Saturday, November 29, 2008


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

The crackle samples have been sitting on a little table next to my computer. Yet, much as I sat at the computer, I didn’t see them. Having them there was painful. I knew I needed to deal with them. I did not want to. But I knew I had to.

By the end of Wednesday I had been weaving far far more than my body is used to. And it was beginning to tell me so. But the pain in my body caused a thought to come into me head. It was not a new thought. It had been sitting just under the surface for several days.


Has the rather maniacal weaving of these towels at bottom been an attempt to keep from doing the work of examining, analyzing, organizing, thinking about all those crackle samples sitting next to me? Well, I rationalized, I just have to get those towels done for Christmas. Once those towels are woven, I can focus my attention on the crackle.

But I knew I was resisting. One of the “inspirational” sentences sitting in a frame on the top of my loom says: “Do whatever is required of you.” Dealing with those samples is required of me. But I resisted and resisted and resisted. And the pain of those samples next to me at the computer only grew.


In the past when I have met up with this kind of resistance I have tried to find a very tiny task to do regarding the project I am resisting. I’m talking about a task that takes no longer than 5 minutes. Then making an appointment with myself to do it. This process always worked. But this time I can’t seem to find such a task. More resistance?

At last the first miracle. A very simple task came to mind. Print out the pages that I need. Actually, there is one that precedes that. Find the pages that I need! This was not all that hard! All I was requiring of myself was to think of the task. I was not requiring myself actually to do it. Set a time and date, yes. But not today.

Friday morning. 9:00 am, when I first sit down at the computer. Two days away. Not to worry.


Working sampleFriday came. When I finished breakfast and got to the computer I was so tempted to open up the internet and my email. But I didn’t. I went to the folders I needed for the crackle information. I found the material I needed. I printed it out.

Then I analyzed to find which sampling went with which printed directions. I numbered the printouts and I attached tags with the numbers onto the samples.

I have hung the sample I want to work with on the door and put the printout nearby. You can see the sample to the left—a fuzzy picture as I couldn’t use my monopod. The rest I have organized into clear plastic folders. I have purchased a small ring binder for all of this…….. I am ready to start analyzing by figuring out what treadlings and blocks are associated with dominant warp visibility……… And that is where I will begin on Monday.

Related Posts:
More on Resistance

"Resisting Doing the Work" was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on November 29, 2008. © 2008 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

Twyla Tharp is a well-known choreographer.  She has written a book called The Creative Habit: Learn It and Use It for Life.  She describes it as a practical guide.  I have read it, and indeed it is.  I cannot recommend it enough.

Today I ran across a link to a YouTube interview with her.  It’s only a few minutes long but I found it a good listen.  And it is so wonderful actually to hear her speak.  Go here to listen to it. 

This link is at a blog called “43 Folders”, which is a blog about creativity written by Merlin Mann.  While I was there I went to another of his posts. It is called “Driving Around the Buffalo.” Here he talks about his own dark night of the soul and the irony of a blogger who tries to help to help others in their creative journey now finding himself in that awful dark place of not being able to be creative.

Related Posts:
    Aiming for Excellence
    Creative Intelligence and Weaving

"Twyla Tharp on Creativity and Mistakes" was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on November 27, 2008. © 2008 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

Towel 2 begunFor this scarf, instead of using burnt orange for the main color I am using a medium blue.

I am still enjoying the novelty of fast, easy weaving, with the monotony relieved by inserting the bands of white.


I had been looking for squares that were perfectly square, but this is probably not going to happen.  I think the draw-in will be greater than the take up. Thus, even though the squares measure the same each way while on the loom, they will probably become a bit more rectangular once off the loom.

There is only way that might have guaranteed perfect squares: weaving a sample at the beginning of the warp, cutting it off and washing and pressing it. And I might have had to do this more than once. Perfect squares were just not that important to me.  So I am again abiding by Laura Fry’s dictum that if you can’t weave it perfectly, weave it consistently.


To that end I am both counting and measuring.  I know how many shots go in a square, but to make it easier, I do not count individual shots.  Rather, I count each set of 4 treadles.  When I get to 5 (I read these as 5 groups), I note that as 1 on my knitting counter. My knitting counter hangs around my neck so I never have to look for it.  I then weave another set of 5 groups and note that as 2 on my counter.  Then another and note that as 3.  Then I need to weave 2 groups of 4 treadles followed by 2 treadles.  But, before I do those extra 2 treadles, I measure.

Measuring and treadling should match.  If they do not, measuring trumps treadling.

On the first towel, I occasionally did not need those extra 2 treadles. On the second towel I just finished, I only occasionally had to use them. Aha, again my weaving is not perfect!

I do wonder, however, if the blue yarn was ever so slightly thicker than the burnt orange.  Spinning mills are not perfect either….


Half way through this second towel, the floating selvedges loosened enough to force me to weight them.  I was curious how long I would have to weave before weighting was required.  Now I know.

"Second Towel Woven" was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on November 25, 2008. © 2008 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

Everything is ready to go for the Crackle Exchange.  I’ve printed out 10 copies of the paperwork, put them in plastic sheet protectors, along with the finished samples.  Everything is in the addressed envelope, ready to go to the post office.  That last is the part I really don’t like!  There are always lines.

Meanwhile, picking up the crackle samples to put in the sheet protectors revealed another layer of crackle samples.  These are the samples of experiments that I wove for myself on that last crackle warp.  Now I have to get to that paperwork and get that stuff organized so that when I am ready, I can start planning my next crackle piece.  I’m thinking perhaps of a more major art piece which could masquerade as a shawl?

Meanwhile, I have four (maybe five) more dishtowels to weave off the current warp, and while I am doing that I have to get ideas for the handspun finalized.  I would love to get that done before the children arrive for Christmas.  Still, it might be fun for them to see a piece in progress. 


But there is a 17-month old grandson (a very active grandson, I might add) who I am going to have to factor into the equation…….  I can think of no way to childproof a loom.  But I am certainly open to ideas here.

Related Posts: 
    Remaining Crackle Samples Finished
    End of Warp Sampling

"Catching up on Crackle" was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on November 25, 2008. © 2008 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Monday, November 24, 2008


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

Towel 1 begun Weaving these towels is very different from the weaving I normally do. First of all, it is really fast!  Well, not as fast as Laura Fry weaves, but certainly a lot faster than the crackle I have been weaving.

I recently purchased Laura Fry’s latest CD.  One of the things on it is a video clip of Laura weaving.  Talk about fast weaving! If I were interested in doing production weaving where speed was essential, I would definitely use Laura’s performance in this video clip as my model.  I would look at it and try to imitate.  Look again, refine the imitation.  And so on. By the time I get to the fifth towel on this warp, I may be looking at how to speed things up…. To learn more about Laura’s CD, go to her website here.

Another thing that I am finding intriguing is the slant of the twill.  Since I sett the yarn at 24 epi, I intended to weave it at 24 ppi.  This would give me the 90-degree angle twill I was after.  Well, it’s close.  But the ppi is 20.  And while I am not slamming the beater into the fell, I am beating quite hard. 

The cause of this is no doubt in the draw-in.  There is quite a bit of draw-in and the selvedges have closed up considerably.  So it is probably the closeness of the selvedge threads that is preventing me from easily beating any more weft into a given inch.

I could use temples to keep the warp yarns spread out during the beating.  But I am weaving towels.  Towels that I hope will get hard use.  Those tight selvedges will protect the edges of the towels very nicely. 

One thing Laura said on her CD which I take to heart:  if you can’t do it perfectly, do it consistently.

By the way, while the color in the cloth is accurate, the color of the floor is definitely NOT accurate!

"Towel One Begun" was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on November 24, 2008. © 2008 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Saturday, November 22, 2008


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

What Connie has done is just too fantastic not to be put first in this list:
Extreme Makeover, Textile Edition... -- Connie Rose Textile Design

I have put this post second because of the marvelous tip it contains:
Weaving Supplies from the Stationary Store -- Wooly Stuff

Organizing Your Work -- Linda's Fiber Weblog
Three Sample Wefts -- Weaverly
So, How's the New Loom Going? -- WeaveGeek
Center Pull Ball Scarves -- Willington Weaver
The loom is looking at me from the corner of the room -- Magic Warp
A Few More Samples -- T'katch

This post is for those who may have been following my recent posts on warping:
    Dra pa en varp (Google translates as "Pull on a Warp") –        KDesinspirationsblogg

Repp Weave Repeated -- Dust Bunnies Under My Loom 
The Sampling Instinct -- t'katch
Double Cloth Sample and Intro to Final Project -- Threaded Letters
    (Thanks to Cally for the link to this weaver!)
Treadles -- Dot's Fibre to Fabric
This 'n That – Thrums

What happens when you full a piece:
New England Highland Plaid -- The Weaving Studio

Good Quality Weaving Tools, at Affordable Prices -- Knitting in August
Learning Ikat Technique -- Leigh's Fiber Journal

Here begins the first of a series of posts on Sandra’s latest series—the painted warp water series:
Threading and Dyeing -- Sandra's Loom Blog

Gauge -- Weaving a Life (Laura Fry)
More Pretty Pics -- Tien's Blog
Waulking the Wool with Slighe nan Gaidheal -- Renee Weaves

Weaving with conductive thread from The Twisted Warp:
What Would You Suggest? 
Clasped Wefts with LED's--Advice Please 
Baby Blanket -- The Open Shed
Ashford Loomies Challenge -- Knitting and Chocolate
Teknik-grubbel ("Technology--brooding about" according to Google Translate) -- KDes inspirationsblog
Slowly but Surely -- Weaving Spirit
The Caribbe Scarf, Part II -- The Weaving Studio
En zo meer  (Google translates as "And as more...." ) -- Atelier 44
Another Glimpse of Water Series #1, and the Beginning of #2 -- Sandra's Loom Blog

This is a post by a fiber artist, a quilter, and I include it because the concept of framing any kind of fiber art bothers me, but maybe it shouldn't?
You've Been Framed – Artmixter

"Recent Posts from Other Blogs" was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on November 22, 2008. © 2008 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Friday, November 21, 2008


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

This morning I returned to the warp. The first thing I learned is that an elf had evened out the tension in the middle of the night. But not quite…….Maybe I should have given him another night to finish the job?

The second thing I learned had to do with the preliminary knots I did yesterday. Today, when I redid the knots on the right hand side, I decided to use my old buddy the surgeon’s knot for the preliminary knots. Guess what? It looked just like those preliminary knots I did yesterday. I guess I just didn’t recognize it from the diagram.

Related Post: Tying on to the Front Rod: A Different Approach

"Follow-up to ‘Tying on to the Front Rod: A Different Approach’" was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on November 21, 2008. © 2008 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Thursday, November 20, 2008


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

I usually tie on to the front rod by lashing on. Go here to read about how I do that. But I also usually work with fine silk with epi’s between 54 and 72. Silk is slippery. Fine silk is really slippery.

8/2 unmercerized cotton is not slippery. It is also neither fine nor thick. So I decided to tie on instead of lash on.

When I tied on in the past I have used the method Osterkamp recommends on page 62 of Warping Your Loom and Tying On New Warps. Actually, this particular method seems to be ubiquitous among weavers who tie on.

Tying on However, I recently received a new book on weaving: The Big Book of Weaving by Laila Lundell. She gives a different variant on pages 38 and following. I decided to try this.

I found Lundell’s variant problematic. Her preliminary ties involve bringing half the group up from underneath the rod and the other half over the top of the rod. They are then tied in a half knot and another loop around the group is made with one of the halves. This is quite a different process from Osterkamp’s.

These preliminary knots did not hold well. I retied and retied and retied. Many held. Some just refused to hold. I could not see how I was doing anything differently with the ones that held.

As I continued on with the process, I decided that the problem resulted from my use of a rounded metal rod. According to the picture in her book, Lundell uses a flat wooden rod similar in size and shape to a lease stick to tie on, not a rounded metal rod. I think the slipperiness of the round metal rod was probably the factor behind the preliminary knot not holding. That means that the next time I tie on, I will return to Osterkamp’s method. This method involves bringing both halves up from underneath and using a surgeon’s knot as the preliminary tie.

But I soldiered on and tied each of them in half-bows, retightening each group before I did the half bow. I knew I could undo the half-bow in the event that the tension was not even across the warp. But, amazingly enough, the tension was quite even.

Then I threaded in a slippery polyester cord to get all the ends at the same level. Because some warp ends came over the top of the rod and others came from underneath, these groups of warp ends were at different levels. The warp ends brought over the top were higher up than those brought from underneath the rod. Taking the polyester cord over the group halves that were brought over the top in order to lower them a bit and under the group halves that came from underneath in order to raise them a bit got all the warp yarns onto the same level. The thin line that runs across the warp just beneath the blue shots is the polyester cord.

Next I threw introductory shots of yarn through the twill sheds to get the warp ends equally spread. All looked good.

But then I tested the warp again.

Whoops! The right half of the warp had definitely loosened up. This actually was a logical thing to happen as I had moved from right to left as I made the bow knots. The natural tendency as I make knots like this is to get tighter and tighter as I move along.

It was past time for lunch and I was tired of all of this. So I decided the best thing to do was to move the warp so that the rods rested on the front beam, as you see in the photo, and give both the warp and myself an overnight rest. Tomorrow I will come back to the retying.


There is another reason for lashing on besides having slippery or unusually large yarns as warp. Lashing on is also good for precious warps (such as my handspun) because less yarn is wasted. Since my next warp will be made of handspun, I will lash that on.

Related Posts:
Preparing for Lashing On
Lashing on to the Front Rod
Spinning for Weaving

"Tying on to the Front Rod: A Different Approach" was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on November 20, 2008. © 2008 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

sleying the reed In the photo you can see on the far left a group of white warp ends that need to be separated into groups to be pulled through the reed.

Just to the right of that and below the beater, the groups of threaded warp ends held together by slip knots are visible.

In the center are four groups of warp ends, 2 ends in each group, ready to be sleyed.

To the right are the threaded warp ends that have already been sleyed. These too are secured by slip knots.

I used to sley the reed by holding the yarns between the fingers of my left hand and then using the reed hook in my right hand to pull the yarns from my left hand through the reed. If I were sleying 2 ends per dent, I would have 4 groups of 2 ends each, and each of the 4 groups would be in the four openings between my fingers (and thumb).

When I was working with finer threads, however, I learned that laying the ends over the beater gave me an easy visual double-check on the number of ends I had. This was especially important when I was sleying 3 or 4 ends in a dent. This worked so well for me that this is now the process I always use.

Related Post:
Sleying the Reed
Sleying the Reed (using an autodenter)

"Sleying the Reed: Managing the Warp Ends" was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on November 19, 2008. © 2008 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

Threading doneAs the photo shows, I have finished the threading. The groups of threaded ends are tied in slip knots so that the ends stay where they belong.

The next step is to set the loom up for sleying the reed.

I have put back the top of the beater and put in a 12 dent reed. I will put 2 ends in a dent for 24 epi. I have pulled the bench back outside of the loom and have replaced the front top bar. I have removed the books from under the shafts so that the shafts have dropped back in place. And I have used cord to set the beater so that it is almost perpendicular to the floor. I like it leaning back a little because that makes it easier to do the actual sleying.

I have not yet put on the front fabric beam. That would get in the way of my legs a bit as I am still sitting quite close to the loom, even though I have moved the bench outside.

I will begin sleying in the middle. First I sley from the middle to the right; then from the middle to the left. I have marked the center point on my beater, so it is easy to see where to start the sleying.

Photography Note: The small size of the images in my blog posts has been driving me nutty. I use Windows Live Writer to write my posts and publish from it. I have finally discovered that images are automatically being resized to small and that I have other choices: medium, large, full picture, or my own figures that I put in. And I can also resize them manually—why on earth did I not recognize that last?!

Sometimes small is fine, but not always. Perhaps my eyes are just getting old!

"Ready to Sley the Reed" was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on November 18, 2008. © 2008 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Monday, November 17, 2008


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

Art Piece 6 for blogI had forgotten them until I pulled the fabric off the loom. Here they are, though I have not finished them for hanging. Will I finish them for hanging?

I am rather attached to this red one. Though I like the next one Art Piece 7 for blog(on the right, below) as it appears in the photograph, it is this red one as it appears in real life that I much prefer.

Related Post: Art Piece 5 Ready for Hanging

"Two More Art Pieces in the Group" was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on November 17, 2008. © 2008 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Friday, November 14, 2008


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

These were  finished exactly as I had finished Finished group of samplesthe Crackle Exchange samples.  Now to gather up the paperwork so that I can figure out what I did where!


 End of warp sample





Related Post:  Crackle Exchange Samples


"Remaining Crackle Samples Finished" was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on November 13, 2008. © 2008 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Posted by Peg in South Carolina


Well… it didn’t.  No matter how much I would like to blame that poor little calculator, the fault is entirely mine.


I finished threading the first half.  Then I went to the back beam to make sure that the center of the threading was the center of the back beam. No it wasn’t.  Groan.  Then I counted the number raddle openings I had filled.  First on the right side, then on the left side.  On the left side (standing at the back of the loom), two fewer raddle openings were filled. 

At that point I didn’t concern myself with the cause.  I just knew that I Moving Heddles had to move threaded heddles from the right side to the left side (standing at the front of the loom) of all the shafts.  It was easy to tell where the split was supposed to be by gently separating, while standing at the back of the loom, the yarns that were to the left and right of the center mark on the raddle. Returning to the front of the loom, I could eyeball that split and separate  those that had to be moved from the group. Then I retied the slip knots.

The photo shows the ends moved and threaded, so the separation is clearly visible.

Then the dreaded lifting of those thingies (very technical term here) that hold the shafts to the frame. Both to the top of the frame and to the bottom of the frame. If you look at the photo they look kind of like silver screws at the top and the bottom of the shafts.  And you can see the whole row of them along the bottom the shafts.

However, they are not screws.  Using my thumb and first two fingers, I have to push the thick ridged part down (in the case of those at the bottom) or up (in the case of the top). And I have to hold them down until I have moved the shaft out of its grasp (or, in the case of reattaching, after I have moved the shaft back into its grasp.  As I did that, it became clear quickly that they have all loosened up so that it is not the adventure in torture it was when the loom was new. That is, no bloody thumbs. Not even any sore thumbs. I guess I’ve moved heddles back and forth quite a bit since I purchased the loom.


It is not a good thing to have a warp not centered on the loom.  Had I bothered to check the raddle spacings to make sure there were an equal number on each side of center, I could have made the correction then and got the warp centered properly.

But doing what I did at this late point will at least insure that the warp will be aligned straight from back to front through the reed.


So, that is done.  And I wonder, what on earth happened?  Right now, this is my theory. 

When I was just ready to start winding the warp bouts I changed my mind about the number of brown ends.  I decided that at 24 epi, two ends were not enough to be clearly visible.  So I decided to increase that number to 4.  That meant that I had to change the number of brown ends at the selvedge to a larger number.  I wanted those stripes to be the same size as the inner ones.  Because the selvedges would shrink up, they would require more ends.  I wanted 6 ends there, but for ease of making warp bouts 8 worked better.  Then I think I might have been changes to the number of white ends.  But that I don’t remember.

The short of it is that, not having put the revised calculations into my sheet of information, I ended up winding on more warp ends than was indicated on that sheet.  But I used that sheet to figure out how many warp ends I would need on the right side……….


Always keep my paperwork updated.


Always count the raddle spaces on left and right of center to make sure that they are the same.

Related Post:  What Shall I Do?  14 Ends Left Over

"My Calculator Made a Mistake!" was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on November 13, 2008. © 2008 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

I have separated the samples meant for this Fall’s Complex Weaver’s Crackle Exchange from Crackle Exchange Samples the rest of the samples.  I cut the piece into 10 samples you see in the photo.  These samples will go to the eight members of the group who are participating (including myself), to Complex Weavers for its library and to a Canadian library for Complex Weavers.


Each sample is full width and 7” long.  I overcast the edges with my sewing machine.  I soaked them for 30 minutes in hot water with a little Johnson’s baby shampoo (if it’s gentle enough for baby’s hair, surely it is gentle enough for my silk!).  I rinsed them twice. The second time was in cold water with a bit of vinegar added (When I was a child, my mother had me do this with my own hair.  Had I been blonde, she would have used lemon juice.)  I laid them to dry on a drying rack.

When they were dry, I pressed them hard on the board you see in the photo. When I say “hard,” that means I put my body weight onto that iron.   Also, lots of steam.  I pressed both sides.  That hard pressing is what produces the miracle of thin, shiny, drapeable fabric.

Now for the paperwork…….


The board sits directly on my ironing board.  It is called a Big Board and comes with a pad and cover which I use for other items.  Go here if you want to learn more about it.  I don’t sew as much as I once did, but I still find it invaluable when I do sew.

Related Post: 
   Weaving Begins on Crackle Exchange Samples
   Weaving Continues on Crackle Exchange Piece

"Crackle Exchange Samples" was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on November 12, 2008. © 2008 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

Exquisite design and execution:
Making Wood -- Avalanche Looms

Collapse Scarves -- Tangled Threads
Summer & Winter Samples 1 -- Leigh's Fiber Journal
Yarn Sources -- t'katch
Unlikely Combinations -- Weaverly
Preparing a Sampler Warp -- Weaverly
A Weaver Under the Influence -- A Movable Feast
GCW Hand Towel Exchange -- Dust Bunnies Under My Loom

A new project by Laura (Weaving a Life)
Red Warp #1
Red Warp Pattern

Buying Bits and Pieces -- Swifter than a Weaver's Shuttle
All Back Together Again -- Sampling
Chevron Scarf, Part II -- The Weaving Studio
To see the yarns he start out with, go here:
Chevron Scarf, Part I
The Curious Adventure of the Curious Weaver – Curiousweaver
Random Pickup (on-loom shibori) – Constance Rose Textile Design
How Do I Get My Warp to Tension Evenly -- Ask the Bellwether

Weaving with their own handspun:
Autumn Neckband -- The Weaving Studio
Spinning a Warp -- Renee Weaves
Daring to Use Handspun -- t'katch

Conversations in Fiber -- Cyber Fiber Scriber
Ny Varp -- KDes Inspiration Blog
An Online Sketchbook -- Magic Warp
Voting and Warping -- fiberewtopia
Bare Loom No More -- Deep End of the Loom
Some Assembly Required: Attaching a Sectional Beam to the Glimakra Ideal -- Tangled Threads

The Master Weaver Loom (from Seabreeze Spinners)
Master Weaver Loom Questions
Master Weaver Project

Lilibet's Debut -- Thrums
Ninth Gamma -- Weaverly
Saori Salt Spring Studio -- Weaving a Life (Salt Spring Studio)
Festive Towel Exchange -- My Offering -- Centerweave
Back to Work, Finally -- Weave4Fun
Warping the Next Water Series -- Sandra's Loom Blog
Swedish Lace Sampler -- Fibres of Being
Shed Improvement -- Sharing the Fiber Fever

Blog posts on color (or not):
Two from t’katch:
Which Weft?
A Dash of Red
Two from Weaving Spirit
Finding the Color Within
More Finding the Colors Within
The Periodic Table of Color -- Color + Design Blog
Eye for Color -- Dot's Fibre to Fabric
Colour and Weave -- Fibres of Being
White??? -- Fun with Fiber
Pretty Picture -- Tien's Blog

On selling your creations:
Online Venues -- Constance Rose Textile Design

"Recent Posts from Other Blogs" was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on November 11, 2008. © 2008 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

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

Friday, November 7, 2008


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

I have removed the front beam.  I have removed the top of the beater.  Ready to thread And I have removed the cloth beam.  I have inserted two books to lift up the shafts so that the heddle eyes are at a convenient height.  I have set up lamps to help my vision.  I have moved my bench closer to the heddles.

The last, and for me the most difficult, thing I did was to count out the heddles I needed on the right side of the center posts.  Difficult because it meant first doing some arithmetic. 


I have a total of 684 ends.  Or, at least, that is the number I should have if I have done everything correctly so far.  That, however, is a judgment that is not yet ready to be made.  I need half those ends on each side of the center posts.  Half, my calculator tells me, is 342 ends.  That means I need 342 heddles on the right side.

I am going to thread straight draw on 8 shafts, beginning with the back shaft, #8.  To find how many heddles I need on each shaft, I divide 342 by 8.  The result is 42.75.  Now I know I am in trouble.  Sigh.  3/4 of 8 is 6.  So I am not in trouble.  So I figure what will happen if I have 43 heddles and shafts 6 through 8 and 42 on shafts 1 and 2.  That gives me 344 heddles, or 2 too many.  So I try 43 heddles on shafts 7 through eight and 42 on shafts 1 through 3.  Well, that gives me 341 heddles or one too few. 

Since the second figure, while not exact, comes closer to the number I need, that is what I will go with.  But I know that the ground under me feels very unsupportive….  On the other hand, I know that if I learn when I get to the center posts that I have made a mistake, it is not the end of the world.  I can release the heddle holders from the center posts (the posts are at both the top and the bottom) and move heddles one way or the other.  But it is awkward, and if I have to release all of them, the skin on my thumb gets very sore. 

READY TO THREADReady to thread close up

In this close up photo, the lease sticks are visible behind the heddles.  They are at a pretty good height for me to be able to thread the heddles while I am sitting on my regular weaving bench. One bout is at the right of the heddles, only to ensure, while I am away from the loom, that those carefully counted heddles will not somehow slip back to the other heddles at the far right.  I do have a cat…..

I enjoy the threading process. Threading is an activity I can easily fit into those bits of time between other activities.  And right now those other weaving activities in particular are going to include dealing with the warp I have removed from the loom.  That is very high priority.  Also, I need to update the paperwork for this current warp.

Related Post:  
The Threading Process
I Ought Not to be a Weaver

"Getting Ready to Thread" was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on November 07, 2008. © 2008 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


Posted by Peg in South Carolin

I’m done raddling.  I’ve attached the warp rod to the apron rod.  I did that Raddling done by bringing up the apron rod so that it rested on the table.  At each end of that rod (not in the photo) I have a piece of texsolv cord.  I slip the end of the warp rod into the holes of the texsolv.  Then I tie the rods together at several other places, using heavy cord.  The reason for the texsolv is primarily that it helps me keep the two rods spaced evenly apart.

The warp yarns are a little wonky right now.  I will get that straightened out before I continue.

There is something else I need to do before I wind on.  I need to throw warp over castle the warp over the castle. Once over the castle I weight each bout individually.  Normally I have always made slip knots and attach the weights to them.  But I noticed that the red bag savers I use have holes in them, and I can fit my weights through the holes.  So I decided to try that.

At this point I notice something.  Yup, a twisted bout.  Twisted bouts are really easy to spot with the colored stripes.  That is good because it will happen all thTwisted warpe time as I beam on, so I will be spending time straightening bouts as well as winding on.

At this point I can begin to wind on.

The first thing I have to do is to get the rods onto the beam itself. I wind the beam with my left hand and hold onto the rod gingerly with my left hand as it moves off the table down onto the warp beam itself.  This requires a bit of calisthenics as the handle to turn the rod is on the left side and the loom weaves 45” wide, which means it is actually a bit wider than that.  So I am stretched a bit as I do this.

It is very important that I do this carefully. I want the warp rod and the apron rod, when they get themselves on the beam, to be absolutely Rods on the beam parallel to the beam and to be an equal distant apart.  It went easily this time.  Sometimes it takes a bit more work.

Notice that the warp ends still need to be moved and adjusted a bit.

And now I am ready to beam on. 

My new way of hanging weights worked well except that I learned I had to check for ends coming loose.  If I could really carefully flatten out those warps, this would be a perfect setup.  But I didn’t so that the places where I attached the weights were usually a bit bumpy.  The flatter parts then would not get held as well because the grip is really not that strong.  Still, the flattening out of the warp that did result did create a warp much easier to wind on. 

And here she is, ready for threading.Warp beamed on


Related Posts: 
Recent Comments and Questions
Question on Untwisting Warp Bouts
Winding on the Warp

"Beaming On" was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on November 05, 2008. © 2008 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

Before I started the raddling process, I went to the front of the loom and Raddling Weights attached attached a somewhat heavy potato chip package clip to each of the bouts. I enjoy the fact that these clips are bright red!  What they do is make the unbeamed warp tight enough so that I can easily pick out the ends to drop in the raddle at the back of the loom.

So now to return to the front of the loom.  After she read yesterday’s blog post, Dorothy asked the following question:

I'm curious about the newspapers to lay over the raddle, I'm wondering why and how do you use the raddle? I have one raddle with a removable wooden top (that secures with locking pins), the other is a small homemade raddle with short pins and I tie a piece linen around the length of it when the threads are in place.

Problem bout to raddleHere is a close up of the raddle. It is made by LeClerc.  The teeth are quite long and, instead of going up and down, they project towards me.  As the nails are quite thick and the heads very small, they do not pose as great a personal threat to me as do the nails in the raddle I made for myself. 

To the right is the first part of the warp I have raddled.  To the left is warp waiting to be raddled.  If the raddle didn’t have the newspaper underneath to support the warp ends, those warp ends would drop erratically into the raddle spaces, get hooked up on the tops of the nails, and in general get a bit tangled.  With 8/2 cotton it’s not too hard to get them out and untangle them.  But doing that is no fun with 60/2 silk!  As I raddle more ends, I keep moving the newspaper to the left.

But let’s take a closer look at that unraddled bout on the left.  That is the Problem bout up close second bout. The bout I worried so much about getting right because I had not tied the end loop.  Well, it is all caught on the rod so I was successful in getting all the loops.  But.  Yes, it is twisted on the rod. What to do?

I had to remove it from the rod so I could untwist it.  That meant I had to remove the already-raddled warp ends from the rod as well, not to mention untying the cord that was keeping the rod from accidentally slipping out of the bouts.

First I put a cord through the loops of the already raddled ends.  I tied that cord so that when I was ready to slip the rod back into them,Loop through bout it would be easy to find the loops. In the photo to the right you can see the red cord I used to secure the loops, and the white cord that serves to keep the rod from slipping out of the loops.

So I had to put a cord through the already raddled ends on the right, so that I wouldn’t lose the loops when I took the rod out.  Yes, I took the rod out, after, of course, also undoing the tie that was designed to keep the rod from accidentally slipping out. 

Then I removed the twisted ends.  These were easy to untwist and slip back on. I have done this a fair number of times, so now it is really only an annoyance. I slipped the raddled warp back on and untied the red cord.  Then I tied the cord to keep the rod from slipping out.

I was off and running. Or so I thought.

The next bout also proved to be twisted.  Well, again, no big deal.  Or so I thought.

I went through the same process again but this time the troublesome bout would simply not untwist. So I just started kind of combing from the cross to put the loops on in the proper order, one by one.  But that is really impossible when I have used a paddle to wind two ends at a time.

Winding two ends at a time creates double loops where one loop is also attached to the next loop.  I should have taken a picture but I was a bit out of my mind by this time. Suffice it to say that I did get the bout back on….kind of right.  Better than it was.  Everything is fine between the rod and the cross, but it is a slight mess on the rod itself.  But I think it will be fine.  I cannot see how this slight mess can affect anything other than my own sense of neatness and order.  I don’t think this will come back to bite me……. 

"Raddling" was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on November 04, 2008. © 2008 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Monday, November 3, 2008


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

Here is my loom ready for the warp to appear for raddling.  I have Loom ready for raddling removed the reed from the beater.  I have put on two wood cross bars the length of the loom to hold the rod and lease sticks level. The heddles are pushed to the sides of the loom.  A raddle with half-inch dents is clamped to the back beam.  A chair is there for me to sit on.  To the left is a waste basket.  To the right is the taboret I use for keeping tools close by.  On the floor, but not visible, are newspapers to lay over the raddle.  Missing is the table at the back to hold the rod while I raddle.

The loom is ready.  Now to get the warp ready.

I had made seven bouts and labeled them 1-7.  Or so I thought.

Bouts ready for rod Here they are, waiting to be slipped on to the rod, visible in the front, and then slipped on to the lease sticks, which are barely visible at the back of the photo.

All these bouts had tags but two had no numbers on them.  Since I am dealing with stripes, the order is important.  Actually, it is not the order of each individual bout that is important because the middle five bouts are identical.  And the outside two bouts are different from the other five but identical to each other. 

After checking, it was clear that one of the bouts was an outside bout and one was a middle bout.  The outside bouts have more of the brown stripe warp yarns, and this particular bout, unlike any other, has a narrow stripe at both the beginning and the end. So the lack of identification turned out to be a non-problem.

But the next step revealed a more serious problem.  I slipped bout one onto the warping rod, with the brown ends on the selvedge side.  I noted which direction the bow ties were facing.  All the bow ties of the remaining bouts needed to be slipped through the rod in the same Problem with bout 2 direction. Then I went to slip on the second bout.

In the photo the first bout is at the front of the photo.  It has a piece of red yarn tying off the loop at the end.  The bowtie faces left.  That is the directions all the rest of the bowties will have to face.

But wait! The second bout, just above the first one, has no red bowtie! I just plain forgot to tie it off while it was on the warping board. If I had wound the warp with one thread at a time, this would not have been a problem.  I could easily have found the loop where the rod was supposed to go.  But warping two ends at a time with a warping paddle creates a false cross and an end loop that is not  clearly defined once it’s off the board.  So I struggled by stretching out the warp and looking through it to find uncaught loops.  I did this several times, each time finding one or more uncaught loops. I think I have them all, but when I raddle the warp I will have to watch this group carefully to make sure that all the loops are indeed caught.

Here is an image of the bowties that tie off the leases.  These two face the Bowties on the left left. When I do the raddling, I will have to make sure that all of the rest of these bowties face left as well. Also, you can tell this is an end bout because the extra number of brown threads on the selvedge side is clearly visible.

Then I inserted the lease sticks, one stick on each side of the cross.  Lease sticks in I still don’t like that second bout, but I think everything is the way it should be. But I will be vigilant.  So I put in the ties to hold the lease sticks and tied a cord around the rod to keep the warp from slipping off.  Then I picked up the whole thing and moved it to the loom.  A photo of that would have been interesting!

You might have noticed by now that the end of each warp bout is in a plastic bag.  I do this to keep the warp clean and also to keep the bouts from tangling with each.

And here is what the loom looks like now that I have brought the warp to Unraddled warp from front of loom it.  I put the newspaper over the raddle before I brought the warp in.  This way, warp ends will not get caught in raddle ends where they do not belong.  The whole raddling process is made easier.

I have also brought my little table to the back.

I have also  taped the rod onto those long cross sticks.  This way I can go take my much needed walk without worrying (too much) about the rod being pushed off the loom.  The table in front will also help, as will the chair in front of the table.

I am now almost ready to begin dropping ends into the raddle, but Unraddled warp from back of loom not quite.  I have to weight lightly the bouts at the back.  This will give a little bit of tension, just enough so that it is easy to pick out the ends to drop in the raddle.  And I have to drop the rod down onto the table at the front of the loom.

Time for that walk!


Related Posts: 
Preparing the Warp Bouts for the Loom 
Ready to Raddle 



"Preparing to Raddle: Some Problems" was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on November 03, 2008. © 2008 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Saturday, November 1, 2008


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

While in Asheville a weekend ago, I also purchased a photography book. It is called simply Digital Camera, Fifth Edition. It is written by Dave Johnson. I do have several photography books already, but when I took a look at this one today, I saw a chapter called “Understand Exposure.” And in that chapter was a section called “Tricky Lighting Situations.” There, in language I can finally understand, it explains how to use metering modes and exposure lock in order to deal with problematic images, like the one on yesterday’s post.

The image on yesterday’s post was really difficult to see. I didn’t know Image1what to do about it in the software. Today, after reading this section, I got my camera out and took some more photos. I tried out the techniques I had learned in that section on tricky lighting situations. To the left is one of the results.

Not a perfect picture by any means—it is now a bit too bright. I could have fiddled some more with the camera or I could have worked some with the software. But I was too excited to get a photo where the fabric was basically visible and somewhat close to what it actually looks like!

Related Post:
Photographing Textiles
Why I Weave as I Do

"Hanging Sample: Better Photo" was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on November 01, 2008. © 2008 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina