Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Spears 4 Warping the loom--Photos

This is the box the loom came in. My husband wanted to know what was meant by "reasonable length".

The loom is now all warped and ready for "Hands on History" day at the elementary school. Here are some photos of the process. Assembling the loom is not difficult. It's the actual warping where I have problems, mainly because it's tedious.
I forgot to take a photo before I started. This is with one section  of 16 threads put on. 
The reed/heddle has 168 dents--which is 10 dents per inch...it's about 17 inches long. As I said in the previous post about this loom, the warp is one from a project I had to cut off without finishing. The yarn itself is Paton's Classic Wool, in various colors.
The metal hook thing is a mini crochet hook which came in the box.  I use it to  sley the reed.  To Sley means to bring the yarn or thread through the reed and/or heddle. The thing with the wire loops is the heddle for this loom. The problem I'm currently having with trying to weave, here, is that the yarn that goes through the spaces gets stuck on the loops.
Here, I've poked the hook through the loop and grabbed the yarn with it.
Now, I'm pulling the yarn back through the loop.
The spaces on the reed are wide enough that I can just poke the yarn through.
This is from the back, tying the warp to the back beam. I used  the "butcher's knot" to tie on this end.
Here it is, all ready to go for the 4th-5th graders! 
On the cloth beam end, I secured the warp with an overhand knot and then put some blue painter's tape over the teeth, so the threads wouldn't come out when I advance the warp. On the other end, I used an old grocery circular (I think it was Vons) to cushion the threads so the layers don't stick together. This is something they don't tell you about in the instructions. When you weave, you need to put cardboard, smooth sticks, or an old sheet in between the layers of the threads and the cloth. In my case, it's last week's handy dandy grocery circular. Newspapers wouldn't work if you were working with a white warp because the ink would rub off on the threads.

I'm having a huge problem with this. The threads in the spaces want to hang up on the loops in the wire heddle. I'm not sure how to combat this. Battens? Or maybe misting the warp? I am NOT taking the warp off and sizing it with the solution of Elmer's glue!

I've ordered a new plastic heddle and it should get here by the end of this week or the beginning of next. They don't make this loom any more, so I ordered a 10 dent 16 inch Ashford heddle.

Duh! I just went back over and I tightened the warp. It doesn't stick, now. (Oh, darn, I've got another heddle coming...I'll just have to do a double heddle next time!)

Floor looms have a ratchet/gear thingy with a handle. This one, obviously, doesn't. To tighten the warp, I unscrewed the wing nuts on the back beam on both sides, and rolled the beam until the threads were extremely taut. You need to be able to feel/hear a "twang" on the thread, like it was a bent bow or guitar. 

Please note: you will not be able to launch arrows, play "Stairway to Heaven" or "Smoke on the Water" on your warp! That's NOT the purpose of the loom!

If you have a warp that is longer than the length of your loom, you will need to periodically roll the cloth up on the front one. To do this, you have to unscrew the wing nuts so you can roll both beams. You can't roll just the one, because if you do, you'll snap the threads. You'll also need to tighten the back beam from time to time, because the thread will stretch.

Even with the tightened warp, I have to slide the heddle up and down the length of the warp a couple of times to unstick the threads. Oh well, it will have to do for now. I think the 4th graders will enjoy it...or at the very least it will be an "educational" experience.


Glynis said...

I've heard you can try cheap hair spray to help with the warp catching in the heddles. The cheaper the better apparently, because it degrades/washes out more easily.

Audrey said...

Thank you, Glynis! I've never heard of that. I'm not sure it would work on a non-superwash wool, but it's worth a try. It washes out of hair, so it ought to wash out of sheep.