Friday, March 21, 2008


I make my warps in my sewing room. My warping board rests quite casually on top of a built-in desk and leans against the built-in bookshelves. (This was clearly a child's room in an earlier life.) On the floor you can see the four cones and above that, in front of the warping board, you can see the warping board clamped to the desk with a C-clamp.


For this warp I am winding six individual bouts of 60/2 silk. And I am winding from four cones. Now comes the trick question: how many ends in a bout?

First, I want the bouts to start and end at the same place. That place can be either the top or the bottom of the board. Since I start winding at the bottom, of the warping board, I make my cross at the top. That means that that is the part of the warp bout that I slip the rod into. If I were to end the bout at the top, I would have four loose ends there. Nothing to slip the rod into.


Here at the top right you can see the cross. The funny cross thing at the left is called a false cross. If you wind one end at a time, you shouldn't get this false cross. But as soon as you start winding multiple ends at a time, you get it.

This false cross should not create a problem. The only thing I have to remember is to put the rod through that first big opening on the left. I will discover, as I raddle, that I have loops that hang free of the rod. Then I have to carefully put them back on, making sure I get all the loose loops.

Also, I have to factor in to this calculation the fact that each total round (bottom to top and back again) results in 8 warp ends having been created. This means that the total number of ends in a bout must be divisible by 8.


Figuring out all these things, I have had to make the bouts with two different numbers of yarns. Four bouts have 96 ends each; two bouts have 88 ends. Arithmetically challenged, I took quite awhile to work this out and then to double-check my figures.

The coffee cup is very important in this process.


What if, despite the best of calculations, I have one or more bouts that I simply cannot make end where they began? With these I just close my eyes to the problem, and wind back to the beginning anyway. This would, of course, give me more warp ends than I needed.

What to do? After threading, just drop those extra warp ends off the back of the loom.


I do other weaverly things in this room as well. To the left, where you see just a corner of an orange chair, is the area where my cone- and ball-winding takes place. Also my skein winding. You can go here to see the cone-winding process.

Related Post: More on False Crosses


Anonymous said...

Peg, please describe in detail how the false cross occurs, I just can't figure it out. I almost always wind warps with multiple ends "in-hand" and have never had or seen a false cross. I am very curious!

Leigh said...

Interesting photos. I've never seen a false cross up close and personal either. Aren't they the result of using a warping paddle (though how they occur I don't know either.)