Saturday, April 2, 2011

Preparing the Loom

Getting the loom ready. What a process.
First, I get the warp onto the warping board.
Next is the hardest part for me:  Getting the warp off the warping board and onto the loom without making a huge tangled mess.
There is a special kind of braid that can be done to keep the yarn in some sort of order.  Here I've placed the yarn onto the back of the loom with the aid of lease sticks.  I don't know why they are called that.  Then I'll tie the warp onto the dowel that goes over the back beam.

Next I wind the thread onto the back of the loom. Then with the greatest of patience, I thread each individual thread through a heddle (those metal pieces that are vertical).  After I get each thread in, I thread the yarns though the beater.  You can see here in the picture the green threads that have already been put into the beater.
Many slip knots are used to keep the threads separated and to keep them from sliding out of place.  Once I have all the yarn though the beater, I tie it to the front beam.  With that done, I'm are almost ready to weave.  Almost.
This picture jumps ahead a bit, but you can see the very beginning of the weave.  I've got toilet paper separating the threads and keeping them nice and even and in place.  Yep, toilet paper.
I use floating selvages on my edges.  They are not tied to the back of the loom, only the front, so they hang off the back beam of the loom.  To keep these floating bits of yarn in place, I use weights on the back.  In the past I've used PVC pipes, with the thread wrapped around it.  It didn't work well.  So, this time, I was trying to find something that would work better.  A quick glimpse into my children's room provided me with my answer.
Meet my weaving buddies, Gollum and Smeagol.
They hang around and keep my floating yarns in place.  They are perfect for the job!

That's how I get my loom ready to weave.  Now, off to weave.  These colors and this pattern are going to look great!