A Day in the Country

Mimis Friends-2
I had a glorious day in the countryside near Petaluma at my friend’s farm with some of her fiber-loving friends. After a fine lunch we sat around and visited while knitting. Then we cooled off in the pool. I love this landscape and drive out to be in it whenever I need a country fix. In August I always look for blooming naked ladies. They were flourishing along the roadside. I brought home some precious green persimmons–perfectly hard–to make my own dye called kakishibu. It might take 3 years to ferment to really do a good job!
Mimis Countryside-2
Persimmon 1-2

Mimis Pool-2Naked Ladies

Weaver’s Knot: Make It using the Rabbit Hole Story: Part I of 3

Knowing how to tie the weaver’s knot is very satisfying. I use it when I want a small, thin knot. I first learned it with the “ears” method but I see that I decided to just use the rabbit hole story in my book Weaving for Beginners. The next posts will have more details and how to make a double weaver’s knot.


The weaver’s knot’s characteristics–non-slip and a quick release–are valued not only by weavers but by climbers and sailors, too. The knot can be used whenever two cords are tied together or to fasten one cord to a loom part. Because it can’t be tied under tension, it is a good knot when measuring the warp when you have a slack thread to work with. It can be tied with short ends, but not with very slippery threads, such as silk. It’s slower to work than a square knot, but more secure and smaller. So if a square knot doesn’t hold, try a weaver’s or double weaver’s.

There are several names associated with the weaver’s knot, such as bowline and sheet bend. One of my previous tips was the weaver’s knot with “ears.” 

By remembering the following climber’s story, you can always remember this version of the weaver’s knot. Imagine a rabbit hole with a tree growing right behind it. Every day the rabbit jumps out of his nest, runs around the tree, and pops back into the hole. Think of the rabbit hole as a length of cord using the short tail end to form a loop. The “tree” (or tail of the cord) ends up behind the “hole” (loop).

Another cord follows the rabbit’s daily path. This cord comes up through the loop, runs around the cord tree, and pops back into the loop.

To tighten, pull equally on both standing ends in opposite directions. Release in the same way for all weaver’s knots.

Weaver's Knot: Another Way

Weaver’s Knot: Another Way

 

HOW TO UNDO ANY WEAVER’S KNOT AND KNOW IF YOU’VE TIED IT CORRECTLY

The key to knowing you’ve tied the weaver’s knot correctly is to be able to release or undo it. To undo it, you want to straighten out the thread that makes the “U”in the completed knot. No matter which way you tie it, there is one thread in a U-shape and the other thread winding itself around the first. Pull on both ends of that “U” thread-in opposite directions-to unbend it and straighten it out. The squiggly portion can be slipped right off, and even the squiggles relax so you have two fresh threads when you’re through. See figures below.
Weaver's Knot

More information in Weaving for Beginners and Book #2: Warping Your Loom & Tying On New Warps

Dying with Kakishibu–Green Persimmons

persimmon dye with iron modifier on various fabrics [click to enlarge]

persimmon dye with iron modifier on various fabrics [click to enlarge]


I’ve been interested that I could dye with green persimmons for awhile and I have a friend with persimmon trees. But when I got Chris Conrad’s book, “Kakishibu: Traditional Persimmon Dye of Japan”” and found I could buy the dye already made I was hooked. These are some of my first experiments. I love them and have more pictures for an album we’ll make later. Her book told me all I needed to know to get started.  Visit her website : http://kakishibui.com/

persimmon dye with no iron modifier on various fabrics except for the dark piece in the center [click to enlarge]

persimmon dye with no iron modifier on various fabrics except for the dark piece in the center [click to enlarge]

 

Yarn and Sett Charts for Good Weaving

Here are the sett charts from my book, Weaving for Beginners.

Peggy Osterkamp - Weaving for Beginners [click to enlarge]

Peggy Osterkamp – Weaving for Beginners [click to enlarge]

 

They are more like summaries of the comprehensive charts found in my book, Winding a Warp & Using  a Paddle but I think they can do for a quick check. My charts are based on the yards per pound (m/kg) of the yarns. You can read how the calculations were made, Ashenhurst, and much more about sett in my tips on the website. Search for sett.  
Sett Chart

Twill Sett Chart

Meters? Yards? Kilograms? or Pounds? –Calculating for Weaving

Metric Equivalants

[ click to enlarge ]

Here is a chart to convert yards per pound to meters per kilograms. I got a request a while ago for this information so my European subscribers could understand US labels better. In my book , Weaving for Beginners, there are sett charts with both yd per lb and m/kg. I thought it would be handy to just have the equivalents in a separate chart here.
My next post will be 2 sett charts that include both metric and US measurements.

Peggy Osterkamp’s Worksheet

My Worksheet
Here is my project worksheet that I always use. It’s in my book Weaving for Beginners. Someone asked if I could put it here on the blog so it will be easier to make copies than from the book. I posted it on my blog a few years ago, but think it’s time to post it again now that I have close to 600 subscribers (598). It is used to calculate the many things needed when planning a project. This worksheet lets you figure out how long and wide the warp should be and the amount of warp and weft yarn you need. When I was starting out, I was always worried that I’d forget a critical calculation. You may download the worksheet HERE.

Camp Season Almost Here

Table Looms for Camp
Here are my Structo table looms all ready for the campers later in June. Last year we had great creativity from the 6-11 year-olds. Finally a use for my looms that have been gathering dust n my studio. Last year was a great success so we are going to do it again this year. I always wonder before hand how it will go over. The kids last year were so eager. I made the warps–2 1/2″ wide and then cut cut them off when they are all done and glue the cut ends.

My First Guest Post! Calm Obsession by Regina Potts

Claw for post
I started guest posting with Regina Potts. It all began when she emailed me with a better way to stretch out the cloth on the loom. I suggested using croc clips in my book, Weaving for Beginners. We’ll be collaborating in future posts. I like her idea, her stories, and the way she thinks.
Here it is in PDF format. Just click the post title below
Weighted Claw Temple by Regina Potts

Fine Threads, Oh, MY! A Video

Threading My Loom with Threads that are as Fine as Hairs


I’ve been threading the heddles now for a few weeks—about an hour at a time and when I can get into the studio. It’s such a meditative thing that I wanted to have a film made. I’ve never used so fine a thread before and I hope it can stand up to the tension and abrasion of weaving. This short segment is the beginning of the film I’m dreaming of. I hope we can put together the rest of setting up the loom and me weaving—and an end result. This time threading is both soothing and ‘hair’ raising—you’ll see why in the video. If you’re not a weaver and don’t want details, go to the video now.

The thread is so fine that I couldn’t get it wound off from the skein so I sent it to Japan for them to wind it off (my friend with the equipment in the US couldn’t do it). It came back on about 15 cones—each with a very small amount of thread on it. So even the experts had a hard time—so many cones means that the thread kept breaking and they had to find an end and start a new cone over and over.

I’m planning on 120 threads per inch—the threads in my other sheer warps have been only 96 ends per inch. That gives you an idea of how fine we are talking about—like hairs.

I thought I’d warp 10 cones at a time as I’ve done with the other thread. Well, things kept breaking and threads blew around in the air and I almost gave up. I did end up using 4 cones at a time. I could keep track of those and repair them every time one broke and find its own exact path to the heddles in the heck block on my warping reel.

I didn’t notice that the 4 cones weren’t in position to make a perfect cross so I ended up with a 2×2 cross. You’ll notice that in the video. Jim Ahrens taught us that 2 threads at a time can work but never more than that. (3 or more threads will braid up on one another.) I’m hoping that is true because every thread has a mate in the cross. The reason to use a paddle is so you can always make a thread-by-thread cross. In my case I have a heck block that does that job connected to my reel. I am lucky enough to have a warping reel that Jim Ahrens made.

My Textile Treasures

People have asked me why I am buying something on a trip and what am I going to do with it? My answer has been (to myself) “to have it”. I got inspired to really put away my textiles honorably when I visited a friend I met on the Philippines trip. Here is the result.

Japanese fragments & piece from an obi made of cocoons. Old blouse from Philippines, white wool piece with henna from Morocco, old tape loom. (I had the bars put up when I moved in 6 years ago.)

Japanese fragments & piece from an obi made of cocoons. Old blouse from Philippines, white wool piece with henna from Morocco, old tape loom. (I had the bars put up when I moved in 6 years ago.)

Textiles on shelves and in drawers in sideboard.

Textiles on shelves and in drawers in sideboard.

Blouse from Philippines, belt from Morocco, under kimono from Japan, narrow pieces from Japan, ikat hanging by me.

Blouse from Philippines, belt from Morocco, under kimono from Japan, narrow pieces from Japan, ikat hanging by me.

Drawers in tansu with scarves. Other places for my pj's, etc.

Drawers in tansu with scarves. Other places for my pj’s, etc.

Scarves in drawers of tansu chest. I need discipline to put them away after wearing them.

Scarves in drawers of tansu chest. I need discipline to put them away after wearing them.

Japanese things. Ceremonial kimono with fireflies design, obi made with fan reed, tea pot with fish lever to adjust height. Art piece by Adela Akers.

Japanese things. Ceremonial kimono with fireflies design, obi made with fan reed, tea pot with fish lever to adjust height. Art piece by Adela Akers.

Case with earrings and hair pieces from the Philippines. combs from India, Collage by Milton Sonday, textile art by Adela Akers. Japanese sake bottle and vase.

Case with earrings and hair pieces from the Philippines. combs from India, Collage by Milton Sonday, textile art by Adela Akers. Japanese sake bottle and vase.

Counting Down My Top Ten Weaving Tips – #3: Tying on new warps the new way

It’s been five years since I published my new website including over 100 weaving tips and I’m counting down the top ten. Here is number 3. This one has had 7828 views as of today!! The top one has more than 27,000 views to date!! Can you guess what the subject of that tip is?


This is a very different approach from what you’ve known before!! Jim Ahrens told me, “If you can talk them out of tying on in front, you will be doing them a big favor.” Here’s our gift to you.

Part One explained why this is such a good method and the concept. Part Two gives you the step-by-step.If you like it, and tell your weaving friends!!
 
Step 1. Make an Accurate Lease Behind the Shafts

The correct sequence of the threads in the old warp is easier-far, far easier-to see from a lease than from the heddles. You avoid many errors by selecting threads from a lease.

If the lease sticks are still in place on the old warp, check that the lease is accurate. (Check by treadling the two plain weave sheds and seeing if they are exactly the same as where the lease sticks are.) The lease may not be accurate if you corrected an error made when you wound the warp or threaded the heddles. If your lease doesn’t correspond exactly to the order of the threads in the heddles, make a new lease from the heddles.

Why this emphasis on the exact order? Later, threads out of order show up as crossed threads, making it impossible to pull the new warp through the heddles. Stabilize the sticks or cord. Hang the sticks from the castle or tie them to the sides of the loom. If you use a lease cord, make it taut by tying it to the sides of the loom.

STEP 2. CUT THE OLD WARP OFF THE WARP BEAM APRON

Tying on New Warps on the Loom A

Tying on New Warps on the Loom A

Before you cut the warp, be sure you’ve stabilized the lease sticks or cord so they can’t fall out. Cut the warp’s end loops at the endstick or apron rod. Leave all the loom waste intact. As you cut, you may want to tie slip knots in bunches of the warps to help keep the lease sticks in place. When you finish, the warp ends are dangling from the lease cord or sticks. See Figure A.

STEP 3. BEAM ON THE NEW WARP AS USUAL

STEP 4. POSITION THE WARPS AND LEASES

Position the leases in both the old and new warps between the shafts and the back beam. It’s important that you can easily see the leases so you won’t make mistakes. You’ll be choosing the threads in sequence from each lease to tie a thread in the old warp to its matching thread in the new warp.

Adjust the two warps so they overlap each other about half way between the shafts and the back beam. Leave a 4″ tail from each warp extending past the midpoint of the overlap. This is where you tie the knots. Long tails make tying the knots easier-you cut the tails off later. If you don’t have enough of the old warp to overlap 4″ past the knot-tying spot, you can make the knots closer to the shafts.

STEP 5. ENGAGE THE BRAKES

Make sure the brakes are engaged on both the cloth and warp beams, to put both old and new warps under tension for knot-tying.

STEP 6. MAKE SURE BOTH LEASES ARE HORIZONTAL (PARALLEL TO THE FLOOR) AND SECURE

Tying on New Warps on the Loom B

Tying on New Warps on the Loom B

Both the leases should be horizontal-parallel to the floor. If you’re using lease cords and they are taut and tied to the sides of the loom, adjust the ties so the leases are horizontal. See Figure B.

Tying on New Warps on the Loom C

Tying on New Warps on the Loom C

If you’re using lease sticks, probably the easiest way to make them horizontal is to tie the two warps together temporarily. Make two ties about one fourth of the way in from each edge. Take about an inch of warps from the old warp and a similar bunch from the new warp, and tie them in a bow or half bow. It doesn’t matter that these probably are not exactly corresponding threads because you’ll retie them thread-by-thread later. Now you can remove any ties you made to stabilize the lease sticks. The temporary ties make the leases parallel to the floor and stabilize the lease sticks. See Figure C.

The leases in both warps should be “safe” –nothing is going to collapse or fall out. If you feel anything is cumbersome or vulnerable, see what you can do now so all is stable. It makes you work better if you know all is safe.

STEP 7. CENTER THE WARP IN THE HEDDLE EYES

If necessary, raise the shafts so the warps are in the center of the heddle eyes. This is important so the old warp is straight while you’re tying the knots, and so the knots won’t catch when you pull them through the heddles.

STEP 8. POSITION THE SUPPORT BOARD

Tying on New Warps on the Loom D

Tying on New Warps on the Loom D

Position a board beneath the knot-tying area, midway between the back beam and the shafts. If your old warp is short, position the board closer to the shafts and adjust the warps so your knot-tying area is above the board. Support the board on the side framework of your loom or on lary sticks, or suspend it from long loops of string tied to the loom’s overhead structure. See Figure D. It should be sturdy and in no danger of falling, so experiment with C-clamps and string, if you need to, to get a firm work surface.

STEP 9. GET YOURSELF COMFORTABLE AND READY

Decide where to work. You begin tying the knots at the edge away from you and work toward yourself. Stand or pull a stool or chair up to the back of the loom, whichever is more comfortable. If there is room, you can sit inside the loom itself. For a wide warp, you need to tie the last warps from outside the loom.

Make sure your lighting is good and that you are comfortable. Comfort is not a luxury-it’s important to help you work error-free.

STEP 10. TIE THE KNOTS

You take the first thread in the lease of the old warp and tie a square knot to join it to the corresponding first thread in the lease of the new warp. Continue in sequence, picking one thread from one lease and then its mate from the other, until all the warp threads are knotted together. When you get to a temporary tie, untie it, match up the warp threads, and continue knotting. Don’t worry too much about maintaining precise warp tension while tying the knots.

STEP 11. CUT THE TAILS OFF THE KNOTS

Leave the long tails on the knots until all the knots are tied. Then cut all the tails short-to about 3/4″ (or 1/2″). Don’t try to weave or pull the threads through the heddles with the long tails on! The tails will tangle terribly. If a knot unties after you’ve cut the tails, there won’t be enough thread to re-tie it. You can either tie in an extension and re-tie it, or treat it as a broken end when you weave the heading.

STEP 12. REMOVE THE OLD WARP’S LEASE AND THE SUPPORT BOARD

With all the warps correctly tied, tightened, checked, and with tails cut off, you can remove the support board. Remove the lease sticks or cord from the old warp — and only the old warp. The new warp’s lease sticks or cord should stay in place, although you should untie the lease sticks from the sides of the loom. Remember, if possible, you want the lease in during weaving and for tying on the next new warp.

STEP 13. EASE THE KNOTS THROUGH THE HEDDLES

Now you’re ready to pull the tied-on warp through the heddles. Disengage the brake on the warp beam. Make sure the warps are in the center of the heddle eyes to avoid getting the knots caught on the tops of the eyes. Raising the shafts in Step 7 should have centered the warps.

I think “easing” is the key word. Some warps move smoothly through the heddles, others-especially heavier threads-may take more hand manipulation to ease them through, whether you crank or pull the knots through by hand. Sometimes a good tromp on a treadle will shake the knots loose so they’ll go through.

STEP 14. EASE THE KNOTS THROUGH THE REED

Getting the knots through the reed can be slower than you think, so gather up some patience. It’s easier if you have sleyed two ends per dent.

STEP 15. WEAVE THE HEADING

If the old cloth is still attached, you already have the warp under tension. You can weave the heading in the new warp as soon as the knots are through the reed.

If you have only a heading or overhand knots in the ends of the old warp, you need to get the warp under tension before you can begin the heading in the new warp. Attach the heading stick(s) or the overhand knots to the cloth apron rod. You can lace on. See May Tip of the Month.

The first time you tie on a new warp, it will probably seem slow, but just be patient. It will go faster the next time.

This tip is an excerpt from Chapter 8, “Tying On New Warps” in Book 2, Warping Your Loom and Tying on New Warps– Revised Edition.

Lamb Day at Mimi’s Farm

Lamb and Boy

Consider visiting my friend Mimi Luebbermann’s small farm, Windrush Farm. I love going there any time of year. Spring with the baby lambs and goats (kids) is a fantastic outing. While there you can pick up natural and colorful yarn that Mimi has spun from her own sheep. Look for other events at the farm website. Read  her notice below.

“April 9, 2016 – 10am – 1pm

Great news, we’re doing it again! Come celebrate all our little lambs on the farm. We have over 25 lambs ready for viewing, from the tiny black Shetland quadruplets to the husky first born single white female. Please bring a lunch to enjoy at the pond (and feel free to search for tadpoles). Windrush roving and yarns will be available for purchase and each visitor will get to take home a child’s loom from recycled materials.
Mimi and Lamb
Schedule of the Day
10:00 Gates open
10:30 Meet and Greet the Sheep
11:00 Spinning Demonstration
11:30 Milking the Goat
12:00 Meet and Greet the Sheep
1:00 Wool Activities for

All Adults $20, children (under 12) free. Pay at the door (cash only) or register here:
http://lambday2016.brownpapertickets.com

Windrush Farm 2263 Chileno Valley Rd. Petaluma, CA 94952
For more information call: 707 775-3390″
Windrush Yarn

 

Hurry! Two Ahrens Looms Available

Hi all,

A woman in Berkeley is selling two unique looms.

Loom #1 is a 20-shaft mechanical dobby loom, 40″ weaving width – the
first dobby loom Jim Ahrens ever made. (Jim Ahrens was the “A” in
“AVL” – an amazing loom builder/engineer.)

Loom #2 is a 90%-complete dobby drawloom, 30″ wide with 20 shafts,
also designed and made by Jim Ahrens. The loom is complete except for
the beater, a warp beam, and a few other pieces. It comes with
detailed plans, so a decent woodworker should have no trouble putting
together the other pieces.

The owner needs to clear out both looms by April 16 – so she says,
“Just make me an offer! Any offer!” After that the looms will be cut
up for the wood (her husband is a woodworker), which seems a real pity
considering their unique nature and history.

Contact the seller directly at 1gingerdragon@gmail.com

Please pass on to anyone you know who might be interested.

Thanks!

Peggy

New Features Added to the Ahrens Looms Website

Ahrens Menus
The Ahrens Looms website gets more exciting for me everyday.

We have the full support of Bob Kruger of AVL and Weavolution is announcing it in their newsletter.  We’ve added more features that would be expected on websites. There is a Forum section with several topics and the latest added is the FAQ page. Here is a sample of how a FAQ (frequently asked question) works. When you click on the question the answer pops up below. Try it!

Because that’s all you need for 4 shafts. With those 4 treadles and your two feet you can treadle all of the possible combinations of shafts. There are 14 combinations possible.You never need to tie up any combinations and that way you can easily change tie-ups anytime you want. If you use Jim’s unique tie-ups for the 4 treadles, it’s easy to walk your feet for all the weaves you have available.
Direct tieup

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0 people found this helpful.


Counting Down My Top Ten Weaving Tips – #4: Beam the warp under a lot of tension

It’s been five years since I published my new website including over 100 weaving tips and I’m counting down the top ten. Here is number 4. This one has had 5920 views as of today!! The top one has more than 26,000 views to date!! Can you guess what the subject of that tip is?


BEAM THE WARP WITH A LOT OF TENSION, MORE THAN IT WILL BE UNDER WHILE YOU’RE WEAVING. THIS EXTRA TENSION PREVENTS THE THREADS FROM BITING DOWN UNEVENLY AS THE LAYERS BUILD UP ON THE WARP BEAM. THE IDEAL IS A SOLID, SMOOTH, VERY HARD PACKAGE OF YARNS, THE SAME DEGREE OF SMOOTHNESS AND SOLIDNESS AS A SPOOL OF SEWING THREAD.

TOO LITTLE TENSION DURING BEAMING
IF YOU PUT LESS TENSION ON THE WARP WHEN BEAMING THAN YOU DO WHEN WEAVING, MYSTERIOUS BUNCHES OF FLABBY WARPS APPEAR RANDOMLY AS YOU WEAVE. THE EFFECT OF THE GREATER TENSION YOU APPLY WHILE WEAVING IS THE SAME AS PULLING HARD ON THE WARP. IMAGINE PULLING HARD ON A LOOSELY WOUND WARP: THE OUTER LAYERS OF THE WARP WOULD SLIP, PULLING THE INNER LAYERS NEARER THE BEAM TIGHTER. ON A SHORT WARP OF JUST A FEW TURNS OF THE BEAM, THE SLIPPAGE WOULD PROBABLY CONTINUE RIGHT DOWN TO THE BEAM, TIGHTENING THE WHOLE WARP, AND SO THERE WOULDN’T BE ANY EFFECT ON YOUR WEAVING. BUT ON ANY WARP LONGER THAN A FEW YARDS, THE SLIPPAGE CAN’T GO DEEPER THAN A FEW LAYERS, AND THE TIGHTENED OUTER LAYERS COMPRESS THE INNER LAYERS. AS THEY COMPRESS, THE THREADS FLEX AND CURVE. IN WEAVING, THE FLEXES START TO STRAIGHTEN OUT THE CLOSER YOU GET TO THEM, BUT THEY DO SO RANDOMLY, NOT ALL AT ONCE. THAT EXPLAINS THAT CURIOUS SNAKY PATTERN YOU MAY HAVE SEEN ON YOUR BEAM AFTER WEAVING FOR AWHILE AND ALSO THE MYSTERIOUSLY UNEVEN TENSION OF THE WARP.

DOES EXTRA TENSION HARM THE WARP?

No, not even elastic yarns like wool, and not even if you don’t weave it off immediately. In fact, Jim Ahrens once wove off a 2/28 wool warp that had been under this kind of tension for eight years. In comparing the finished fabric to the sample he had woven eight years earlier on that warp, he found no difference in hand or resilience of the two fabrics. I wouldn’t recommend you put a poor quality thread to this extreme test, but since we’re weaving high-quality cloth, you wouldn’t be using poor quality thread anyway.

Tensioning the Warp by Yourself

If you’re working on your own, without a helper, using the “jerking” method allows you to apply great tension to your warp. Every time you crank the warp beam one full turn, stop, engage the brake, and then stand where the bulk of the warp is. Starting at one side of the warp, take a 2″ section of the warp in each hand. Tension them by jerking hard, very hard. Drop those sections, and pick up the next two sections and jerk very hard again. Continue jerking, in 2″ sections, all the way across the warp. See Figure A. This tightens the warp you just wound on the beam. Then wind on another turn, and follow the same process again, starting from the other edge of the warp. Alternating right and left edges as the starting point helps prevent one side receiving less tension than the other because you may have pulled harder on the first bundles every time.

Beaming the Warp on the Loom A

Beaming the Warp on the Loom A

If you begin to get blisters, though I never have, fingerless gloves, like those that golfers use, can help.Note that it is the turn of warp that you just wound onto the beam that is being tensioned. Warp that is not on the beam is slack as soon as you let go of it. If you must stop beaming and resume later, jerk all the sections of the last turn of the warp again before you start beaming. Another way to achieve good, consistent tension is to use your body weight instead of jerking the warp. Grasp each 2″ section at arm’s length, lock your elbows, and then lean back against the warp. Try this if you feel you can’t be sure of jerking with the same force all across the warp. Remember, the tension has to be not only tight, but even.

SMOOTHING OUT THE WARP AS YOU WIND ON

You may find it necessary to smooth out sections before tensioning to get the warp threads lined up and flat. Whatever you do, don’t comb! Combing can snag a thread or create tangles, often causing threads to break.

Often, it’s enough just to shake the warp briskly, like a horse’s reins, while pulling the warp toward you. You might also try holding a section of warp taut and slapping with your palm or flicking with your finger. See Figures B and C.

Beaming the Warp on the Loom C

Beaming the Warp on the Loom C

Beaming the Warp on the Loom B

Beaming the Warp on the Loom B

 
Beaming the Warp on the Loom D

Beaming the Warp on the Loom D

If this doesn’t lay the warp out flat, the best way to smooth sections with the least possibility of stretching is what I call “the pinch.” Lay threads over the flats of your fingers, then pinch them gently with the thumb. Now draw thumb and fingers toward you for a few inches. Release, pinch, and draw again until the threads lie properly. By drawing the pinch along, the loose warps that have looped up are worked along the bulk of the warp; eventually all the ends are equally tensioned. See Figure D.

 

Beam with a dowel

 

To save a lot of stress on your hands, you can wind the sections around a short length of dowel and pull on the dowel. It is easy and quick once you get the rhythm of doing it. The diameter of the dowel should be around 1/2″. See figure #133.

This tip is an excerpt from Chapter 2, “Beaming on a Plain Beam” in Book 2,Warping Your Loom and Tying on New Warps– and Weaving for Beginners

 

Just Published!! My new website about Ahrens Looms!

Ahrens Plaque
My good friend Vera Totos and I have been working for months on creating a new website about Ahrens looms. Jim Ahrens built looms for efficient weaving, using his own engineering and centuries old European techniques. This site explains their use and operation. Check it out and let me know what you think using the “Contact” page or as a “comment” at the bottom of each page.
http://ahrenslooms.com/

Thank you , Thank you! I now have 500 subscribers!

500 Subs


Great news! I just now exceeded 500 subscribers to my blog! If you add your email to my subscriber list on my Home Page, you will get an email notice for every new post that I make. 

I want to share a very nice comment I got from a weaver. Please read below. I really appreciate getting feed back–I check my computer first thing in the morning–nice comments can make my day!

“Peggy you have been my mentor in weaving since I first began in 2007. I wasn’t on the internet back then, I bought a couple of your books and your DVD on warping back to front. I still follow this method you used in that video.Your blog and all your great tips are awesome! They help this amateur weaver understand weaving so much better than just reading it in a book. I would like to say a Big Thank You for working so hard to help folks like me.”

Counting Down My Top Ten Weaving Tips – #5: How to Use the Two-Stick Heading

It’s been five years since I published my new website including over 100 weaving tips and I’m counting down the top ten. Here is number 5. This one has had 5723 views as of today!! The top one has almost 26,000 views to date!! Can you guess what the subject of that tip is?

Here is a comment about this tip describing in a real world situation how useful this tip can be: “Thank you so much. I have some 42/2 linen and it is going slow. Long story short, I signed up for a towel exchange due on Saturday. I have a couple woven and needed to cut them off so I can get them hemmed. This worked SOOO slick!! Thank you, thank you thank you!”


This is taken from my book, Weaving for Beginners, beginning on page 134.

The two-stick heading
This is a very useful heading. I have used it countless times. One reason is to
eliminate the knots on the apron rod so that the cloth rolls up without lumps
on the cloth beam. Another reason is so that you can cut off some of the cloth
before the whole warp has been completedly woven.
You need a pair of sticks that fit on your cloth beam and won’t interfere with
the ratchet.
They can be lease sticks, dowels, or metal rods. I prefer thin and lightweight
sticks rather than thick ones because they take up less warp and aren’t so bulky.

Two Stick Heading #1

Two Stick Heading #1

After you’ve woven the initial heading to spread out the warps (page 105) (or at least 1″), insert a stick in one plain weave shed; insert another stick
in the next plain weave shed, and continue weaving for 1″, or so. See Figure 307. The lease sticks will stay in place because they are woven in the cloth.

Two Stick Heading #2

Two Stick Heading #2

Release the tension on the warp, and carefully cut between the knots and the first inch of the heading that you wove. Leave both plain weave sections and the sticks attached to the loom!
Remember, you are cutting between the knots and the cloth which means only the knots are being cut off—the heading remains attached to the loom because it is part of the warp that is on the loom. Be careful not to cut the loom’s apron cords! See  Figure 308. (If you want fringe, see Figure 311).
The heading will be re-attached to the apron rod. See Figure 310. If the warp is sparse or slippery, put some white glue or tape on the cut edge to prevent the heading from unraveling or the warp threads from pulling the heading out when the warp is back on tension.

Two Stick Heading #3

Two Stick Heading #3

Fold the first stick, with the first inch of the heading, under the second stick and the second inch of the heading. See Figure 309.

 

 

 

Two Stick Heading #4

Two Stick Heading #4

Tie the two folded sticks across the front apron rod at 3″ intervals. Make the ties
strong by doubling a sturdy but not fat string. Use a tapestry needle to go through the cloth and around the rod. Make the first tie in the center of the warp to hold the sticks stable. You might find it easier if you wind up the cloth apron until the apron rod is resting on the breast beam. Then pull the heading sticks (and the warp) forward to the apron rod and tie them to it, while steadying them on the breast beam. Put the knots on the front edge of the apron rod so you won’t make lumps with the ties. See Figure 310.
Begin weaving again. The warp tension remains unchanged; since the heading
sticks were woven in with the warp on tension before the knots were cut off, all
the threads remain evenly tensioned as you resume.
FRINGE
If you want fringe, untie the knots instead of cutting them off and fold the
sticks as above. Then smoothly fold back the unknotted warp threads as well as
the heading.

Cutting Off As You Go

Cutting Off As You Go

Another situation: Cutting off the cloth as you go
You can cut off pieces as you weave them; it’s not necessary to wait until the
entire warp is used up before cutting off the fabric. The headings and two sticks
save precious warp because you don’t need to tie the warps back on to the
apron rod.
When you’re ready to cut off a length of cloth, make the complete 2-stick
heading just as above. (Weave 1″ of plain weave, insert 2 sticks into the next
two plain weave sheds, and weave one inch more. That’s the complete heading.
You do not leave any space between the cloth and the heading—you’ll just cut
the cloth and heading apart.
Cut between the cloth and the first inch of the heading you wove, leaving the
complete heading attached to the loom. See Figure 311. Remove the cloth from
the front apron rod. Fold the two sticks, and tie them to the apron rod, as above.

Peggy’s Weaving Tour – Final Philippines Day (16)

Every day on my weaving tour of Japan and the Philippines I will repost all of my InstaGram posts here on my blog. I hope you enjoy my adventures.
Ear Rings
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Home at last to see my special orchids blooming. When I opened the door the whole apartment smelled of its perfume.

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Peggy’s Weaving Tour – Philippines Day 15

Every day on my weaving tour of Japan and the Philippines I will repost all of my InstaGram posts here on my blog. I hope you enjoy my adventures.
blouse
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You could look in the windows and watch your dog getting groomed.

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Only one cat shop but these looked exotic.

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The embroidery on the sleeve I like very much.

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Pizza for our night out after the group left.

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Peggy’s Weaving Tour – Philippines Day 14

Every day on my weaving tour of Japan and the Philippines I will repost all of my InstaGram posts here on my blog. I hope you enjoy my adventures.
Necklace
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We came this great shop after visiting some antique stores — both for more shopping

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Our farewell dinner with a show was fun.

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Peggy’s Weaving Tour – Philippines Day 13

Every day on my weaving tour of Japan and the Philippines I will repost all of my InstaGram posts here on my blog. I hope you enjoy my adventures.
Phil 444
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This was a leper facility originally where the nuns taught the residents embroidery and bobbin lace.

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Bobbin lace making is fast paced and takes a lot of pins. The fingers and bobbins flew to make the patterns.

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Peggy’s Weaving Tour – Philippines Day 12

Every day on my weaving tour of Japan and the Philippines I will repost all of my InstaGram posts here on my blog. I hope you enjoy my adventures.
loom 33
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Day 12. Iloilo City. The only looms today!

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Typical of the floor boards I. The old houses

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