Thursday, November 13, 2008

Measuring the warp (is no fun)

There is something to be said for having the right tools for the job. I mentioned I was going to try to improvise a warping board to get started weaving, since my new warping board isn't due to arrive until next week. I took the weaving bench pictured in yesterday's post and I flipped it upside down and stacked cookbooks on the underside of the part you sit on (which is now facing up), so it wouldn't move. At this point I'm thinking how smart I am and that I wasted my money buying the real deal. (Insert belly laugh here. Oh, hindsight!) I then attached a warping peg:

to my entertainment center thing, because it had shelves about the height of the upturned stool legs. (That picture is a stock image, I only had one peg that came with the rigid heddle loom.) I had planned for about 200 warp ends since I was thinking about doing something with spaces in the warp and like I said, I wanted something manageable for my first go on a new loom. I would have preferred I was able to stand upright while warping, but I couldn't get the stool to stay put when I tried to elevate it, so I left it on the carpet and figured I'd bend over to warp. After all-it's only 200 pieces of string, right?

Then I was off!

Skip ahead half an hour. Let's just say this was not an ideal setup in retrospect. I felt like my back was broken and I was only a quarter of the way done. It's funny, I remember hating to measure the warp in school where I had all the right equipment, when I didn't realize how good I had it. Each thing you need to buy for weaving is like, hundreds of dollars and it was all there at my fingertips. This is a weaving I made in school on an 8 harness jack loom:

Here's a bit of a close up:

That weaving has 960 warp ends. I'd have to kill myself if I was using the ol' stool and peg method to measure the warp for something like that.

So when all was said and done, I gave up on my crappy method of warping. I. was. over. it. I had 58 measly warp ends, but if I space them out a lot and use a super chunky weft, I'll be able to make something around 2 feet wide.

I'm picturing a rag rug made with cut up jersey fabric. Honestly, it's just to get some practice, so it's okay if it wasn't the weaving I was planning on making. When that warping board gets here, it's ON!