Monday, December 31, 2012

Weaving wise... the best laid plans...

Oh dear. You'll recall that I set myself to using the lease sticks while mounting this warp. I posted a pic showing my 8 bouts all lined up around the sticks which were taped to the breast beam of my loom.

I spent a large part of yesterday sleying the reed. It felt good and I enjoyed a warm security in knowing that the winding on would be smoother than last time, in large measure because the lease sticks would keep the threads in order as they fed through the reed and heddles. After I sleyed my very last thread (there are 480 of them) I looked down to discover that in total oblivion I'd followed my usual practice of picking up each thread--in correct order thanks to the lease sticks--pulling them out of the sticks and through the reeds. Out of the sticks!! The threads were no longer poised to have their order preserved because I had pulled each one out of the porrey cross. Well hello!

"Oh dear!" I thought. "Well, it's not the end of the world, I'll just struggle with this one like I did the last, and hope for little breakage."

I proceeded to start threading and got less than a quarter way done when I opted for some spinning. By the time I stopped treadling I was a little tired so I set all aside and put a British comedy in the DVD player (the British are so good at comedy aren't they?).

I'm glad I did not get far with the threading because when I was lying in bed this morning I came up with an idea to rescue my warp from the horrors of winding on criss-crossed. I implemented my solution: I threaded a narrow rod (a slat--lease stick--would work) just in front of the heddles... over one, under one, etc. of the threads I'd already threaded (which was less than a quarter of them). Then I suspended the rod in place and proceeded to thread with the extra step of ensuring that one thread goes under the rod and the next goes over. This is effectively creating a cross that will keep the threads in order as they feed through the heddles. That's where they'll break if they are crossed up. In fact, I can transfer the new cross to in front of the reeds and what will happen is that all the criss-crossing (as a result of removing the original porrey cross) will be pushed to the very end of the warp where it won't matter. It's going well, I'm a little over half done with the threading and I think my solution is going to work OK.

It often pays to sleep on a problem. I notice this often with my work. Even those times when, near the end of a day, I'll come up with a solution to a problem, I find it best to sleep on it at least one night before barging ahead with implementation.

Here are 2 pictures of my impromptu rod, one from the front and one from the back. If you look close you can see how the threads are alternating one over, one under.

Here is the rod suspended just in front of the heddles--you can see the green thread I used to suspend it over on the right. This was as far as I'd got in threading last night.

Here is what it looks like from the back where I'm working. (It may appear that the 2 rightmost threads are both going under the rod, but it's an illusion: there's a thread in between them that goes over.):

At least my threads will be going through the heddles straight and that will alleviate most of the problems that can occur. Yay!

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