Japanese Spool Collection

Silk Spools (click on to enlarge)

I have a small collection of the spools that fit my various Japanese spool winders. The dark one on the left goes with the Mingei winder in yesterday’s post. There are two spools that don’t fit any of them.

Very Large Spool

One is huge–18″ high and has fiber wound on it that I think might be wisteria vine thread. I also have a tiny one–about3″ tall. I have no idea whether it is a toy or a real piece of equipment.

Plastic and Wooden Spools

The white one in the picture is plastic and the size of the regular spools–about 5-6″ tall. It comes apart so can be stored as the legs and the center pieces.

Warping Paddles

Slot and Hole Paddle

For many weavers, “paddle” is a mysterious word. Perhaps they’ve tried and never quite figured out how to make it work. It may have seemed awkward, confusing—but always seductive. How liberating to be able to warp multiple ends at once! But keeping one thread organized and moving freely onto the warping board or reel can be a challenge—how much

All Holes Paddle

more dexterity it must take to manage four or six or a dozen! But that is exactly the advantage of using a paddle. The paddle lets you measure many threads with every pass up and down the board or reel. Becoming proficient with the paddle need not take any special dexterity—in fact, its use has developed precisely because it acts as an extension of your own hand. See the Weaving Tip: Why Use a Paddle?

See Chapter 1: Using a Paddle, in my Book #1, Winding a Warp & Using a Paddle.

Weaving and Teaching Studios Update

I’ve decided to give up one room–my teaching studio. I think I began to notice how much I had accumulated when I posted the photos of my studios in December. I realized that both rooms were filled with stuff that I no longer needed. So, I gave notice and will give up the teaching room on March 1st.
Today I gave up 400 pounds of very good weaving yarn! There is a bit more to go, plus magazines and other stuff. It felt good. Now I know what I’m likely to want and it is time to pass on what I thought I might need someday to younger weavers who can actually use it (or keep it for their own “someday”).


Jim Ahrens’ Warping Reel

My Weaving Studio (click to enlarge)

In my photo of my studio, Jennifer Hill noticed my warping reel which Jim Ahrens built and used. She wrote: “Is that a warping mill attached at ceiling and floor in the back? Can you give whys and wherefores of having it so tall, but having only a smallish section to wind on the warp? Or am I totally mis-identifying the tool?”

It is indeed a warping mill or reel. It is so tall because Jim was tall. He liked a vertical reel (gravity helps when winding) so made his to be attached at the floor and at the ceiling.

There are two reasons why the section for winding the warp is small. First, he used fine silk threads like the ones I’ve been using–at around 100 epi or so. The threads are so tiny they don’t build up much on the reel which allows for more spirals that can be made closer together.

The other reason is that he only wound one section for his sectional beam at a time. This is a technique he talked a lot about because a lot of spools aren’t needed. He called it “Combining Sectional and Plain Beaming.”  You see, you wind one section’s worth on the reel just like normal. Then take it off and put it in a section on the beam. I’ve described his method in Chapter 12 of my Book #2, Warping Your Loom & Tying On New Warps. In a post to follow I’ll talk about a modification of this technique that is more weaver friendly.


An Illustration Found!

I have been very unhappy that an illustration in my Book #2, Warping Your Loom & Tying On New Warps, wasn’t correct. Today,  I found the correct version of the illustration in my own Book #3, Weaving & Designing Your Own Cloth.
It’s on page 43. See the comment I got about this technique.

Concept for Tying On New Warps Behind the Heddles

The incorrect illustration is  in the Tying On New Warps chapter, right at the beginning. (Page 99, Figure 142.)  It is meant to show the concept for tying on new warp threads BEHIND THE HEDDLES. It really is a much better way of doing it. Most weavers don’t know about this method. Read more in the Weaving Tips section of the blog. Here is the way the illustration should be.


Search Button

Today I put up a new question–about what to do when the warp is too big for the warping board. When I was going back and forth doing the editing, I could find my place with the Search Button on the home page. Try searching for bouts.
Clicking on the link will get you there, of course, but if you want to search the whole blog for a word or phrase, use that handy button. It’s on the right side near the top, right under “Ask Peggy.”

I spent all afternoon on this one question and answer–I sure hope things get easier. At one point I lost everything. Often what my teacher told me I’d see wasn’t there and something else was–and wouldn’t go away. What a day!!


Option for a Skein Too Tangled to Unwind

Instead of giving up on a skein that is too tangled to unwind, I cut it which gave me a large hunk of yarn. Then I broke down that hunk into smaller hunks–some about the thickness of a pencil, some fatter, and some thinner.  I cut them to the sizes I wanted. Then I laid them into the sheds in various ways. This can be seen in my silk pieces in the gallery section of this blog.
I also used this idea when I cut off a warp that was a “dog on the loom”.  In that case, I just used the hunks of warp as thick wefts–didn’t cut them and have them extending outside the selvedges.