11.10.2007

Still Getting Ready

Just for grins, I decided to time how long it took me to thread the heddles. I took one short break to rest my back, but otherwise I worked on this for three straight hours. Tonight's entire process took just over five hours. Threading heddles is slow. I'd thread 12, get up, go around to the back and knot the group together. Then sit back down and repeat . . . 27 times. When I finished 4 bundles I tied them loosely together to mark one pattern repeat. After seven pattern repeats, the back was looking nice and tidy. The next step was tying each 12 thread bundle onto the back beam. This is the widest project I've done, so I had to make more ties from 8/4 cotton carpet warp. Two ties broke on my last project - I'm hoping that won't happen on this one. (Any suggestions for using something other than carpet warp?) Now comes the fun part. The back is all nice and tidy, but the front is a huge rat's nest. I need to comb out all the knots and untangle the threads so I can wind the fiber through the reed and heddles, onto the back beam. I actually do enjoy this. I comb 6-8", then wind that on. Comb another 6-8" and wind on. It's very relaxing and meditative. Good thing, since it tends to take awhile. See how the back looks? All nice and smooth, ready - almost - to start weaving. The last step is tying the threads onto the front beam, checking the shed to make sure no threads are crossed (I only crossed 2 this time; not bad!) and weaving 3-4 rows with waste yarn to evenly space the warp threads. Tomorrow - tomorrow! - I can actually start weaving*.

* I may have made a slight tactical error. I don't have a 15 dent reed so I threaded my 20-dent reed at 15 threads per inch. Judging by the amount of lint on the reed, I'm thinking this may be too tight for the fiber. Cross your fingers for me - I really, really don't want to have to start this all over again when warp threads start shredding.