06 February 2012

On schedule

Taking a break from warping. I've got the loom up, the warping rig set up, and three inches of header band woven. Only 67 more to go!

I had a little difficulty with the first inch of header band: I was so worried about beating too hard that I wound up beating too loosely. That first inch is over an inch and a quarter! But by the second inch I'd settled down into an effortless gauge.

It's tough warping by yourself when warping calls for transporting weft loops longer than 6' onto a peg. This is one part of the process that, no matter which historic practice I'm researching, is usually in the dark. I don't know how "they" did it, whether "they" is the historic Scandinavians and north Europeans I've been studying or the ancient Greeks whom I'm studying now. Hoffmann's work in The Warp-Weighted Loom, documenting how the Sami weavers wove header bands for their grener in the first part of the 20th century, is very valuable, but I'm not convinced that it represents a universal technique or even one that's relevant to studies of weaving 2300 years previous to it. Anyway, I long ago worked out a method for warping my Iceland/Greenland style loom using an upright tablet weaving loom (repro of the one found in the Oseberg burial mound) and an assistant. But right now I don't have an assistant, and I don't even have that loom any more. Instead, I'm using the equivalent of a warping board: several pegs across which the weft loops zigzag. I've already learned just how far I have to travel with each loop before bringing it back to begin wrapping it around the pegs. Fortunately, I enjoy such rote, repetitious movements for the quality assurance I think they produce. :-)

I'm using a small rigid heddle for the header band warps, and a small frame loom to manage the unwoven warp.

I'm continuing to use the method for separating and maintaining the cross that I learned in Hoffman. I find that pre-counting the threads now, during the warping, makes it easier to put equal numbers of threads on the weights later on. If I had weights that were not approximately all the same weight, that'd be a different problem. But this is the problem I have always had, and this is how I have learned to solve it. Accordingly, I am making a separate slip-knotted bundle of each inch of warp.

I need to put something under my band weaving area. Right now I'm working on the dining room table, which happens to be covered with a clean white cloth. I can scarcely see all the white yarn against the white tablecloth; I need a backdrop of some sort to help these old eyes.

Well, that's enough sitting. Back to warping!

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