Tuesday, December 29, 2009

warped... and ready to weave

Good friends were in town to spend several days with us at Christmas so I didn't begin the warp for this new/old loom until Sunday afternoon.  I'd hoped to warp it 36" wide but thought my warp stock of the 30/18 Finnish cotton seine twine wasn't enough to allow for that.  I used the warping reel to measure off 24 ends at a time and, working from the middle to each side, attached ends until I ran out of the warp.  That gave me a 24" width so I chose to only install one of the heddle bar sets rather than both that I'd have used for a wider width.  That's just as well since I juggled the heddle bars quite a bit before settling on a way to keep them suspended while I threaded (a few hissy fits were involved, too).  

I decided to roll the warp with corrugated cardboard (which I ran out of before completing the turns so ended with a couple of wraps of kraft paper).  I don't like surprises of warp tension loosening during the unwinding for new warp that I'd get when winding the warp turns on themselves.  I also didn't tie the warp directly onto the bar of the bottom beam... rather, I tied overhand knots of 8 ends each (1" bouts) and lashed those to the lower bar.  That way I was able to adjust the evenness of the warp a bit more easily before tightening.

I wound the knotted and lashed bouts onto the bottom beam with a layer of corrugated paper to keep the knots from poking into the tapestry once it starts to be wound onto the beam.  I next wove in four picks of wooden lath strips, then several passes of the seine twine above the lath, followed by a row of twining and then another pass of the seine twine.

Now the warp is ready for a hem and the tapestry will begin soon.  Cartoon designing comes next and may take a few days.  My ideas for the kudzu tapestry aren't in place yet...  lots more looking, thinking, sketching, Photoshopping, revising, thinking some more, and looking again--with critical eye--to complete the cartoon before I begin the weaving.  SOON, I hope!

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