Flax field

Flax field

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Saga of the Dummy Warp

You saw the mess of the dummy warp last post.  It did really wind on easily, 8/4 cotton is an easy yarn to use.  My problems started coming up after the warp was wound and I checked the threading and reed.  First I saw that I had missed a dent...easy fix.  But as I was lifting some of the shafts to check the threading, I noticed three pairs of threads lifting instead of two pairs.  (This is a six block, eight shaft, huck lace and the pattern threads lift up in pairs).  When I checked, I could see I had threaded block 7, then block 8 then, then block 7 two times.  That is why I was 5 threads short at the end of threading.  I pulled that end of the warp out of the reed, it was less than a fourth of the width, and rethreaded the pattern.

I had the alpaca warp wound and I was excited to get it on the loom.  
Tying on the first warp
Unfortunately, I had not counted the warp threads right and I had 11 threads more than I should have...Oh well, I will use them on the third warp that is also white.  I wove the header and checked the pattern, somehow I had missed tying two threads, I only had a block of three threads instead of the five threads required...there were two of the extra eleven!   I put those two threads through the heddles and weighted them to hang off the back of the loom.  I resleyed the reed and checked again.  This time I had put those two threads on shaft 2 instead of shaft 7 and I was only getting plain weave.  I spent some time repairing that and finally got on to the weaving.
First shawl in Huck
The weaving was easy and pleasant, I finished a shawl a day...not as fast as I should be, but better than I have been for a while.

But I was still wondering if the dummy warp was doing any good with making things faster, especially after the many corrections and rethreading that I had to do.  For the second warp, I decided to watch the tying on in front better.  I decided to just tie four ends at a time.  That was a good number to have me double check my progress.
Four and four, I should be able to keep track of that
And the four threads made a good group to tighten.  I pulled each group of four to check the knots.
Checking the strength of the knots
This time I did not miss any knots, I was one thread short, but added that easily.  (I do have trouble counting!)  I timed myself on the knot tying, on the first I managed to tie 44 knots in 30 minutes--that was not good at all.  On the second warp, I was tying 96 in 30 minutes, so I decided that the prethreaded dummy warp was saving some time.
Second warp with knots ready to pull through.
I eased the knots through the reed and the heddles.  I only took a few minutes and I had no problems with tangling or knots slipping.
Hemstitching the second shawl on the second warp
The black warp was hard to see the first pattern, but the second one in the picture was a quick and easy to weave.  The small amount of silk in the yarn gives this piece a little bit of a shine and I think will make a couple of great shawls.

I had to spend some time at the craft house studio, so while I was there I wound a warp for a couple of rugs.  Since I have not finished the piece on my Macomber, I need to use the Macomber at the studio.  Since I have a class using that loom starting the 21st of July, I need to get weaving.
Sectional warping a small warp
The warp was short, only 7 yards, but because I had enough cones, it was faster to sectional warp, besides there was a student that wanted to see sectional warping in action.
Because I was talking and not paying attention when I cut off one section I cut two warp ends on the beam...(*&#$@*&).  
Two cut ends with temporary repair

I used some carpet warp to tie the ends together while I wound the warp forward to thread the loom.  I will add two weighted ends when I tie on.  I will probably make them long enough for one rug, then tie the original warps back in for the second rug...I do not want a repair in the rug!
Threading the heddles
I got the rug warp threaded and sleyed through the reed between helping my students...I will probably go in Tuesday (not during studio hours) to repair the two and get the rug started.  I already graphed out how I will stripe the first rug.

Back home last night and today, I put on the third warp and wove the first shawl on that warp.  I used the extra 9 ends from the first white warp...but somehow I was two warp ends short.  Well, better to have too few than to have too many and I could easily wind two ends to tie on the dummy.
Again, not able to count...two threads short
I wove up the first shawl and I love the pattern.  I seem to really like the diamond shapes, I was thinking of trying a square based pattern for the second shawl on this warp.  We'll see how that works.
Beautiful pattern on shawl 3a

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