Monday, October 17, 2005

That's better

This weekend I wound the warp for Take Two of the chenille scarf saga. Already I like these colors better. I'm still not crazy about working with chenille though. It's too ... slippery ... or something. I may need to find a way to use ten pounds of rayon chenille in some other way.

I thought I'd document the weaving process with this scarf. I won't go into excruciating detail, but I think the process is pretty interesting. The first thing you have to do is "wind the warp." You figure out how long your warp needs to be (in this case 2 3/4 yards, which I rounded up to 9 feet -- hard to believe that this will end up being a 65-inch scarf, not counting fringe -- there's a lot of waste yarn involved with weaving). A warping board makes this process very easy, especially when you have a warp like this one, with alternating colors. In an ideal world, the warp gets put on the loom in the exact order that it was wound. Ideally.

Then what you do is tie the warp in a few strategic places. Where it crosses at the top right is the most important place to tie, because that's where you'll eventually take the individual threads and put them through the heddles. If you lose this cross, life gets really ugly. Ask any weaver how many times she's forgotten to tie the cross, and the answer will never be larger than "one." The ties at either end are important, because you'll be sliding a rod through one end, and cutting the other end, and again, you don't want to have to figure out where the ends are, one thread at a time. I also have a cross at the lower left of the warp. This is because I "dress the loom" from the back to the front, and I need that cross so I know how to fill up the raddle. That's for next week though. The other ties mostly keep the threads from sliding around too much. You want to always keep your warp as even as possible.

After you tie the warp to your satisfaction, you take it off of the warping board and make a chain out of it, kind of like crocheting with your hand. Chaining also keeps things from moving around too much, especially if you won't be going directly from the warping board to the loom -- nine feet of warp can get a little unwieldy. This is as far as I got this weekend.

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