Saturday, October 04, 2008

Loom's wardrobe

I started warping the loom yesterday, ops, I meant to say, dressing the loom. I feel that I should make the effort to learn the vocabulary.

We already gave my loom two aprons (one for the front and one for the back) but it was still feeling kind of naked. Especially now that winter is settling in. Now that the rains are here, I'll be spending less time at the garden and more time at home with my loom.

So, I used my reed as a rattle. It sounds like a foreign language to me still, but basically, I thread the warp through the reed, attached it to the back apron and wrapped it around the back wrap-warp-around-bar (don't remember what that's called). That last part is a two person job. One person holds the warp taught at the far side of the house while the other person carefully wraps the warp on.

Next, you disentangle the warp from the rattle/reed (fabric scissors work well) and begin threading it through the headless.

I expected that this part would be the most interesting and enjoyable part of dressing a loom. It's not like I have an exceptional number of warp threads to do and I'm only using four shafts (place where the heddles live - hopefully I got that word right, but it might be sheds). I put an old milk crate inside the loom, gathered together my hooks and note book, and started threading the heddles.

This is actually really difficult. The heddles are made of string, so untangling them took some effort, but the thing that gets me is my depth perception is really wonky when it comes to this sort of thing. I'll show you what I mean:

It's at just the right distance so that I can't focus my eyes with or without my glasses. It's like trying to navigate one of those gestalt optical illusions with one eye tied behind my back. I'm navigating more by feel rather than sight at this point.

Please don't think that I'm not enjoying myself. I am really enjoying developing this new skill and I have all sorts of ideas of how to do things better next time around. I just find it really interesting to see what parts I have trouble with and why.

After I thread it through the heddles, I thread the warp through the read (again) and with any luck, tie it on to the front apron and start weaving. Wish me luck.


raven said...

I should clarify, the milk crate was for sitting on. I think I should get one of those stools that have adjustable height. It would be so useful.

Josiane said...

Good luck! I'm glad that you're enjoying the process. It's always interesting to see how and where in the process of learning a new skill our assumptions about what would be hard/easy/fun/boring were right or wrong.
I'm learning how to weave - and all the associated vocabulary - in French, and I'm slowly building my mental French-English weaving dictionary thanks to your (and other bloggers) posts about weaving. Thanks!

sTeph said...

Hi found you in my research on flax. Think I'll come back often to watch your weaving progress. Wishing you well and the necessary luck.