Friday, May 28, 2010

Melinda's Shawl: Loom Set Up

I got the bright idea of weaving my sister Melinda shawl as a gift.  So my creative engine got revving and I'm going with a pattern that is an extension of one I have done before (so I know what I'm getting... but trying something new), using undyed tencel in white or off white ( she is a bride after all!) A twelve shaft snowflake twill in 2/10 tencel, sett 28 epi, and 26 inches in the reed. That's 708 ends and since I'm making two shawls, the warp is 8 yards. Its treadled 'as drawn in'.

click to enlarge (on this draft or any picture)

So I got busy winding my warp! I divided the 708 ends into 4 groups .....

Then I loaded those onto the Louet for winding on. Their warping system a la Jane Stafford is amazing and quite logical. Eight feet or eight yards, it all goes on the same way and is easy peasy!

I love the symmetry of the threads all aligned. A thread under tension is a thread under control!
Keep those puppies taut and they can't run amok.... (Control issues or what?!)

Here the ends are corralled into the built in metric raddle. It has 5 slots per inch which means you have to do some figuring. In this case six threads per slot to spread it the required 26 inches.

Here's the view from the other side of the loom as I wind on, alternating tugging at the warp and pulling on the brown paper that separates the warp as it winds on. It took me 15 to 20 minutes to wind on the eight yards! Not too shabby.
The threading took me a bit longer as I slowly worked my way across the threading draft, marking my spot with mini post it notes to isolate the portion being worked on.

Once that was done, I have to sly the reed ( 12 dent: sleyed 2,2,3) A bit tricky with white heddles and white thread. Above you can just see that I have pulled each group and flipped over the top in order for drawing through the reed.

Here they are all laying nice and orderly through the reed and working my way across took about an hour and a half.

Then my trusty assistant, Hubby, and I lift the loom up onto my 'loom elevators' and now I can sit and work on the tie up. Sure beats crawling underneath the loom. The Louet Spring is light enough for two people to lift. What you see currently on the treadles is my old tie up for the last silk scarves, plus I attached a tie cord to the loose treadles to keep them from flopping around when the loom is lift up.

I'll be tying up 12 of the 14 and so that means a grand total of 144 tie up cords between the upper and lower lamms. I thought I'd make a fresh start in the morning and went upstairs to start our dinner. While chopping onions to lay over a salmon fillet, I didn't get my thumb out of the way fast enough and gave myself a good cut. See?

I'm the walking wounded now and its amazing what you use your thumb for. It did get me out of dishes that night and I seem to garner extra help when I needed it. It was a bit on the painful side...

Next picture is not for the faint of heart, small children and wimps ....

See? I 'm not kidding... I stuck the piece back on and bandaged it up! It worked one other time some years ago so maybe twice? So next up is my tie up and I'm going in to try it one handed!

This is my tie up sheet. Using my PCW Fiberworks I'm able to print just the tie up on a single sheet and then I use it at the loom. (You can do this with the threading or the treadling too) As I have a countermarche loom I must do a tie up for each and every square on the chart. I'm treating the numbers like X's and tie to the upper lamms (they sink) and the O's are tied to the lower lamms (they rise).

So I isolate the column I'm working on with the long post it note papers and get to work. I took two hours to do five treadles out of my twelve to do but that's due only to my thumb! Normally I'm a lot faster and would have all of them done in an hour. Separating the texsolv hole to put the other end of the cord through was a bit tough! I have a new appreciation for primates who manage without opposable thumbs :)

Next post I'll continue on the other side of the tie up. Hopefully I'll get faster with the practise!


dorothylochmaben said...

Hi Susan - I love this step by step guide, you are such a good teacher ! At least this time it seems a bit more familiar to me ! The thumb looks really nasty and would be very painful, should get you off washing up for quite a while I would say. Pushing those loops over the knobs on the treadles cannot have been easy !
Great tip to use post it notes to isolate the bits you are working on.
Can't wait for the next episode ! have a safe trip this weekend and hope Dad will be a bit better.

marion said...

What a great idea, to lift the loom. Your thumb looks really nasty, brrrr.
But pictures are great.

LA said...

It's so nice to see how others dress their looms! Thanks for sharing!

Cindie Kitchin eweniquely ewe said...

Can't wait to see the shawls woven - they're going to be beautiful.

Yikes on the thumb - that must have been throbbing for hours!

ladyoftheloom said...

I echo the other folks sentiments about the warping pictures. I always enjoy a good lesson.

The thumb. Wow. We will of course want an update as it changes and heals. Sort of an healing tutorial.

barbara said...

Nasty looking thumb - take care of it. Thanks for the tutorial on how you dress your loom. I would love to be able to raise my loom to tie up the treadles of my 12 harness LeClerc Nilart ...... alas, no one here to help lift the loom, and this loom you would need 4 strong men!!!! So I do have to get down underneath it. I must admit, I have never tied up all 12 harnesses - YET!!! Susan take care of your thumb. Hopefully you Dad is on the road to recovery.
Weaverly yours ..... Barbara

P.S. The shawls will be beautiful!!!!

bspinner said...

Yep, your right that is one ugly cut. I feel you pain.

I'm sure your sister's shawl well be beautiful. Can't wait to see it.

Hope your Dad is doing better!!!!

charlotte said...

I'm sure your sister will be delighted with this shawl, the pattern is just beautiful. I hope your thumb gets healed soon, it looks quite nasty.

Theresa said...

looks like another beautiful piece of weaving happening! I love the creamy whites. I do something like your tie-up sheet, but not half as nice. I list the shaft with an arrow going up or down, so I know if I want the shaft to sink or rise.
Oh bummer on the thumb. Ouch!

DebbieB said...

Yikes! Poor thumb! That's very frightening to a spinner - I use both my thumbs constantly and can't imagine being hampered by a bandage.

The 'cheat sheet' looks like a Sudoku puzzle. :) I appreciate the step-by-step notes and pictures!

Lynnette said...

What a fun post to follow along with! I love the shawl pattern and can't wait to see some of it woven. Ngaire commented on how shiny the tencel looks alread, so you know it'll be stunning when woven.

Carrie said...

Your tie up sheet looks like a sudoko puzzle to me! (and I can't figure out sudoko puzzles either come to think on it.)

Gosh your finger, eek. I hope it heals up okay! Have you spun with tencel? I think I read that it is similar to silk, but man made? (I'll have to read up on it.) I was thinking of giving it a shot, spinning wise.

Leigh said...

Ouch on that thumb! We take them for granted but oh how we miss them when they're out of action.

Beautiful warp and draft. Good pictures and great explanation. I like your stuffed lamb too!