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July 14, 2010

How not to weave Or Slightly Warped

I'm trying to weave. I co-own a lovely rigid heddle loom made by Kromski, the Harp loom, in about 32 inch width. It's a masterpiece of woodworking.

The loom's been sitting in its storage bag for quite a while, and now that my mother's on the mend from her neck surgery, we're keeping our promise to ourselves, to finally make a warp and weave something on the loom.


Well, we're slightly warped. And also not ready to weave.

One of the lessons learned? If you're warping something that's 20 ends to the inch (epi in weaver-speak) and the heddle you have is 10 dents to the inch, you have to, um, double warp.

Come again?

Yep. Double the thread ends through the openings in the heddle. Except, for a rigid heddle, that actually means using 2 heedles instead of one to make that work. Fine. We double checked against a book in our fiber library that has a nice diagram for threading 2 rigid heddles to get double the density (that's 200% if you want the technical numbers).

Funny progression. We've been watching, and re-watching, and re-watching again a DVD we bought from The Mannings about how to warp a loom. Good thing we can re-watch as often as we like. Clears up a lot of possible confusion (mine mostly) about what to do when and how to do it.

Steps completed? Wound the warp. Check. Warp chained and ready. Check. Threaded through both heddles. Check. Tied on the back apron rod. Check. Tied on the front apron rod. Check.

And now the fun part, starting to weave. Not.

Turns out we have to untie and re-tie the front apron rod. And possibly replace the paper that the back beam where the warp is wound onto the loom. Not very even, a few crossed threads, and we're learning what NOT to do! Le sigh.

One of these days, we'll get four handwoven kitchen towels from that warp. One day.

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