Monday, November 10, 2008


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

Threading begunI began threading.  As you can see, I did a rather sloppy job of tying off that third bout. I was ready to get up quickly to do something else!

As you can also see, I did not make a lot of progress in the threading. 

A  straight draw is very simple so I decided to return to a threading technique I used regularly before I embarked on this much more complex crackle threading. And that is one reason I made so little progress.


First I pull out the heddles I am going to use for a group.  In this case I decided to work with three heddles on each shaft, for a total of 3 threading repeats.  This gives me 24 ends, which is 1” worth of threads.  I want to end up with 1” groups of warp ends because that is how many I am going to include in each group when it is time to lash on.

What you see in the photo on the right side are 3 finished bouts of 24 ends each, or 3 threading repeats each.


Second, I always use a heddle hook. I find heddle hooks easier, faster and less awkward than fingers.  Certainly that is true with fine threads.  With less fine threads it might be just a matter of what you are used to.  So I insert my hook into the appropriate heddle, grab the correct yarn from the group that is in the finger spaces of my hand and pull the yarn through.  Then I repeat the process.  And repeat.  And repeat.  And repeat………


With the technique I am returning to after many months of threading crackle one heddle at a time, I pull only a bit of the loop through the heddle. I then slide that loop down onto the neck of the hook. Keeping that loop on the hook’s neck, I insert that hook into the next heddle and pull only a bit of the loop through the heddle and then slide that loop down onto the neck of the hook.  Now I have two loops on the heddle hook. 

I do this twice more, ending up with four loops on the heddle hook.  Then I pull the heddle hook so that all the threads are pulled through their respective heddles and start all over again.  I do this a total of six times and then I am done with a 1-inch group of 24 ends.

Pulling one group of four thread all the way through is faster than pulling individual threads, one by one, all the way through.  At least once I hit my stride, it is faster!


It’s been awhile since I did this, probably over a year, since I wouldn’t dare try it with crackle and 60/2 silk.  So things did not go completely smoothly.  I had forgotten, for example, how I have to watch for the heddles on shaft 8.  Somehow they can get lost so that I end up beginning threading with a heddle on shaft 7 instead.  And I only realize when I come to the heddle on shaft 2 that it is really on shaft 1 and so I have goofed.

A heddle on shaft 8 I find can also easily get caught up, unthreaded between a group of threaded heddles.  What this means is that I would have something as follows:  heddles threaded on shafts 8 and 7.  An unthreaded heddle on shaft 8, then heddles threaded on shafts 6 through 1. All that has happened is that an empty heddle has gotten caught where it doesn’t belong.

If I wanted to, I could forget about this and just grab an extra shaft 8 heddle from the group at the left. But because I am used to weaving at high densities and so might find an extra unthreaded heddle troublesome, I usually unthread to the caught empty heddle, move it to the next group on the left where it belongs, and then rethread.  Also, when I get to the center I will find that I have to move a heddle from the left side of the loom to the right side.  That means unhooking the shaft from its two posts, not my favorite activity.  What is more, should I break a thread in that area while I am weaving, finding two empty heddles in close proximity might be momentarily confusing.


By the time I got to the third bout, I had not quite hit my stride in threading, but I was moving close to it.  Tomorrow is just around the corner.

Related Post:  The Threading Process

"Threading Multiple Heddles at a Time" was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on November 10, 2008. © 2008 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina


Anonymous said...

I thread the same way. I've caught a million threading errors "before they hatch" with this method. Some folks tell me it's a waste of time, but I like it. You give a great explanation.


Peg in South Carolina said...

Thanks, Kimmen. I suspect that people think it's a waste of time because of the learning curve.

Leigh said...

At first I thought I'd have to beg you to take up videography in order for me to get it, but after re-reading, I think I can give this a try.

I agree about learning curves. Sometimes they just don't seem worth the effort, but really they are in the long run.

Peg in South Carolina said...

Leigh, I'm afraid videography is out of the question because that would involve my husband. That is something that would just not happen even if we had a video camera! How I started learning was with 2 threads at a time. I had learned from watching a French video (I have no url for it). I of course discovered details not obvious in the video....... The main one is to keep the warp ends in your left hand taut and always go under them with your hook.

Susan B. said...

I have finally read this series of posts and enjoyed it as well as learned some new tips to try. You do explain things very well!

Peg in South Carolina said...

Susan b-- I'm glad you picked up some tips and thank you for the compliment.