I had been thinking for a while about a tea towel warp and have looked enviously for quite a long time at the reversing hearts draft but it needed ten shafts. This was my chance to try it out. Now this draft came to me courtesy of Susan Harvey from Thrums. I think she used it as her first warp on her Louet Spring when it was new. I am grateful to her for encouraging me to give it a go, thank you Susan !
I chose to use 8/2 unmercerised cotton in a mixture of natural, two shades of pink and a pale yellow. This was the first time I had wound a warp with many changes of colour. I concentrated on having the right order in the cross but just stopped and changed colour as required letting the thread hang loose until I needed it next time. Here is the ten yard warp finished, tied up and ready to come off the warping board.............
Putting it onto the raddle wasn't the easiest job. I found the cotton to be very sticky and the threads hard to separate even with the lease sticks in the cross. This picture shows it almost done. You can see the piece of white non-stick shelf lining stuff I use to put the loose threads on until I need them...........
Winding the warp on took a while ! Tony sat on the beam side and I tried to control the sticky threads. They didn't even seem to want to lie in the right order and some bits seemed looser than others. I think I need more practise at winding a multi coloured warp ! The width on the loom is twenty two inches and I struggled to keep an even tension on all of the warp threads. When we got to the end of the warp the thread lengths were very different which wasn't a good sign. All in all not very happy at this stage ! Not much I could do really so fingers crossed I carried on.
Threading was much easier! The three yellow threads were always on shaft s 9,10 & 9 and the naturals on 3,2,1,2 & 3. this made checking the threading very quick and easy to do....................
Now for another 'go' at my sleying technique from Ellen in Denmark. Last time I posted about this I hadn't taken many pictures and may have confused people ! I'll have another go ! Step one, I put the front bar back onto the loom and laid two pieces of wood through from front to back then laid the reed on top lying flat, as you can see here............
I start to work at the left hand side, that's the opposite to the way I used to do it. Here I want to sley two ends per dent. In this picture you can see my left hand is palm upwards and I put the first pair between my pinky and ring finger, the second between my ring finger and middle finger and so on until I am holding four pairs of threads......................
Holding the threads firmly between my fingers I then turn my hand over in a clockwise direction so that the palm is down. the first two ends are then on the left hand side...................
All I need to do now is push my sleying hook up through the dent, catch the left hand threads and pull them through, repeat for all four pairs of threads and then start again. I didn't have enough hands to take a picture of me pulling the threads through but managed this one !
I find this to be a much easier way of sleying and I get faster at it the more I do it ! I should say that I do this having warped from back to front so the threading is already done and now all I have to do is put the reed into the beater and then tie onto the front stick. For safety I do tie the threads in bundles under the reed as I go just in case of any mishap putting the reed into the beater.
Anyway, I hope these pictures maybe make the whole thing a bit clearer !
Next the tie up. I tied up ten treadles without any difficulty, it just took a wee bit longer than doing eight. I have a question though............ what do you all do with the tie up cords not in use, do you leave them hanging or move them all out of the way ? It just looks a bit untidy to me !!
So, ready to go ! I managed to weave a sample using some scrap yarn and I think the threading is good, the pattern looks great anyway. Sorry about the toes of my slippers in the picture !!
I am not sure what to do with the edges though. I will be using some purple weft and some dark green weft and my floating selvedges and edge ends are natural coloured. This means I have spotty edges ! Can't decide whether to live with them, these are tea towels after all, or whether to add coloured floaters or even coloured edge threads. Trouble is I will use more than one colour of weft.
Well, you will have to wait until next time to see what I decide to do !!
All that remains is for me to thank you all for your support and encouragement over the year. It is just wonderful to know that I have a network of friends from all over the world keeping an eye on my weaving. I know help is at hand whenever I need it. Thank you for all the comments you have left, I find them very motivating.
I hope you will have a very Happy Holiday Season and enjoy being with family, friends and those special to us.
Both Tony and I send you our kindest best wishes for a peaceful and happy year in 2011.
I will look forward to updating my weaving journey for you in the New Year.