Hooray! My First Kindle Booklet: Hemstitching


I’m excited to announce that my first Kindle book (booklet) is now available on Amazon. It is in response to My Top Ten List of the most popular of my weaving tips. The most viewed tip was for Hemstitching! Almost 34,000 people have viewed this tip in the 5 years that my new website has been up. That amazes me and thrills me.

Hemstitching is a way to begin and end weaving on the loom without having to sew hems or knot fringes later, after the cloth has been taken off. For years I thought I couldn’t do it but when I was taught it I’ve loved the technique. 

I’ve updated the material in the Kindle book and added a gallery of variations from old embroidery books. What makes my instructions special is that there are 9 step-by-step illustrations and text whereas most weaving sources only show one illustration and no text. There are directions for hemstitching at the beginning of your weaving and also at the end.

It is available for download on Amazon for $2.99. Of course it can be viewed on all Kindle readers and on most smart phones, tablets, and computers if you install the free Kindle reading app on your device.

You can buy the book from Amazon here: Peggy’s Weaving Tips: Hemstitching. I’d love it if you would give it a good review. If this is successful I’ll publish more  Kindle booklets of weaving tip collections.

Counting Down My Top Ten Weaving Tips – #2: Why Warp Back-to-Front

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 2. This one has had 9254 views as of today!! The top one has more than 31,000 views to date!! Can you guess what the subject of that tip is?
back-to-front-warping
In my  book, “Weaving for Beginners“, I describe back-to-front warping as I usually do. However, I’ve asked Patricia Townsend to write directions for front-to-back and the reasons she has taught it for many years to high school students. Look for her detailed directions in the book. Meanwhile, here’s my take on the subject.I advocate and write about warping your loom from back to front. Many American weavers were taught to warp from front to back, and that method works fine for them and has been described in many books. I feel that warping back-to-front (beginning at the back of the loom) has important advantages and I invite you to try this technique. It will come in handy someday when you or someone you know is faced with a challenging warp. And since it works for all warps, especially those challenging ones, I think it is the ideal method for beginning weavers to learn. The first method you learn is usually the one you know best and back-to-front is a method you can always rely on.
back-to-front-threading
I admit, I learned front-to-back first. Soon I learned back-to-front, and later Jim Ahrens taught the European back-to-front techniques which were even better. It is these back-to-front techniques that I describe in this book. Just to say back-to-front is or isn’t better than front-to-back isn’t enough. Jim’s way, the European way, has important advantages over both another back-to-front method and a skilled front-to-back method for warping your loom, mainly because it has no limitations on the type of warp yarn or project.Even my front-to-back warping friends have found that for fragile yarns, high twist yarns, fine yarns at dense setts, and using two or more warps, it is easier to warp back-to-front.

An experienced teacher looked at some of my samples woven out of sewing thread and when I asked her how she could possibly have done them warping from front-to-back, she immediately responded, “Why, I’d never want to do such a thing!” My response helped me clear my mind about how important Jim’s methods are. I said, “Yes, but your students might.” Then she agreed-maybe she was teaching her beginning students a method with a handicap. I continued, “My teachers never dreamed of the warps I’ve made. Two examples are fine silk damask at 114 ends per inch using 5 strands as 1 thread, and sewing thread at 200 epi so I could weave 5 layers that unfolded.” (Now I am working with fine silk at 120 ends per inch.) 

  • Sometimes I weave dense warps. My front-to-back friends wonder how I could possibly see to thread. My answer is that the threads are quite spread out in the heddles during threading, and it isn’t until they get to the reed that they are pushed so close together. I still wonder how one could put 200 epi into a reed and thread the heddles with the warps so tightly packed together-the front-to-back method.
  • Sometimes I weave with fragile warp threads-my front-to-back warpers wonder how I can weave them without threads breaking all the time. I tell them that beaming on the threads in groups gives them the strength to go on the warp beam under tension. When they are woven, they pass through the heddles and reed for the first and only time. They are not subjected to abrasion, static, or to tension during beaming like front-to-back warps.
  • In back-to-front warping, the warp is beamed immediately so almost all of the warp is under tension during the threading process. In front-to-back, the warps are not under tension until after threading.
    I’ve seen classrooms full of tangled warps hanging from the breast beams and splayed out in the reeds. Just untangling the threads while beaming them through the reed and heddles is a struggle for the weaver, let alone a hardship on the threads. Jim’s principle applies here: “The only thread that can’t tangle is one under tension.”
  • Some yarns, like singles wool and high twist yarns, kink up on themselves or twist into groups of yarns. Again, it would be a great frustration to the weaver and the threads to try to force them through the reed and the heddles during beaming. And again, putting them on in groups using a raddle and getting them under tension on the warp beam eliminates the struggle.
  • Many front-to-back warpers feel strongly that designing random colors and/or textures in the reed is a major reason for using their method. Mixtures of textures and sticky yarns and dense warps can be a struggle to beam through the reed and heddles. And since the warp threads are not under tension while sleying the reed and threading the heddles, they can get terribly tangled. I suggest in the stripes chapter that the same designing can be done in the raddle and the mixture of warp threads can be beamed on the warp beam better back-to-front.
  • Some weavers feel that putting 2 warps on a single warp beam requires front-to- back. I refer them to chapter on two or more warps. They can be put on efficiently back-to-front.

Front-to-back makes good sense if your loom is uncomfortable for you to thread working the European way, or if the back of the loom is not accessible. After all, I do want weaving to be pleasurable.

As for speed, some of my front-to-back friends say their way is faster. That might be true given a sturdy warp that isn’t really long, wide, and dense.

I’ve been told that back-to-front has more steps. Here are the tasks, in order, for both methods.

Front-to-back Steps
1.Wind the warp
2.Sley the reed
3.Thread the heddles
4.Knot the warp on the back beam
5.Beam on the warp using sticks
6.Tie on the front apron rod
Back-to-front Steps
1.Wind the warp
2.Load the raddle
3.Beam on the warp, no tangles
4.Thread the heddles
5. Sley the reed to accommodate the knots and untangling the threads as you go
6.Tie on the front apron rod
I think it makes sense for you to learn first a method that can be used for every single warp you might dream up. Then, later, learn front-to-back when you’re more experienced. By that time, you know what kinds of warps you are likely to make and the loom you’re likely to have. Then you can decide which method is for you, or both, depending on the situation.

THE ABOVE TIP IS AN EXCERPT FROM “WEAVING FOR BEGINNERS” AND BOOK 2: “WARPING YOUR LOOM AND TYING ON NEW WARPS”.


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.

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

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.

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

 

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.

Counting Down My Top Ten Weaving Tips – #6: A better way to use paper for winding warps

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 6. This one has had 5457 views as of today!! The top one has about over 24,500 views to date!! Can you guess what the subject of that tip is?

ONLY USE PAPER AFTER EVERY FEW TURNS OF THE WARP BEAM.
DO NOT USE PAPER CONTINUOUSLY–SEE WHY BELOW.

To keep the edge threads from slipping off the roll of warp, you pack in a new, short length of paper after every yard or so as you wind. To provide the support needed, use sturdy, brown paper called kraft paper or grocery bags, if they are wide enough for your warp; newspaper is too flimsy. Don’t use rolls of corrugated cardboard as packing paper‹this paper is too spongy to create the very tight, evenly tensioned warp you’re striving for. It¹s also so thick that it can take up a lot of your warp beam’s capacity.

Cut the paper 4″ wider than the width of your warp on the warp beam and in lengths about 12″ long, or the circumference of your warp beam. Why cut the paper into lengths? You don¹t need to use continuous paper if your warp is beamed on very tightly because, as you remember, tightly wound layers can¹t bite down into each other. Continuous paper is usually unnecessary, takes up room on the warp beam, and is terribly difficult to wind in smoothly. Even if you choose to use continuous paper, it’s much easier to use short lengths continuously rather than one long length of paper.

Next fold in 1″ on both edges of the width of the paper. These 1″ extensions support the edge threads on the warp beam because the folds at the edges strengthen the edges of the single-thickness paper.

When winding in the packing paper, be careful that warp threads never travel over the paper folded double at the edges. Also watch for paper that is crinkling or rolling in at an angle. A simple trick prevents this. Insert the paper so that it is wound in with the warp, then turn the beam a bit until the end of the paper catches in. With your thumb and forefinger, take hold at the center of the opposite end of the paper, as in the figure, right in the middle. Hold it taut there as you wind the paper in with the warp.

Paper for Warping the Loom

Paper for Warping the Loom

Put the first piece of paper in after the first several turns of warp are wound on in a flat layer. Remember, if your apron cords prevent the warp from going on flat, you need to insert packing sticks to create a flat base before you can use the pieces of paper.You usually need about one piece of folded paper for every several turns of warp. You know when it’s time to put in another piece of paper when the edges of the warp look like they might not be piling up exactly upon themselves. One teacher said “The edges should look like cliffs.” My teacher said to add paper every yard or so. I usually do it more often with the fine silk threads I’ve been using.
Remember, the packing paper’s only job is to hold the edges of the warp up straight. It’s because you are winding the warp so tightly that the layers can’t bite down into one another. You need paper more frequently if you have gaps between raddle groups on the warp beam.

This is in my books, Weaving for Beginners and Book 1: “Winding a Warp and Using a Paddle”

My Top Ten Weaving Tips – #7: Sett for Weaving Balanced, Warp, and Weft Faced Fabrics

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 7. I’m amazed that it has had about around 5,000 views. The top one has about over 23,000 views to date!! Can you guess what the subject of that tip is?

This tip is mostly about making warp and weft faced fabric with a little bit on balanced weaves (for plaids). It refers to four other posts about sett.  Use these links for the information needed. This TIP refers to what is sett. Here is a TIP that makes weaving easier.This TIP refers to the Ashenhurst method of calculating sett. This TIP refers to adjusting the sett for specific purposes. NOTE: the percentages mentiond refer to the Maximum Sett using Ashenhurst.

In weft-faced fabrics, the warp is all but covered by the weft. To accomplish this, you have to space the warps far enough apart that the rows of weft will pack down and cover them. There is a method which can be used as a starting point for experimentation in finding this warp spacing. Use your ruler to wind both the warp and the weft threads together. Alternate the warp and weft threads. Keep them flat. Be careful not to twist or stretch them, but still, push them together until they just barely touch. Finally, count only the warp threads in your inch to get the approximate sett. See Figures A-C. You probably will use a thicker weft yarn than a warp yarn.

Sett for Weaving Weft Faced Cloth

Sett for Weaving Weft Faced Cloth

 

WARP-FACED FABRICS

In warp-faced fabrics, there are so many more warp threads than weft threads that the weft is all but covered by the warp. Use Ashenhurst’s diameters or wrap the warp threads around your ruler. Then, increase or even double the number per inch you get. See figure below.

Sett for Weaving Warp Faced Cloth

Sett for Weaving Warp Faced Cloth

 

PLAID

If you want a true plaid, then you’d want a precisely balanced sett, so that the warps and wefts are both showing equally. However, look at a machine woven plaid-the warps are denser than the wefts-for ease in weaving.

WEFT-EMPHASIS

If a weave has weft emphasis, you can’t have the warp as dense as 80%. Examples are overshot and summer-and-winter fabrics. Use a plain weave sett here because plain weave is the basis for these two weaves. Then, as a starting point, take 60-70% of their maximum sett, depending on the purpose of your cloth.


More information in Weaving for Beginners and Book #1: Winding a Warp & Using a Paddle

My Top Ten Weaving Tips – #8: How to repair a broken warp

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 8. I’m amazed that it has had about 4,900 views. The top one has about over 23,000 views to date!! Can you guess what the subject of that tip is?


Here’s how to repair a broken warp thread. Cut a piece of warp yarn that matches the broken end, about the length of the loom’s depth, maybe a little longer if the loom is small. Whether I begin working on a repair at the front of the loom or at the back depends on where I noticed the break.

Weaving Error Repair A, B

Weaving Error Repair A, B

If I’m working at the front of the loom (the broken end is in front of the shafts), I first isolate the offending thread and tie the splice thread to the end of the broken end (I like to use an overhand knot–Figure A). Anchor the other end of the splice thread to the woven cloth with a pin like a cleat (Figure B). Then, pull the splice though the dent in the reed and heddle to the back of the loom. You can avoid manually threading through the reed and/or heddles by pulling the original warp end with the splice connected to it through them.

Weaving Error Repair C, D

Weaving Error Repair C, D

Weaving Error Repair E

Weaving Error Repair E

Pull the splice toward the back of the loom as far back as you can-through the lease sticks and close to the warp beam. With the splice and the original warp still connected, tie a slipknot at the back of the loom as shown in the the box below. See how to tie the special slip knot and how to undo it. Go to the front of the loom and re-adjust the tension of the warp thread on the pin in the woven cloth. See Figures C and D. The reason to tie the slipknot is that it will be easy to undo when it appears just behind the heddles. See Figure E. At that time, undo the slipknot and pull the splice connected to the original warp thread through the heddles and reed to the cloth and tension it on a new pin used like a cleat. You’ll be winding the original thread on the pin, and the splice thread will no longer be used. See Figure F.

Weaving Error Repair F

Weaving Error Repair F

Instead of using the slipknot, you can replace the overhand knot with a big bow. It works fine, but won’t be as easy to undo as the slipknot. Another method is to weight the splice thread and let it dangle behind the back beam as you weave. When the original thread is long enough to go through the heddles and reed, attach it to the woven cloth on a pin. See Figure G.

Weaving Error Repair G

Weaving Error Repair G

If the break is behind the heddles,connect one end of the splice thread to the broken warp end with an overhand knot and tie the slip knot (see above) as close to the warp beam as you can. Then, it’s quick and easy to find the empty heddle by pushing the threads on either side of the broken thread apart at the lease sticks and working the separation up toward the shafts. I drape the splice thread on top of the warp at right angles to the warps so I can easily see it from the front of the loom, and then I thread it through its heddle while I’m sitting at the front of the loom. See Figure H.

Weaving Error Repair H

Weaving Error Repair H

With the same separating motion at the front of the loom,you can quickly find the correct dent, pull the thread through the reed, and anchor the splice thread in the cloth with a pin like a cleat. See Figure I below.

Weaving Error Repair I

Weaving Error Repair I

When the slipknot advances, continue weaving until the slipknot has moved forward to the back of the shafts. See Figure E. Then, stop and undo the slipknot as shown in Figure L in box below. By then, the original thread will be long enough to be pulled through the heddle and reed, and pinned like a cleat into the cloth Figure F. Resume weaving and never think of that warp thread again.

Weaving Error Repair J

Weaving Error Repair J

Instead of knotting the threads together behind the heddles, the splice thread could simply be clamped to the warps on either side of it as far back from the heddles as possible. A good clamp is a hemostat, a clamp-like instrument that surgeons use. See Figure J. When the hemostat advances to just behind the heddles, you can unclamp the warp and draw the original thread through the heddles just as though you had done the slip-knot procedure. Use small hemostats that are about 6″ long or so.

 

 

Tie a slip knot to take up the slack in a spliced thread

 

Weaving Error Repair K

Weaving Error Repair K

Pinch the splice thread and the broken thread to form a loop of the excess thread. Use the two threads in the loop together as one thread (the tail) to tie the slipknot. See Figure K. Make a loop in the excess thread by crossing the tail on top of the pinched threads. Reach through the loop and grasp the tail pulling it to form a second loop. Tighten the knot by pulling the second loop away from the pinch. To loosen the slipknot, pull the two threads in the tail in opposite directions. See Figure L. In order for the slipknot to hold, it is important to tie the slipknot using only the excess thread you’ve pinched off.

Weaving Error Repair L

Weaving Error Repair L

–Halsey, Mike and Youngmark, Lore, Foundations of Weaving. David & Charles Ltd. England, 1975.


My Top Ten Weaving Tips – #9: Determine Yards Per Pound with a Scale

Spools of Yarn

Weaving with a McMorran Balance

Yarn Balance (formerly called McMorran Yarn Balance)

This is a balance scale that is used to determine how many yards of a yarn are in one pound. It’s great for letting you know how much yarn you have on an unmarked cone or skein. Place a length of yarn in the “V” on the balance arm, and cut off pieces until the arm balances. Measure the length of yarn in inches. Multiply the number of inches (and fractions) by 100 for the approximate number of yards in a pound. Measure carefully because you multiply your measurement and your error by 100.

This tip can be found in Book 1: “Winding a Warp and Using a Paddle” and “Weaving for Beginners”

My Top Ten Weaving Tips – #10: Yarn Count Explained

Long ago, before this new website began 5 years ago I published a tip a month on the old site. There are over 100 and they are on this website. I think many new weavers must see these tips because the numbers say that for all of my most popular Top Ten tips, there were at least 3,600 visitors!!


Yarn Count Explained:

Understanding the labels on yarn packages

Yarn Count

There are official standards for measuring the number of yards in one pound of yarn. These standards were created by cloth manufacturers in the nineteenth century. The standards refer to the weight given to a given length of thread. For cotton, they used a reel with a circumference of 1 1/2 yards or 54″; for linen, one of 2 1/2 yards or 90″; for woolens, one of 2 yards or 72″. Silk uses the cotton reel.

A 1 ply thread of cotton wound around its reel = 1 1/2 yards; 80 threads = one skein or 120 yards; and 7 skeins = one hank or 840 yards or one pound! So, now we know that there are 840 yards (one hank) of one ply cotton thread in one pound. This is the base measure or the “one-count.” Linen is calculated in leas, where 1 lea = 300 yards of one ply linen = 1 pound. Worsted is measured by counts. One count = 560 yards of single ply worsted = one pound. See the Table of Base Counts of Threads for some other base measures (one-counts).
Table of Base Counts of Threads
Yarn Count Table

Now, it is obvious that a very thin yarn will take more yards to weigh a pound than a thick yarn would. On the package or cone of yarn is a fraction which tells you how your yarn relates to the base measure. It also tells you how many plies the yarn has. You need to know this because the measure of yards per pound is based on one ply thread.

Say your package of cotton thread has a fraction of 3/2, for example. The top number tells you the size of your yarn and that it is three times the base measure or 3 x 840 = 2520 yards per pound. The bottom number is the number of plies, which here is 2 (2 ply). You know what one ply of your yarn is, so divide the total of the yards above the line by the number of plies.

Using the Yarn Count Method to Find Yards to Pound
Yarn Count Formula

Simple! Unfortunately, some yarn makers put their fractions upside-down. Usually, you can consider the smaller number to be the plies and the larger number to be the size. If after your calculations you get a number that makes no sense, try flipping the fraction and recalculating. If you have the yarn in your hands, you can count the plies, so you can tell which part of the fraction refers to it.
Taken from: Book 1: “Winding a Warp and Using a Paddle

 

This 4-Shaft Tie-up is My Gift to You

Tie-up for 4 Shafts

© Peggy Osterkamp – click to enlarge

This tie-up works for all 4-shaft looms except countermarch looms. I have made two posts about it already and here it is a third time. That is because it is so useful and I think, wonderful.

This way to tie up your treadles is a fantastic gift that Jim Ahrens taught us. You’ll never have to tie up the treadles again on your 4-shaft looms. My looms were built by Jim;  this tie-up is the only choice–because it’s so flexible. I love it and pass it along to you as my gift.

One tie up for four shaft looms is described in my book Weaving for Beginners on page 96, figure 226. I describe a tie-up that never needs to be changed, for four shaft jack and counterbalance looms. You can get all the combinations possible with four shafts with this system. Your feet can dance over the treadles for many weaves, and if they aren’t dancing, they can work very efficiently. See Figure 6. Another advantage of this system is that you can change to any weave structure you want in a project without changing the ties to the treadles.

I received this comment about the tie up I posted. (Search for tying up your treadles.) “Thanks for the tie-up, Peggy! What if you have a 6 treadle loom and want to add a tabby tie-up? Is it best to put it in the middle or on the outside treadles, in your opinion?”

Here’s my opinion:
No, no, no!! The extra treadles just get in the way and offer the chance for mistakes. To do tabby put your foot between the treadles and push 1&3 with one foot and 2&4 with the other. Then you can walk the treadles. Which two treadles to not hook up you can decide on depending on how your feet fit the treadles–and what’s comfortable. Getting comfortable helps avoid mistakes. See also page 2 in my third book, Weaving & Drafting Your Own Cloth.

The Doubling Stand – An Essential Tool

Doubling Stand for Weaving A

Doubling Stand for Weaving A

The doubling stand is a piece of equipment I can’t get along without. You can rig one yourself or you can buy one. I recommend buying one at Purrington Looms.

I wish I had included this in my book for beginners but you can see it in my book #3, “Weaving & Drafting Your Own Cloth“, page 67 and 68. How to make your own is at the end of this post.

Have you ever wanted to combine two or more yarns as one weft? Have you discovered it doesn’t work very well because, no matter what you’ve tried, one yarn always loops up so they don’t lie flat together in the shed? The answer is: use a doubling stand to double up weft yarns so they come out of the shuttle together and evenly.

Warning!! Do not double warp yarns because the upper and lower yarns will be of different tensions when they leave the doubling stand. It isn’t a problem with weft yarns.
Doubling stands can be homemade or purchased. Figure 112 shows a commercially
made stand. (Note the optional tension box for winding tight weft packages.)One or more yarns are put on vertical posts with the yarn guided exactly up from the centers of the posts, just like an ordinary vertical creel. Read more about creels on page 76.

Doubling Stand - DetailAbove these yarns is a single cone or spool of yarn supported by a vertical tube instead of a post. The yarns below are guided up through their respective thread guides and then up through the tube and the center of the extra cone. Then, the lower yarns plus the upper one are taken together up through a guide above the center of the top cone. You can see what happens: The yarn from the upper cone encircles the yarns coming up through its center. This encirclement keeps all the yarns together without any of them looping up during weaving (Figure 113).
To guide the bottom threads up through the cone on top, fashion a long hook from a coat hanger or use a long heddle.

The three keys to keep in mind when setting up a doubling “situation” or  making a homemade stand are:
1. The thread guides for the lower spools must be exactly over the center of the pins
or dowels that hold the spools or cones.
2. There must be enough space between the tops of all the packages and their thread
guides to allow the yarn to whip off the packages freely.
3. The top cone or spool must have a way for the lower yarns to pass up through its center.
A tube to hold the top cone is the hardest thing to find—try hobby shops. You could use a short length of copper tubing with the sharp ends sanded. However, there are many other ways to accomplish the job. I’ve seen one cone underneath an upside-down “milk crate” with another cone sitting on top and the thread from below coming up a hole in the crate and through the top cone. There are many ways you might make (or rig)a doubling “stand”.

Threading the Loom Without Mistakes – Tip No. 1 – Use a Claw

Claw Illustration

© 2015 Peggy Osterkamp – https://peggyosterkamp.com/

Below is taken from my book, Warping Your Loom & Tying On New Warps which is currently out of print. It will be available very soon only by PDF and “on demand”. This is one of my favorite techniques for threading without mistakes.


Threading from the “claw” 
This technique speeds up your threading.
Behind the heddles you use your left hand,
held palm downward like a claw, to hold four
threads in order. To thread, separate out four
heddles in order according to your list on the
adding machine tape. With your “claw” hand,
reach below the lease and place one thread
between your little finger and ring finger, one
between your ring finger and middle finger,
and so on, ending with one thread between
index finger and thumb. Push the threading
hook through the first heddle eye and, with the
hook curved down, catch the thread between
thumb and forefinger, then draw it through.
Continue with the three remaining threads:
first putting the hook through the next heddle
eye in sequence, then catching the next thread
in sequence and pulling it through. Figure 84
shows you a close-up of this method.

A Better Way to Tie on New Warps to Old Ones

Tying on New Warps on the Loom B

Tying on New Warps on the Loom B

Before I leave on a textile tour to India next week (look for my daily travel posts) I thought I’d give you a tip about one of the most important techniques that I use and have taught my students.

To be clear, this technique is different from what most people use which is TYING ON THE NEW WARPS BEHIND THE HEDDLES!!!

You may already be tying your new warps to old warps in front of the reed. For some weavers, tying on the new warp at the back is counter-intuitive. But Jim Ahrens has said to me, “If you can talk them out of tying on in front, you will be doing them a big favor”. I urge you to try it; there are so many advantages.

This technique is described in my out of print (but soon to be out in a PDF format book) “Warping Your Loom & Tying On New Warps”. I thought I’d share this weaving tip with you now instead of waiting until it is available.

Click the link below to view the tip:
“Peggy’s Weaving Tips > Tying on new warps the new way”

Think About Using a Paddle – Free PDF

 Free Chapter Cover ClipSince I sent out over 60 copies of my Book #1: Winding a Warp & using a Paddle for my Holiday Gifts, I thought I would point readers to the wealth of information that I wrote about using a paddle. This post (Weaving Tip) includes the complete Chapter 10 which has important information for using any type of paddle. Following that in the book are separate chapters for the two types of paddle. There are descriptions of different types of paddles, too.

If you didn’t get a free book over the holidays, here is your chance to get your own copy 50% off the regular price. This offer will go until February 1. I’ve taught many weavers how to use paddles and everyone feels so empowered afterwards. I hope you will want to try it. I tell you the limitations as well as the reasons why you would want to use one. [if viewing this post in an email and the links below do not work just click here]
©2005 • 3rd printing, revised edition; 138 pages; 195 illustrations. Lie-flat wire-0 binding  •  $39.95  >  January Special 50% Off = $20.00
CLICK HERE to download for free introductory chapter: “Using a Paddle” or click the PayPal button below to order the book.




 

Two-Stick Heading to Cut Off Weaving Sections

I am putting one of my popular weaving tips on this post. It is  a technique I use all the time. I always make long warps and cut off the pieces as I weave them. I use this at the beginning of the warp, too, an make a sample then put in the heading again to cut it off. When you hook up the warp again, it will be on tension because the sticks were put in with the warp on tension.

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.

Facebook Group “Likes” My Weaving Idea

This was what I found when I opened Facebook this morning. Comb to fix broken threads

 Hooray! People are finding good things in my books. This was in the 4-Shaft Weaving group on Facebook.

4 shaft weaving group

It’s a technique/trick I use often when my fine silk threads at 96 epi break. In my book for beginners I dedicate quite a bit of space to finding and fixing errors. This illustration can be found in two places: pages 110 and 320. The first one is about checking for errors when the loom is set up and weaving the heading. Page 320 is in Chapter 13 “Troubleshooting”.

Peggy’s Weaving Tips > Tips for Hemstitching

While I’m up to my neck getting my book ready for it’s 4th edition as an eBook, I will be posting some of my favorite tips here on my home page. I plan for this series of tips to use the ones that beginning weavers might want to know. However, hemstitching was something I learned after many years of weaving. I always thought it was too complicated and I wouldn’t be albe to do it. Sharon Alderman showed me this easy way. She said there are many ways to do it.


HEMSTITCHING ON THE LOOM

This is one of the hand manipulated weaves in my new book, “Weaving for Beginners”

This hand sewing is done while the cloth is still on the loom and is easy to do while the warp is under tension. Many weavers prefer to do it then because they don’t have to hand- or machine-stitch the cut ends after the cloth is off the loom (and before finishing the cloth). They may or may not cut off the stitches later, depending on what the edge is to look like when the fabric is complete. It’s a big time saver when you want to have fringe on the edge because there is no knotting of the fringe needed-all you need to do is to leave enough unwoven for the fringe(s). Note: The instructions for hemstitching at the beginning of the cloth are a little different from those for the stitching at the end of the cloth.

When you are weaving several pieces, hemstitching the edges to be cut later saves a lot of time because neither hems nor additional stitching needs to be done. Placemats, for example, can be hemstitched on the loom and then cut apart and finished right after they are off the loom. Hemstitching the edges of your samples on the loom can save time too.

Use a size thread that will be unobtrusive for the hemstitching. Often, the weft thread is all right to use, but I’ve seen hemstitching that was too bulky because the thread for the stitches was too heavy.

HOW TO HEMSTITCH

Many stitches are called “hemstitches.” Besides different ways to do the stitching, the stitches themselves can be different. Here is one that does the job of holding in the wefts and is quick and easy. See Figures.

The process is only slightly different at the beginning of the fabric and at the end of it. The instructions are given for right-handed people who will always work starting at the left selvedge and work toward the right. Work from the right toward the left if you are left-handed.

AT THE BEGINNING

Hemstitching on the Loom A

To hemstitch the beginning of a fabric, on the first weft of the fabric, leave a long tail of weft hanging from the left edge of the cloth. The tail should be 2½ to 3 times the width of the warp. It will be threaded into a tapestry needle and used to do the stitching after a few more rows of weaving are completed. See Figure 1a.

Hemstitching on the Loom B

After weaving an inch or a bit more, thread the weft tail into a tapestry needle. The blunt point on the needle prevents you from pricking your finger and piercing the threads. Some methods prefer to pierce the threads to make the stitching more secure. See Figure 1e.

Hemstitching on the Loom CBegin stitching by holding the weft taut at the selvedge with the left hand. With the needle in the right hand, hover over 1/4″-3/8″ worth of warp threads, then go straight down between the warps and come out at the selvedge. Tug this stitch so that it wraps around the warps and cinches them up into a bundle.Hemstitching on the Loom DPoint the needle straight up (away from you) along the selvedge for 3 wefts, take the needle down through the cloth there, and come out again through the opening you just made by cinching up the warp bundle. Read below for what to do with slippery threads.Hemstitching on the Loom EContinue on with the next stitch. Hold the weft in the left hand taut and go around the next group of warps (coming out again in the previous opening), tug the stitch to make a bundle, go straight up three wefts, poke the needle down through the cloth, and come out at the opening you just made by cinching up the bundle. Repeat until you reach the right selvedge.My left hand holds the weft taut and does the tugging. It is engaged at all times while the right hand works the needle.

At the right selvedge, darn (needle weave) the tail into the cloth 1/2″, so it doesn’t show, and cut off the remainder of the tail flush with the cloth.

At the end

Hemstitching on the Loom F

At the end of the fabric, make the last weft come out at the left selvedge. Leave a long tail on the last weft (2½ to 3 times the width of the warp) and thread it through the tapestry needle. (Figure F.)

Hemstitching on the Loom G

Begin stitching by holding the weft thread tail taut in the left hand, and with the right hand, go around 1/4″- 3/8″ worth of warps, coming out at the selvedge as you did at the beginning of the fabric.

v

Point the needle straight toward you, for 3 wefts into the cloth; then poke the needle down through the cloth and come up in the space just made when you cinched up the bundle of warps. Notice that now you’ll be poking your needle into cloth, which will be toward you. When you were stitching into the cloth at the beginning of the fabric, the cloth was away from you. See Figures.

Hemstitching on the Loom I

For slippery threads, stagger where you dig in your needle, to make the stitches more secure. If they always go in after the third weft, the whole hemstitched edge could fall off during finishing. You can dig your needle in alternating between the third and fourth wefts-it looks deliberate, and the stitching doesn’t pull out.

 

THE ABOVE TIP IS AN EXCERPT FROM  BOOK 3: “WEAVING AND DRAFTING YOUR OWN CLOTH” AND “WEAVING FOR BEGINNERS”

 

My Thoughts about Color Wheels

screenshot.02-04-2013 15.43.36A color wheel that was introduced to us in our guild program on Optical Mixing is the first one shown here. It is called the Magenta, Yellow, Cyan (turquoise) color system or color wheel and the one more suited for weavers. Our speaker told us it was better to use this one than the one we all learned and are familiar with which is the Red, Yellow, Blue system or color wheel (which is for mixing light). This is the second one shown here.

 If you look at my previous post screenshot.02-04-2013 15.44.02showing my own stash of colors, you won’t see anything like on either wheel. That’s because the color wheels show us intense colors. In real life, most of us don’t stick to only those intense colors—we darken, or lighten, or dull them, or mix them optically with other colors.

 So, how do you use a color wheel if the colors aren’t what you like? The colors on the wheels are NAMED. That is what is important. You need to name the colors or read them first. For example, red and red-orange and red-purple are names of three colors (officially called hues). Then you can use the wheel for relationships of the hues to one another or to put together color harmonies. For example, harmonies might be hues that are opposite one another or beside each other on the wheel. THEN when you know the names of the hues you are looking for, you can “doctor” them us (so-to-speak) so they aren’t so intense and to my mind, more beautiful or interesting.

 You can change a hue these ways:
Change the value,
Change the intensity
Change the temperature

 That’s how you get nice interesting colors that don’t look like kindergarten colors.screenshot.02-04-2013 15.48.20

 One of my teachers, Cameron Taylor Brown, had us make different color wheels. We named the colors from the regular color wheel we were used to. Then made these: one color wheel with all the hues being light in value (pastels), one with all dark hues, one with duller hues, etc. You see, we named the hues but then made up color wheels (like pallets) with the same hues but changed in the ways I listed above: value, intensity and temperature. There were some I liked screenshot.02-04-2013 15.49.00better than others. Using the yarns from one wheel makes your work look coordinated: to add punch, she suggested adding something from a completely different pallet (color wheel).

 For our talk on Saturday about Optical Mixing, we will be talking about value. Threads that are of the same value will blend or mix.

 One important thought: You don’t need to have all the colors in the wheel—just work with the ones you like or have.

 Use what you like and used the color theory color when you are stuck.

 My mentor, Helen Pope, always used to choose what ribbon for her pony tale by using a color that was one step from the opposite of the color of her outfit. In other words she used the harmony “split complementory”

A Weaving Failure

A Weaving Failure –
Peggy Osterkamp
-click to enlarge

This is going to be the first time I’ve given up on a project. I was careless again and let the find threads tangle again. I spent a lot of time working on a few tangles, then when more appeared, I decided to give up. I think I’ll keep the warp—10 yards and see what I might do with it off of the loom. If I wet it, it will shrink and shrivel and tangle more—I may try to control the tangles. Anyhow, I want to get another ruffle warp going and can’t wait to fool around anymore with this “thing”.

A friend who is a writer mentioned the value of fallow time—I think that’s what’s going on with me. I’ve been working a lot on the show and the holidays so have given up going to the studio and working at the loom everyday. It’s quite a relief not to push every minute. This is something new for me and I rather like it.

Remember: “The only thread that can’t tangle is one under tension!”  I won’t let it happen the next time!

Weaving with Weighted Selvedge Threads

I weight my selvedge threads separately almost always. I learned from Jim Ahrens that you could use stronger threads for the selvedges when you want to weave with fragile warp threads. I’ve shown the knot I use to hold the weights in many workshops and in two of my books, but it is wonderful to have a video so you can see the motions of my hands. You might still need the diagrams in the books, but I think this is a big help. The books are: Weaving for Beginners and Weaving & Drafting Your Own Cloth. Both have a whole chapter devoted just to selvedges.