Friday, August 22, 2014

Conversion to Warp Weighted Loom

I have a couple of looms that are problematic, and I have several uber long warps that have proven to be problematic too!  I don't know if I have mentioned it here on the blog, but I have been thinking about converting these looms/warps to a warp weighted system.  I have read Katie Meek's book about using a trapeze to warp your loom, and it got me thinking about how I might be able to use this system for my conversion.

I also spent a good deal of time in Ghana last year, and I saw weavers along the roadside with the long warp stretched out in front of them, anchored by a rock!  It was amazing!  I only wished I had asked them if they moved the loom or the rock when the warp advanced!  I was totally convinced then that this would work, but I was waiting to weave off the projects that were on the looms, but the warps just kept on going, and I found myself avoiding them.  I thought, what are you waiting for, just do it!

This is the before picture,  the 8 harness no name loom in back has a faulty break system and a huge creel warp beam with no handle, so winding on is really not fun.  The loom in front is a  little Leclerc that I think they don't make anymore, but she is a sweet little jack type loom!  I have been using her to weave the 100yard warps.  I don't have near enough sticks to wind on 100 yds and I don't think it would all fit anyway, plus I have been having problems with selvedges, so I must be facing uneven tension with this wind on.
(I said this is the before picture, but it is actually the "after I cleared all the stuff from behind the looms picture!")

 I had all the materials on hand to do this job, but my drill was not up to snuff for the longest time, it needed a new battery.  Last week, before we went camping, I finally took the plunge and bought a new Lithium battery.  I bought the compact one, it was a little lighter, and much smaller!  That meant that I had no more excuses!

It took me all of 20 minutes to get this in place.  Of course, it turns out I needed to relearn how to use the stud finder, cause I messed that up, and I also needed to use bigger screws.  (I won't bore you with the details of how I figured that all out!)

I unwound the warp on the back loom first, and I was shocked at how much warp there still was, yards and yards!  I attached a raddle onto the loom, and I put the warp into it, then I looped the warp around the warp beam, under the bottom cross piece and up to the trapeze.  There was so much warp that it was still pooling on the ground!  I slowly seperated the warp into 1 inch groups as per the raddle, all the way to the end of the warp.  (I managed to not get a picture of the path of the warp!)

I must say that it was a little tedious untangling the warp threads, but those who know me will not be surprised that I did it.  Each 1 inch group had to be finger combed the full length of the warp, then carefully chained and hung off to one side.

I was  finally ready to find something to use for weights, so I filled these water bottles with pea gravel, I was sure that would weigh at least 5 lbs.  but they didn't, they only weighed 1lb 10 oz each.  That clearly is not going to be enough to weave with, though I can use it to unweave.  I gave a little tug on the warp to see if I could get a feel for how much weight I would need.  ( This is about the time I figured out that I needed to make the above adjustments!)   I will have to do some more research to find out how much weight I will need to give me enough tension to weave, but I am pretty happy with my progress so far.

Now, about this white warp…………..

Until next time, Happy Spinning, Knitting and Weaving, Tina


LA said...

Holler if you want some help...I'm glad you are making the conversion. I think it will make a big difference with those long warps.

Maggie said...

I was just reading an article about making a small trapeze set-up, nothing quite this involved, but no one would expect you to take the easy way!

Linda said...

If anyone can figure this out it is you! Great job!

Bonnie said...

Way to go Tina. It is looking good. How exciting to make it and then see it working.