Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Next Black Warp

Progress: 9 down, 5 to go.

It's going slowly, because I'm trying something new. In the past, when warping with more than 2 threads at a time, I haven't worried about a 1 by 1 cross. If I'm holding 4 threads, I get a 2 by 2 cross; if I'm holding 6 threads, it's a 3 by 3 cross. Making the cross takes just a flip of the wrist - very quick.

The lack of a 1 by 1 cross has never caused any problems in the threading process, or during weaving. But I'm always up to trying something new, at least once. If it gives better results than my old method, or if it seems more efficient, I'll repeat the process; if not, not.

Before I cut off the old warp, I treadled plain weave and inserted lease sticks behind the heddles, so the old warp has a 1 by 1 cross. I wanted to make the new warp holding 4 threads at once, but I also wanted to end up with a 1 by 1 cross, so I'm using a paddle. The paddle is sort of like a rigid heddle section with a handle; it has slots and holes:

If I hold the threads on the far side of the paddle and pull upward, the threads in the slots (call 'em the odd threads) slide up above the threads in the holes, making the first half of the cross. If I pull downward, the threads in the slots slide to the bottom and the threads in the holes (the even threads) are up, for the second half of the cross. Each half of the cross has to be guided onto the appropriate dowel of the cross-maker on the warping wheel.

While this method does indeed make a 1 by 1 cross, it isn't nearly as quick. Lots more hand movements, thereby more time expended.

After tying on and pulling through, I'll get a sense of whether the number of threads in the cross is important, and thus whether the extra time is worth it. I suspect I'll find that with fine, smooth threads, it doesn't make a bit of difference, but at least I'll know for sure one way or the other.


Peg in South Carolina said...

I attach my paddle horizontally to the table right in front of the warping board and right above the cones of yarn. With two ends, I simply wind the two ends around till I get to the cross and quickly make the cross with a back and forth motion, using the fingers in my other hand to catch them and then slip them onto the pegs. If you are good with your hands, it's probably faster to do it with just your hands and one finger inserted between the two ends. When the time saving really comes is when you start working with four or more ends at a time. I have seen photos of the paddle mounted on something behind and to the right of the weaver; then you would not have to bend down at all to make the cross.

Sandra Rude said...

Hi, Peg,
I'm warping with 4 threads at a time, so the quick flip of the wrist would give me a 2x2 cross, not a 1x1 cross. And I'm using a warping wheel, so there's no bending over - all the action is at working height.
-- Sandra