Monday, September 28, 2009

Second Mixed Warp Throw in Progress

It's been a while since I posted (a week!) so I thought I'd better show what I've been working on. Plain weave this time, with a weft of black 20/2 mercerized cotton.

I'm about half way through this throw. There was a hiatus of several days for weaving guild meetings and other interruptions.

From the camera angle, it's easier to see the bands of colors that came about during warping.

Here's my method for mixed warps:

I want the two halves of the cloth to be sort of symetrical, but not necessesarily thread-by-thread identical. I start by figuring out how much of each of the many yarns I have, and that gives me an idea of how wide each stripe is going to be.

I make the warp half as wide and twice as long as the finished cloth, allowing enough at both ends for warp waste.

I divide the cones of yarn into groups. Larger groups for the main stripes and smaller groups for the "effect" yarn stripes, in this case the cones of variegated rayon/cotton boucle that are the basis for selecting warp colors.

Anyway, let's call the larger groups A, B. C, and D. They're all vaguely the same color range, and in some cases contain some of the same yarns. Each consists of 6 cones.

Let's call the smaller groups 1, 2, 3, and 4. They may contain some of the same yarns as the large groups, plus the cones of variegated boucle. Each consists of maybe 4 cones.

When I wind the large groups, I use 6 strands at a time, so the cross at both ends is a 3x3 cross. That means when I get to the threading stage, if I take each thread as it presents itself, there's a fair likelihood that the two sides will be ever so slightly different in color order.

So I wind 48 threads of A, 12 threads of 1, 48 of B, 12 of 2, 48 of C, 12 of 3, 48 of D, and 12 of 4. The last stripe will be the center, so it will be twice as wide as the other small stripes.

In this instance, I had some extra of the variegated boucle, so I would a separate warp (same length as the main warp) and interspersed the extra ends semi-randomly into the main warp.

When I beam the warp, both ends go on the warp rod and into both raddles, being careful that the center stripe is really going to be in the middle :) I put the lease sticks in place between the two raddles.

While winding on, I'm hanging onto the loop at the middle of the warp. When that loop gets close to the upper raddle, I cut the loop. Then I lay the warp so the cut ends (still engaged in the lease sticks) are hanging down behind the shafts, suspend the lease sticks from their hooks, and I'm ready to thread.

Oddly enough, while I'm weaving, the stripy look doesn't show up - it's only in the photo from the side that the symmetry is apparent.


Cindie said...

what a beautiful warp! thank you for sharing your process. I've done something similar in the past but had cut the one end - thanks for the idea of not cutting until it's wound on.

Valerie said...

Now that is an ingenious method for getting a symmetrical random warp. I will have to do a random warp just to try it!!

Amelia of Ask The Bellwether said...

That's an interesting way to introduce controlled randomness in the stripes, and a great way to get symmetry as well. I'm curious why the center stripe should be a different width from all the others (the thin ones and the thick ones) -- perhaps to inform the viewer that it is the center?

Sandra Rude said...

Hi, Amelia
I didn't want it TOO symmetrical! Actually, I meant to wind the center stripe so it would be like the others once doubled, and my mind was wandering so ... twice as wide. Think of it as a design element, not a mistake :)
-- Sandra