Without a Paddle

So, progress. I have gotten the warp for my window shade fabric samples on the loom, and have started weaving. The warp is made up of about 10 different white yarns in different combinations. The fabric will be white with accents of neutral tans, grey, and a touch of blue.

But before I got this far, I had an adventure winding the warp – well, not quite. I averted an adventure. I saw that I was headed down a dark and mysterious path, and I retreated to the safety of What-I’ve-Always-Done. Here’s what happened:

You see, years ago – many years ago I acquired a warping paddle. . .

There it is. it’s just lovely. I think it’s maple, it has a nice finish, beautifully beveled holes, it feels good in my hand. There is just one teeny, tiny thing wrong with this warping paddle.

I don’t know how to use it.

I thought I knew: put the different yarns through the holes, run the paddle back and forth around the pegs of the warping board, wind 12 ends at a time instead of one end at a time. Alrighty then. I wound small balls of my combined yarns. I found 12 different bowls, cans, and boxes for my different yarns (or multiple balls of the same yarn I was using more than once over the 12 end “repeat”). I stuck the 12 yarns through the 12 holes, I knotted them together, I looped them over the top peg.

Then I brought the 12 yarns, neatly separated in two rows of six, past the first peg of the cross – and I stopped. How to make the cross? How do I get the bottom yarns to go over the second cross peg, and the top ones to go under it, With only two hands?

I was using one hand to hold the knotted ends on the beginning peg, and the other one holding the paddle. The 12 yarns were hanging slackly, feeding from 12 boxes, bowls and cans on the floor at my feet. I seemed to be missing a hand I would need to also hold the yarns with the minimal tension needed to keep them from falling off of the warping board. And then where was I to put the paddle when I needed my hands to untangle the yarns when they tried to wrap around each other on the floor?

It was ridunculous (a more extreme form of ridiculous). Clearly I am missing some crucial piece of information.

My sample warp is only 96 ends. I just ran it one end at a time, the old-fashioned way, and got it on the loom.

It has been a while since I’ve woven on my floor loom, and I felt I needed a warm up, so I started weaving with only the white yarns and fabric strips.

This piece is based on the window shade fabric I wove for mine and my hubby’s bedroom, but it is stiffer and tighter.

Our fabric has some fuzzy yarn with mohair, and some thick and lofty wools.

But Candy and Adam don’t want the same design as our window shades.

They don’t want the heavier wool yarns that zig-zag across my shades. Good thing, because I don’t have any more of those. The fuzzy mohair yarn doesn’t exist any more either – which is also alright because it’s not right for Candy & Adam’s living room.

I thought the sett at 8 EPI was too tight, so I resleyed it at 6 EPI. I want this fabric to be a little weft faced. I also decided I’ll just use one yarn in the warp. All the different yarns I used don’t show up. So the hassle of running a bunch of different yarns in the warp has no pay-off in the design. I have a lovely thin perle cotton that I got from Newton’s Yarn Country at Convergence this summer, and I’ll need more of it. Fortunately, Newton’s Yarn Country will be at WeFF on Sunday.

This, my weaving friends, is why we make samples.

beginnings for the first sample on the loom.

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2 comments so far

  1. heather on

    just so you dont feel so bad,the exact same thing happened to me when i attempted to use a warping paddle. how do you get the cross? i must be missing the same thing because i sure couldnt figure it out either. 🙂


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