Friday, May 16, 2014

Weaving Tips and Tricks

Since I’m still plugging away on the tartan yardage, I thought I’d blog a bit about a few of the weaving tricks that I’ve used in the past few days to make weaving just that little bit easier.

After I did my first standard tie up on the tartan yardage I realized that my tension wasn’t all that great, so I decided to untie the warp from the breast beam and retie using the ‘lashing on method’ you can read about it here.
To hold the breast beam rod in place and to keep it level while I was lashing on I used a flat stick placed under the rod and resting on the beater bar.  These are the warping rods from my Louet Jane loom.
My friend Susan came for a visit awhile ago and while we were chatting about the tie up on the tartan yardage she spoke about the need to spread out the warp after the tie up and before weaving.  Just take a look the next time you tie on and see if there is an angle from the warp leaving the reed and where it attaches to the breast beam.
I almost always use a floating selvage thread; on the tartan I’m weaving right now I’ve used a smooth acrylic yarn to help me see the selvage changes and to help with draw in.  I’ve chosen a smooth yarn so that I can pull it out when I’ve finished weaving.  Rather than having just a mass of thread in my weighted film canister, I wind the thread around a sewing bobbin to keep it neat and tidy.
When I have several broken or missing warp threads that will hang close together off the back beam I wind the replacement thread onto the sewing bobbin and put it in a weighted film canister but before I attach it to the loom I slip the new thread through a small piece of plastic mesh or I use a piece of cardboard and cut slits in it and place the new warp thread into the slot. This will keep the hanging warp threads from twisting together.
When warping I prefer to use a heavy gauge bond paper rather than sticks.  I like the fact that I can pull it tight after each bout of winding and it keeps the warp threads beautifully in place, read more here.  As it comes off of the back beam I keep it off the floor by winding it back into a roll and holding it in place with clothes pins.
When I need to have unwoven areas for my fringes or between items I use 1 inch Venetian blind slates.  The photo above is Ngaires' newest shawl on the loom. These are firm enough to beat against when you first start and are easily to pull out as you go around the breast beam, but leave a few to ensure that the threads remain spread properly on the beam.
Ngaire was worried about draw in on this shawl so she pulled out this easy home made stretcher or temple.  It is simple to make with paper clips and works like a dream, you can get the instructions here

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