A few weeks ago I (Kerry) started to warp out what I am told is a very ambitious project - especially considering it is only my second attempt at weaving.
I decided that I was going to weave towels and hopefully gift a few for the winter holidays. And hopefully sell a few at some craft shows or on Etsy.
I did some mental polling and determined that I am, in fact, too lazy to do multiple warps to achieve a high volume of towels. What does that mean? If I want 10 towels, I'm only doing 1 warp, not 2 different ones. I am truly that lazy about this sort of thing.
So I then did the math and learned that 10 or 11 towels required about 12 yards of warp. So I began winding warp! And Winding. And Winding. And Winding. I managed to wrench my shoulder from so much winding. And got a kink in my neck until I fixed where the warping board was. Lots of winding = lots of learning.
We had a Loom Lounge day earlier this week and I started to sley my reed with all of this natural 8/2 cotton warp. The sley was 2-2-1 pattern which went very quickly and used up almost every dent on the reed, save a few on one side. I had a few bits of warp left over that didn't quite fit and they got set aside.
Yesterday (Saturday) I began to thread the heddles.
Being the lazy and often carefree crafter that I am, I didn't count a single heddle before weaving. So when Erin turned around about 1/3 of the way into my threading and said "Did you count your heddles?" I looked at her, scoffed/snorted, and replied with an amused "No."
I mean, why would I count my heddles? What in the world would prompt me to do such a thing? There were plenty for my LAST project. Why wouldn't there be plenty for THIS project? (For inquiring minds: the answer to follow in a later blog post.)
What a stupid question, Erin! It'll be fine! Thought I.
This post is renamed The Blog Post in Which Kerry Eats Crow. :(
Today please learn one thing. Learn to count your heddles.
I got about 2/3 of the way through the threading and promptly ran out of heddles on shaft 1.
Erin was right. (As per usual.)
So with some Googling and YouTubing, I quickly learned the art of making string heddles. My understanding is that these hand tied heddles are traditionally used in an emergency repair situation where perhaps you've made a threading mistake and you do not want to un-thread 30 inches of warp for one string.
A special thank you to this particular video and this particular video which give two methods for creating string heddles.
Being my stubborn self, however, I was determined to not un-thread the warp and lose 2 days worth of work. I was determined to make this work. And if I had to tie on heddles, that's what I'd do.
I cannot afford to buy new heddles right this minute. And I couldn't wait on delivery time anyway. So I tied. And Tied. And Tied.
At the end of the warp, I must have tied 100 string heddles. It felt like I tied one thousand.
But the warp is on. And I tied it onto the back beam without any help. and I began winding without any help.
And then a thread broke.
And I ALMOST had a melt-down.
Erin was lovely enough to pause in her warp-winding to intervene and prevent the Great-Flood-O-Tears. She re-attached my thread, fluffed the warp, let me wind a bit while she found a good pausing point in her warp.
And she sat for all the remaining 11 yards. And she helped me wind that danged 12 yard warp onto my loom. And she laughed while I cussed and offered pointers for next time, and praised my ambition of a 12 yard warp.
The end of the night went a little longer than we both planned, but the end result is the warp is on the loom.
Let the Choir Sing! Hallelujah!
Tomorrow afternoon I will tie onto the front beam and then give a few test passes.
My greatest fear is that the hand-tied string heddles will not function correctly and that all of that work will have to be chalked up to 'practice.' (A four-letter-word in my book.)