Sleying the reed

This afternoon I dropped by my local yarn shop (Riverside) and Colleen and I talked about how long it takes us to start "scary" steps in a project. With a lot of encouragement she convinced me to just go ahead and warp my loom. It's a 45" beast that comes to me via my aunt. Over the winter I did a little weaving because the loom came to me already warped. But with that fabric finished I need to learn how to warp the loom before I can start weaving again.

I know this is the time consuming part of the process. It's also sort of scary. Because it's time consuming. Or perhaps because it's the foundation for what will become fabric. And there are scissors involved and there's no "undo" when it comes to scissors. With Angelika and Mel's suggestion I got a copy of Learning to Weave, a glass of whiskey (ok, maybe that was my idea) and just started.

Three hours later I had sleyed the reed. (The best reason to weave is because you have a loom in your living room. The second best reason to weave is the really cool terminology.)

Here's what sleying the reed involves:

Measuring the warp (the vertical strands in the weaving process) on a warping reel:

Warping reel with 2 yards of blue warp

The pegs help to separate each strand of warp and prevent them from getting tangled:

Tying the warp

I did this for two different colours: blue and light brown. With the warp measured it was time to transfer it to the loom. I had to switch the reed that was on the loom. The reed is the part that keeps the yarn separated when you "beat" the weft into place (the weft is the strand of yarn that is passed, via a shuttle, through the warp to make the actual woven fabric). I switched the reed to a 12 dent reed (this means I have 12 strands of yarn per inch in the fabric, but +1 for terminology again because a dent is also an open source tweet). It took me a while to figure out how to set up the lease sticks, and ultimately I'm not sure I was doing it "right" but after a "long" amount of time I ended up with blue warp sleyed through the reed:

Blue warp sleyed

After a total of three hours I had all of my warp sleyed. This was cause for celebration:

Warp through the reeds with a little Glen Livet

The next step will be to thread the warp through the heddles which are attached to each of the shafts (I have a four shaft loom). The shafts are attached to the peddles which are used to treadle a pattern into the fabric by lifting up different warp threads:

Warp through the reeds

You can see in this photo that the warp doesn't go anywhere... it's just tied up at the back of the reed:

Back of reed, with knots

It will need to be passed through the gray bit that looks like a screen on the right and then wrapped onto the back beam. (You can see the front beam in that last photo, that's where the finished fabric will end up.)

It's all very exciting, and very time consuming. I've also started to panic about the instructions: I think I've made a 2 yard warp (as instructed) but now I'm not convinced this will actually be long enough to wrap onto the front and back beams of the loom AND have enough length left to actually weave. I have a feeling I may end up with a very small square of fabric (with a lot of waste). But it's a start and that's more than I had at the beginning of the day.

So now over 6 months have

So now over 6 months have passed and what is the outcome of your project. Have you tied on to your previous warp for another new project?

I was on the road for just

I was on the road for just under 2 months. I did make a number of Christmas presents and there are a few photos at:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/emmajane/tags/weaving/

Not shown here are a few extra scarves and a few rag rugs which I made for my mum out of old PJs she'd made me.

Ahh... a nice tutorial,can't

Ahh... a nice tutorial,can't say a tutorial but just a guideline to preparing pearls from wastes which is a very good idea.So thanks for it.above ground pool solar heaters

Huge congratulations, and go

Huge congratulations, and go out and celebrate this momentous occasion by doing something fun. Outside. Away from coffee java dumps shops and computers, and especially MS Word. ;)
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