Monday, February 9, 2015

Designing at the Loom with a Raddle

I am working on some pretty spring coloured tea towels.  They are mainly periwinkle blue with nine colourful stripes in pale blue, lilac, green and peach.  But there was a little problem while pulling the warp.  I ran out of the pretty green.
I knew that the green was going to be tight so I pulled the warp in batches starting from the edges working my way into the middle.  I have used this tea towel draft before and I have the weight of the warp broken down into each coloured stripe.   I measured all the cones and subtracted the empty cone weight and I thought I had just enough.  But I forgot that I changed the draft from 5 stripes to 9 stripes so of course I was short!
I needed a new stripe pattern for the three stripes left in the middle of the warp.   I replaced the green with the peach and this makes the stripes brighter.  When I put all the mini warps together on top of the loom in preparation for pulling on the warp, I thought that the peach stripes stuck out in the middle of the warp.
So I decided to move the stripes around in the warp.  The edges were pulled with two green stripes each and I also pulled two small warps of a single green stripe.  So I really started designing on the loom!  I kept the edges the same but moved a peach stripe between the single green stripe.   So the sequence is two green, peach, green, peach, green, peach and two green.
First thing that I did was pull apart the three peach stripes into separate crosses but I kept the 5 yards of warp together. 
To warp the back beam of the Louet Spring the warp is separated into the five dent raddle on the top of the loom.  On the top of the loom you can see the warps crossing over each other because of the moved stripes.  There was no trouble pulling on the warp due to the raddle and it took less than five minutes.  
I used to have a Leclerc Minerva (wish I still did, love that loom!) and one of the improvements for that loom was a removable raddle that could be lashed onto the castle which was made from a five dent reed cut in half.  I really think that warping with a raddle makes a huge difference to how well and fast a warp can be pulled on.
If anyone is interested we have a raddle chart that we have compiled and that Mum and I use it has common epi’s and how to warp them on a five dent raddle for the Louet Looms.  A Pro Tip is if you are pulling a warp from two cones keep the two thread group together because the threads have a twist added to them and if you separate the double threads in the raddle you get a twisted mess.  I've attached a JPEG of the raddle chart below.
Garden Picture is Sweet Box (Sarcococca) it blooms in January/February and has an absolutely stunning fragrance of vanilla.

1 comment:

Susan Harvey said...

I use that raddle chart every time I go to set up a warp on the Spring. Its priceless and a real stress reliever!

That was a great post on designing via the raddle!
I'm thinking of designing a plaid to use up some 8/2 cottons and will use the technique.

Thanks for sharing Ngaire!