Lilies at the Getty

Lilies at the Getty

Thursday, October 6, 2011

I'm not supposed to be the dummy when using a dummy warp!

I know I'm not supposed to be the dummy, but with this dummy warp I sure have been.  

I made a commitment to weave some scarves.  I have two weights of yarn, decided on two sizes of scarf, and need to do two patterns (due to the colors of the two yarns).  I planned for the fine yarn to be woven in a Dornik twill, because I have two colors and white of that yarn.  (I will use a color and white for each set of scarves.)  For the heavier, I have several colors, so I plan to do stripe sequences in straight twill.  This will give a good variety of scarves and will test the weights and the time it takes me to weave them.

After thinking about the problem of putting on several different colored warps, I decided to have a dummy warp so that I would not have to re-thread each time.  (A dummy warp is one that stays on the loom and I just retie each color of warp on the already threaded ends.  It will save time and effort as I weave the four to eight different warps.)  I will keep the lease sticks in the dummy warp so that I can use the center section for the narrow width scarves and then add the side warps when I do the wider scarves.  I even figured out that with the eight shaft loom, I can thread a straight draw ( shafts 1 through 8) and weave the straight twill scarves, then change the tie up to do the dornik twill (without having to rethread the dummy warp)...I though I was so smart.

And it started out so well.  I found some old yarn in one of my storage bins (yeah, a little de-stash) to put on a 2 yard dummy warp.  It was only 120 ends for the widest scarf in the fine yarns that will weave at 12 epi  (the heavier yarn is 10 epi so it will only use part of the dummy warp).  I decided to start with the narrow fine thread warp, so I only threaded the center warps on the dummy.  I wound the warp for two scarves and started tying it on.  I was surprised to find that I had too many warp threads in the scarf...quick check and I realized that I had planned for 20 repeats of 4 threads and I wound 20 repeats of 8 threads...!?  That's ok, I can just weave a second set of scarves with the warp.  

My next surprise can when I tested the wash-ability of the yarn.  It was labeled super-wash wool/alpaca/nylon.  But with the sett I used, when I threw it in with my delicate machine wash, it really felted down.  It still feels real soft and it is not stiff at all, but it is really smaller than I wanted.

Great pattern, but not quite right.
I decided to just label them hand wash and continued with the weaving.  I ended up with two scarves that will be great.  I will just hand wash them to close up the weave some, but not as much as the washed sample.

Next problem is to put on the second half of the warp that I had wound in error.  I decided to make this warp wide for the second size of scarf.  This size is more of a men's design where you just fold it over under the coat.  Since this size is wider and shorter, I figured that folding the warp in half would work.  I just needed to thread up the two sides of the dummy warp so I can tie on the full width.

First BIG whoops, when I threaded the center of the dummy warp, I didn't leave a number divisible by 8 on each side.  In other words I only had 22 threads to fit into 24 heddles that I needed for the dornik pattern.  The extra two warps were left at the other side of the threaded ones.  So...I have to re-thread the dummy so that I have shaft 1 through 8 on all the repeats...Only 120 ends so just a short while, but isn't that why I put on a dummy I didn't have to rethread?

I tied the warp on the first half of the ends, and proceeded to fold the warp and tie the other end of the 5.5 yard warp to the remaining dummy ends.  Next BIG whoops.  About an inch in I found that I had tied 3 tan ends instead of the four needed for the pattern.  

"I'll just add another end after I wind the warp on the loom."

Several minutes later I realized that with the color and weave pattern that the dornik twill is, I had thrown off the whole pattern by putting 3 ends on the one section...

After I wound the warp on the back beam, I rethreaded the warp to have the colors and the threading match for the pattern.  Wait, I rethreaded AGAIN?  Where is this dummy warp saving any time or effort.

Who is really the "dummy" here?