Saturday, December 23, 2006

Warp Separators

In my quest for the perfect warp, I've made some big adjustments (switching from front-to-back, to back-to-front) and some little ones. Some things I've changed, not because they were actually problems but, because they were awkward for me or less efficient. A means of separating the warp on the back beam has been one of the little non-problems for me.

My weaving teacher used rolls of corrugated cardboard, the kind elementary school teachers use for bulletin boards. I got used to using these in class and looked for some for myself. I even visited an area teacher supply store, but when they didn't carry it I didn't know where else to look.

Next I tried cutting up paper bags, but in trying to achieve a solidly wound warp I eventaully abandoned these. With paper bags I still had some mushy spots along the warp beam, and more than once I've wound them on crookedly (which does create a problem).

Peggy Osterkamp says that if one's warp is very tight and smooth across the beam with no gaps in the warp groups, then separators aren't necessary. I'm still working on this one.

Sticks were the next option. These work okay too, unless the warp is very long. In this case I run out of sticks, plus the warp beam ends up very fat, which I don't reckon is actually a problem.

So when I was getting to toss an odd mini-blinds into the give-away pile......

Getting ready to cut up a mini blinds for the slats............ it occured to me that I could use the slats as separators.

Using the mini blinds slats as warp seperators.I still use sticks to separate the warp until the apron cords are wound on, and then switch to the slats. They are firm, lightweight, add very little bulk to the back beam, and nest (somewhat) for storage. Plus they end up being cheaper (think thrift store or el-cheapo discount store) to purchase than sticks from the hobby store.

You can also see from the photo that I am doing a better job of winding on without warp gaps. It was especially bad up until last May, when I started consciously trying to improve on this. I can't exactly tell you why it's better, but if I ever get it figured out I'll let you know.

8 comments:

  1. I went through the very same process and ended up with blind slats just like you. What I had not figured out was to use sticks in the first section. Thanks for posting this. That should take care of it!

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  3. Great tip! I have the sticks that came with my loom, but not enough for long warps. I was going to use paper when I wind on my huck lace warp, but methinks I'll look for a miniblind instead!

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  4. YOU ARE BRILLIANT!
    I have been using old calendar pages for narrow warps, but the wider warps have been a bit of an issue. Thanks for the Christmas present!

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  5. Can't believe that Osterkamp says this! The problem is that the threads can cut down into earlier layers and that would get you into real trouble.
    Fatter warp would only be a problem if you were beaming on a really long warp.
    You don't have touse the sticks every round. I put in 5 or 6 sticks for one round and then wind 2-4 rounds with no sticks, put in more sticks and repeat.
    Whey are you working so hard so close to Christmas?????!!!!!!!

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  6. Just wanted to update you on my knitting... I tried the recliner but found that lounging on the couch with my feet up worked out much better for me. I rest my project (which is over a foot long now) on my knees and hold the needle under my arm...it is working out very well for me and now I just have to stop poking my fingers with the needles all the time. I'm sure that will come with time. Thanks so much for your tip. I should post a picture. I'll let you know when I do.

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  7. I'm wondering if Peggy Osterkamp is referring to a sectional warp beam when she says that? I've tried plastic mini-blind slats and found that they deformed unevenly, which gave me more tension problems. Perhaps that wouldn't happen with the older metal (or perhaps heavier, higher quality plastic)? Or perhaps the sticks used at the beginning would be a help. My dh ended up making lathing strips of pine for my two smaller looms. The 36" loom came with a big roll of corrugated cardboard. The cat loves to hide and sleep in that as it rolls off the warp beam when the weaving progresses.

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  8. For those who are curious, the reference for Osterkamp is "Beaming On Without Paper" Volume 2, page 23.

    Fortunately, I haven't had any soft spots in my warp when using the blind slats. Perhaps the sticks for the apron cords are the key here.

    Anyway, I appreciate all the comments. I learn a lot from everyone elses experience.

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