.

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