Warp Four. Engage.

©2022 Michael Raven

Remind me (if I ever ask or should need reminding): Wool can be a difficult yarn to weave with.

I managed to get my loom warped with panel two of my shawl-like woolen cloak on the fourth attempt. It wasn’t without it’s difficulties, but I managed and I think my issues are almost entirely related to the fact that I was using a yarn of 100% wool, one that is incredibly stretchy. It is also “clingy” with the loose fibers that are part of it’s nature.

If you recall, I had to rewarp my previous panel multiple times due to tension issues. I took that experience as a “lessons learned” event and applied what I had learned from that effort to the second panel. Namely, I made sure everything was done under equal tension while I was warping it. Which would have been fine save for the springy nature of this wool. Each yarn stretched easily. But, as I added more, their springy nature worked in concert and started to either tip the portable table the loom sat on, or started to drag it towards the warping peg. Or, unmoored the warping peg from the clamp. This is the reason I was having so many issues in the previous attempts at warping the second panel, and why I had issues with an uneven tension on the first panel. Two manifested problems, one single source (if my theory is correct).

This yarn is definitely one that could stand a second set of hands to help warp because of this, so I recruited the younger of my twins — she was looking to “help” dad anyway, so I had her watch several elements so I could prevent a late-stage disaster after I surmised what was going on.

With her help, I managed to get the darned thing warped.

Lessons continued…

I picked up a minor flaw in how I had been hemstitching the warp ends on the loom and fixed how I did my initial hemstitch, but not before I triple-checked my slot/hole assignment on the heddle (and thereby noticing I had threaded on warp through the slit when it should have been a hole). I also learned how to not make like more difficult for me on my new loom frame/stand when doing some things, and I tried a new warp-tie on technique that really was 100% better than what I was doing before.

I even wove about seven inches of the panel (about a tenth of the target length) before I called it an evening.

I also spent some time earlier yesterday (while working up the courage to try warping the panel again again) reworking the rune patterns I am trying to develop for the inkle loom. It’s all in prep to eventually try the Celtic knot band, which I currently understand to be a variation of the pick-up weaving method (forgive me if I butcher all the jargon, I’m new at this and learning) that I would employ. What I think I’ll do is make a band that tests the patterns I created to see if they look right on an actual woven inkle before I share them with anyone for use. Depending on how they look, I might add them to the cloak, or use the resultant inkle as a belt. I think I’ll attempt to tackle that tomorrow, when I’ve (hopefully) gotten more sleep than I did last night.

If I ever decided to do a page totally dedicated to fiber crafts, it’d probably be one of those “these are the things you should avoid doing to save yourself grief if you weave” instead of one of those cocky “how to weave” sites. Or: “Let me make mistakes so you don’t have to!”

Yeah, I’m pretty sure that would be the likely messaging.

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