Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Lace Sampler – Beaming the Warp

By Leigh

This month the Online Guild is featuring a lace weaving workshop. Having spent the past several months exploring color-and-weave effects (specifically log cabin and shadow weave), I think it is a timely change of pace for me. Fortunately, my computer problems haven't put me too far behind in the workshop schedule.

Besides exploring color-and weave, I have been learning how to warp back-to-front. After years of warping front-to-back and struggling with compromised warp tension, I am delighted that b2f warping has made such a difference in my weaving. I can't really lament not having learned it sooner, as it seems to me that f2b is pretty much the American standard these days. I've read that the reason for this stems from the American settlers, who didn't have neighbours close by to help with their warping. But b2f techniques have been developed (or perhaps they've existed from the dawn of ages) which allow a weaver to warp this way alone. It's these techniques which I have been exploring, and with happy results.

I think that being largely self-taught claims most of responsibility for my tension problems. True, I did learn the basics at an excellent one day workshop sponsored by The South Mountain Handweavers Guild, and true, I did take two classes from an excellent weaving teacher. But lets face it, the perfecting of any skill is a process which only emerges from hours of diligent practice. It is the fruit of one's own labor.

I'm not saying that I have the whole thing down pat and could warp a loom b2f blindfolded, or in my sleep. No, I still have to keep my reference materials and notes handy. And I'm still fine tuning. In fact, I was tempted to try some more experimenting with this warp, but decided that perhaps it would be best to get one method memorized before I try experimenting any more. Otherwise I will always feel slow and awkward with the process.

So I've gotten the warp beamed and am ready to thread the heddles. Not without help of course.

Rascal, helping me weight the warp.  At 16 pounds, he's quite good at it.
Catzee keeping an eye on things.  She takes care of anything that moves.
The ring works better than a shoe string.I am beaming about 5 yards of 12/2 cotton. It is an unbleached natural color. I did make one small improvement in how I weighted the warp bouts. The ring is so much easier to deal with than doing this.

It is a sampler, so I only have 204 ends to deal with, plus floating selvedges.

That said, I'd better get back to work. Hopefully I can get the heddles threaded and my first few assigned inches woven by tomorrow. That's when the good stuff starts.

Posted 7 Nov. 2006 at http://leighsfiberjournal.blogspot.com

Related Posts:
Lace Sampler - Huck
Lace Sampler - Huck Lace 1
Lace Sampler - Huck Lace 2


Marie said...

What a great idea using the rings! I used your "jug tensioning device" but warped F2B. It worked out beautifully. Now to get some rings. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Hi glad your back up and running. I was trying to think how I have warped my loom, sad its been so long. I still have a handspun silk warp on it waiting for my kids to give me a break in life.HUM...

Anonymous said...

Looking forward to seeing the workshop weaving!

Sayward said...

We have three weaving instructors at my school. I've studied with each of them at some point. One teaches ftb, one teaches btf, and the other teaches a hybrid version - she's the one I had for my intro class. The hybrid version involves winding the warp all the way forward and then back, which gives you the most opportunity to fix tension. Lately I've been warping btf as I've been using a raddle and looping my ends around my back rod.

I like the rings idea. I'll remember that for the future.

Regarding the online guild - is there lots to it I'm not seeing when I visit the site. Just curious, as I may be interested in joining in the future.

Brigitte said...

Hi Leigh, thanks for your comments on my blog!

I look forward to reading and seeing more of your work - if I had more hours in the day, I'd be weaving!

(and your kitties are pretty cute too!)

Jackie said...

It is amazing how many people say that they only love the way that they first learned to warp. I am a b2f warper, but was so happy to learn the f2b method so that I could combine separately dyed warps. I still used b2f in every other instant.
Your ring solution is brilliant. And I am looking forward to seeing some of your lace sampled.

Anonymous said...

Good morning Leigh, am so glad you are back online. I learned f2b first and love it for when I'm using complex colored warps; but love b2f for the ease in dressing the loom. I don't use weights when warping and have never had tension problems. I do spend a lot of time walking around my loom. I shake, snap, and pull from the front with each turn of my beam. It allows me to really feel the tension and to correct small groups of threads if necessary as I go along. There's as many variations as there are weavers, for sure :)

Self taught is a great thing, and I couldn't agree more with you that it is the hands on practice, experimentation, and time at one's loom that are important.

With your love of color, you will really enjoy the laces that you're studying. You can do some really neat graphed pattern motif work with Bronson threading and with pickup.

The monochrome laces I think are so very elegant. Your sameples are already lovely and I know that with your attention to detail and eye for design that you are going to be a lace diva in two shakes of a lamb's tail!

Hand is doing better, and I took a great workshop yesterday on eccentric weft technique. Will try to get pictures up soon.

Have a wonderful weekend and I am so looking foward to seeing your new work! YAY!