Tuesday, April 19, 2005

My Big, Fat, Warping Disaster

(Alternate title: i cannot teach myself everything. lessons in humility)

AGES ago, i found a cheap table loom being sold on craigslist. I bought it, brought it home, did some research. I read all of "Warping all by yourself" by Cay Garrett and "Learning to weave" by Deborah Chandler. I happily ordered some 8/2 cotton and used the legs of my dining chairs as a warping board. Diving right in, I sleyed the reed, and the heddles. The project got put on hold for a bit... but last weekend i decided to go ahead and try to finish warping the loom. Unfortunately, after hours of working on it, the results were nothing but disaster:
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The loom itself looks very similar to a Leclerc Dorothy, but there are absolutely no marks on it anywhere. The woman who sold it said that it came from a high school, and i believe that it was probably home made by someone for that school. The physical problem that i'm having is with the weird sectional warping reels (or something - white things) on the back of the loom. They don't spin freely around the back beam, but because there is no tie on rod, the knots aren't securely attached to the white plastic and they spin around as i wind on and then i get uneven winding. when i tried to tighten from the front, they slip in the back. i can't get the whole thing under even tension. i am probably not making sense, because i don't know enough of the terminology to explain the problem. ugh.
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the mental problem is that (as usual) i'm trying to teach myself a craft in a void, with only books and the internet as teacher. This usually works for me, but not this time. I would love to take a class, but can't afford it. I don't know what i'm doing and i don't have any friends who are weavers who can show me what i'm doing wrong. I've wanted a "real loom" since using the Inkle Loom in the art studio in 5th grade! i was so excited about this loom, and now i'm just flustered and frustrated. what should i do?

8 Comments:

At 4/20/2005 9:29 AM, Blogger Dani said...

aww.. I wish I could help! I haven't weaved on a loom like that since I was a little girl either. The colors you chose to weave with look lovely though....

You are so crafty!

 
At 4/21/2005 12:47 PM, Anonymous Brenda. said...

LeClerc is still making your loom, so if you go to their website, you can email them, and they will be happy to give you advice. I don't believe those plastic reels are original---someone added them so they can warp sectionally.They have exploded parts diagrams on the site, so you may be able to figure out what you need to get the loom back to normal. There are also some good articles on warping on Interweaves web site.

 
At 4/21/2005 12:49 PM, Anonymous Brenda. said...

http://www.leclerclooms.com/draw_inst/da_dorothy.PDF


Does this help?

 
At 4/22/2005 1:23 PM, Blogger Dharia said...

hi brenda - thanks for the link! that helps a bit, but mine is not an actual dorothy, but an imitation someone copied as far as i can tell. i also can't figure out how to get those plastic reels off. i'll look at the plans some more and see if i can figure it out now.
thanks!

 
At 5/10/2005 11:59 AM, Anonymous Jenni said...

I realize I'm late in commenting (but I just found your blog. Crazy, I know). On your back apron, I would think you would need to undo some screws in several places (basically take the entire loom apart) to get that bar out (and slide of the sectional rings). However, you could wrap a heavy paper around the rings (thereby eliminating them) and warp as usual. BTW, do you have a raddle to help with warping? Easy to make and helps immeasurably with warping. Hope that helps - I'm a beginning weaver, but I did put together my own loom.

 
At 5/11/2005 11:00 PM, Anonymous Sanders said...

Hi.. I'm a little late in commenting too, I just found your blog (very nice,, bytheway) I do have some weaving experience but have never seen those plastic thingys before, and if I were you and didn't think I wanted them ever, I would either disassmeble the loom to take them off, should be screwed together and easy enought to get apart and back together or if I were in a hurry or frustrated I would probably just bust the dern things off!

I wanted to point out another issue I see although it's hard to tell from the photos so I could be wrong. It looks like you've threaded your heddles and are bringing the yarn straight back to the plastic things... the warp should go over the back beam first before you wind it on.... again I could be wrong, but if the warp isn't going over the back beam that could be adding to your tension headaches (so to speak).

I'd say you're doing a great job without any assistance but a book! Weaving is so 3 dimensional I can't imagine learning it without seeing it in person. Good for you and good luck.

 
At 5/12/2005 10:14 AM, Blogger Dharia said...

Sanders -
Thanks so much! you are completely right about not going over the back beam in the back. i bet that is part of the problem! next time i will do it that way. thanks again!

 
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