UndyedYarnpire’s Fiber Opera

January 18, 2011

let the weaving begin. second project and the new tools

Filed under: equipment, weaving — Tags: , , — UndyedYarnpire @ 12:50 am

Tools I have built yesterday and today in order to facilitate the weaving:
On the left is a terrible picture of the new rubber feet on the bottom of my Emilia. They do keep the ratchets from hitting the table when the loom rests flat instead of with the front end hanging off the table.  The second picture is of a hand-beaded sleying hook made from a paper clip. Sleying hooks are what weavers use to thread the heddles. This is a vast improvement over the plastic guitar pick that came with the loom since it actually fits in both the slots and the holes.

loom with feet sleying hook

My new weaving project is warped. I am making a plaid from black and silver and white.

warped loom

January 15, 2011

Swift= warping board: yarn flow diagram.

Filed under: equipment, weaving — Tags: , , , , — UndyedYarnpire @ 2:05 pm

I came up with a method to create warp pieces of yarn that will allow them to be individually tied on in any order. This is extremely common, and the only way to warp a regular (non-rigid heddle) loom. My method involves using my swift with two layers of pegs and a yarn path that owes something to string art. But from a swift with arms about 2 feet long, I was able to come up with a path 100 inches long using only 9 pegs.

swift warping board with diagram

This will allow me to cut all the warp colors in advance and string them through the heddle in any order. In my first warping attempt there was slack between colors because one was tied on and the other merely wrapped around the bar. Not to mention that the physical demands of direct warping required a lot of up and down and alternated close up detail work with big motions. I found it painful to do for an hour. Using the warping board, and in my case it rotates, only requires me to sit while wrapping. Later when I am sleying the heddle, there will be a lot of detail work in a row, but hopefully the lack of alternation will allow me to find a more comfortable position for my back.

The other benefit is that this does not stretch all the way across my living room and disturb my husband with me walking in front of the television.

Longer warps would require more pegs (for diminishing additional lengths while increasing the awkwardness of loading) or longer swift arms.

(The swift is the walnut version of the Mama Bear from Oregon Woodworker. It took me 2 years to talk myself into buying one and I had a great shopping experience buying at Stitches West 2010. The man who makes them included the extra set of taller pegs. There is a competing swift with sliders, but that would have prevented my using it as a warping board.)

April 22, 2008

Caveman needs club.

Filed under: fiber, spin — Tags: , , — UndyedYarnpire @ 8:34 pm

I was wondering what other people do when the wool fiber they have purchased has become compressed during shipping or storage.

I usually divide into portions from the compressed state and “pre-draft” them. I am not entirely sure what other people mean by pre-drafting either.

Let us start with an example. I received a 4m length of fiber as a club shipment (it is the March Spunky Club, called something like ‘mud bath’ or ‘muddy waters’ or something (but I have lost the tag and I do not care) and yes I know the caption is wrong) assuming I am going to try to keep the plying matched by color, I would divide vertically into two strips. Each of these strips would be spread sideways into a 4m 6-8 inch wide ribbon. Then the ribbon would be pulled along its length adding a half-inch to every inch or so. This nets a 6-8m long, mostly round, snake of fiber which is almost all air. That is a long length to deal with effectively, but I have trouble keeping the ends in the correct order if there get to be too many pieces.

With the CMF thumb-width roving, I pulled it into quarters horizontally (the way you would normally cut something in half that is long and skinny). I attempted to spin directly from the roving but was having multiple breaks in the single. I then pre-drafted the rest in batches, though since I was not attempting to keep the color banding synched I could work with shorter lengths.

I have been thinking that it would be nice if there were tools for the pre-drafting.

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