Peggy’s Weaving Tips > How to keep count

Besides keeping groups of warp threads in order for spreading the warp in the raddle, the raddle cross (lease) also helps you keep count of the ends as you measure them out. Using a string to hold together, say, five raddle groups at a time gives you an easy check of how many ends you’ve measured. If you measure out five round trips on the pegs with a little space between them, they’re easy to count. Then push them down firmly to the base of the peg at the raddle lease, so you’re always measuring right on the wood of the peg.

Weaving Counting String A
Weaving Counting String A

The best method I’ve seen for counting is this special crocheted chain. See figure. Take a long string (about three feet), fold it in half and slip the two tails through the loop at the fold around your first five raddle groups. This makes a lark’s head knot over these five groups. See figure. With the tails of the lark’s head you will begin to crochet around the bundles as you make them.

Weaving Counting String B
Weaving Counting String B

Measure out your next five groups. Fold the tails between the first bundle and the new one, making a loop. Then put your right thumb and forefinger into the loop, while holding the tails with your left hand. Encircle the new bundle with a “crochet” by using your finger and thumb to draw up another loop from the tails. Holding onto the tail, pull on the loop to snug it up around the bundle. Leave that loop and the tails dangling (don’t pull the tails through the loop, as you’ll be tempted to do).

The lark’s head knot is the foundation. From now on, you’ll crochet-chain using your fingers like this. Measure the next five groups. With thumb and forefinger, reach through the old loop, drawing up a new one from the dangling tails, and tighten to secure the new bundle.

After each crochet, both the loop and the tails should hang freely, ready for the next bundle.To end the counting string chain, at the last bundle, pull the tails completely through the loop so that only the tails are hanging freely. There are many, many methods for using counting strings. The three advantages of this special crochet method are that:

    1. The threads are held perfectly securely
    2. The resulting necklace of bundles can be stretched for ease in counting, and
    3. It’s easy to undo the chain when you no longer need it. Take the tails back through the last loop and pull on them.

Stopping every five raddle groups to work the counting string saves you time–because you can easily see that there are five groups, without actually counting them out. Then you can push the five groups together back to the base of the peg and work the crochet.

The above tip is an excerpt from Book 1: “Winding a Warp and Using a Paddle”

3 thoughts on “Peggy’s Weaving Tips > How to keep count”

    • If your raddle spaces are 1/2″ you would put in half the number of your ends per inch (epi). For example if your sett is 20 epi then each raddle group would have 10 ends. If the spaces are one inch, you would put in 20 ends. I like 1/2″ spaces or less–not 1 inch but if that’s what you have, that’s what you should do. Let me know if this isn’t clear.Peggy


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