Thursday, April 30, 2009


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

The silk tram unwound quite nicely onto cones, thank you. But four of the six silk bombyx skeins gave me nothing but grief. This photo shows what happened with every one of those four skeins.

Loose End Yes, I am giving it center stage because I am…….well, I don’t know what I am! At least the long-awaited tripod arrived, and does it ever make a difference. That blankety-blankety-blank loose end shows up so nice and clearly on the photo……..

I have had to unskein these by slowly turning the winder, stopping, when the yarn catches, undoing the catch, turning the winder some more, and so on. The catch sometimes happens with every half turn, sometimes every turn. When enough loose yarn accumulates on the floor I then wind that onto the cone. And begin again. This is slow work.

I have to be very careful to make sure that this loose end, no matter how large it grows, stays properly aligned and doesn't slip over the end of the skein winder. I’ve learned that the hard way. On three of the skeins I ended up with an absolute mess as a result of not paying attention. I had to cut and knot. More than once. Those skeins are going to be miserable to weave with. But weave with them I will.

Related Post:
Silk Tram
Winding the Dyed Silk onto Cones
Silk Organzine Yarn Versus Bombyx Silk Yarn

Loose End” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on April 30, 2009. ©2009 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Wednesday, April 29, 2009


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

I put the silk tram on the skein winder. And this is what it looked Silk Tram on skein winder like. I had snapped the skein and snapped the skein. Look at all those loose and flyaway ends! Do you think I was just a bit nervous? You better believe it!

I had checked and double-checked that the yarn was coming through the ties properly. I did this because one of my thoughts has been that I do not get all the yarns on correctly. And because this yarn is so flyaway, I really had to work at examining carefully the yarn at each tie.

Then I tied the half of the skein tightly with red yarn that was going to come of the skein winder second. The idea was to keep the yarns from the first half tangling with the yarns of the second. As I was doing this I did discover loops at two of the ties. As I checked these out I realized that they needed to be corrected so that those yarns would go on the winder correctly.

So what happened? Here is a photo of both the skeins wound onto cones. Silk Tram on conesThe skeins wound off almost perfectly! Doesn’t the yarn look shiny, shiny?! Wouldn’t it be glorious for the weft for an entire piece?!

Indeed, with the second one a slight problem occurred that caused me to remove the ties around the second half. Still, there was only one place that I had to tie a knot and that was because there was a cut end somewhere in the middle of the skein. I had seen that when I was putting the skein on the winder but have no idea how that happened.

For all my worry about this silk tram, it wound on the cones just fine. What a relief.

Related Post:
Silk Tram
Winding the Dyed Silk Onto Cones
Winding Cones: Have I Found the Secret?
Silk Yarns

Winding the Silk Tram” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on April 29, 2009. ©2009 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

imageI had not expected to enjoy making entries in this sketchbook as much as I do.  Nor had I expected how much value keeping this sketchbook was going to be.

One thing I find really nice about keeping this on the computer is how easily I can move things around and change things.  I can lift, for example, any or all of the three drafts on the right-hand page and either move it to another page or copy it into another page.

It is also easy to look through the sketch book by reducing it to 75% and “flipping” through the pages.  At 75%, both pages, side-by-side, are visible on the screen and still large enough for the print to be readable. I find that when I do this more thoughts will come that I can enter onto the page I am looking at.

I have been working on the sketchbook some almost daily.  And it is becoming apparent that doing this daily, as opposed to occasionally or when I feel like it, is of value. 

I know there will be dry days when I will feel there is nothing to record.  But I will try to record at least a little something because I can feel that turning the keeping of this sketchbook into a habit is going to be when it really becomes important to my weaving

Related Post: E-Sketchbook

Latest Entries in Sketchbook” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on April 28, 2009. ©2009 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Monday, April 27, 2009


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

Silk Tram I am now winding skeins of fine silk tram for the gold and lime weft yarns. These yarns will form the motifs in the next crackle piece.

This is the first time I have worked with silk tram. I knew it was shiny and meant for weft. I wanted it to help highlight the motifs in this piece. The photo gives a good idea of just how shiny the yarn is.

Here is what MSN Encarta says about tram silk;

Tram is made by twisting in only one direction two or more raw-silk threads, with 8 to 12 turns/cm (20 to 30 turns/in).

But here is what Habu Textiles says, in part, about it:

This is a "tram" silk, which means it is specially made to be used as weft yarn for weavers. There is virtually no twist in the yarn, so it is very soft and shiny…. Because of the minimal twist in the yarn, the silk filament tends to get caught in rough hands. Dyes very well.

For this particular skein, at least, Habu has got a better hold on the twist issue. That there is virtually no twist is obvious when I handle it for the ends simply untwist into their component threads. My hands are not rough. I have never had trouble with silk in that respect. With this I am going to have be generous with hand cream.

Silk tram comes in various weights. This particular tram is only slightly heavier than the 60/2 bombyx silk.

I am glad that it dyes well because I think I am going to have lots of trouble, so the dyeing needs to be worth it. When I took the white skein meant for dyeing off the skein winder, the yarn just “flew apart.” The photo shows quite vividly just how flyaway the yarn is. I think it is going to be very very prone to snarling and knotting. Oh happy day…………

Related Post: Winding the Silk Tram

Silk Tram” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on April 27, 2009. ©2009 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Friday, April 24, 2009


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

As the warp gets close to being ready to weave, I decided it was time to get back to the dyepots.  That is, if I wanted any weft yarn to weave with!

Dyeing blues and reds Here are the blues and the reds simmering in glass Mason jars placed in a water bath.  The water bath is provided by an old electric frying pan.

Each of the red polyester cords is looped around a small skein of 60/2 silk.  This makes it easier to lift the skeins up and down in their little jars.  Lifting them up and down instead of stirring is how I get the dye to take evenly.

Those polyester cords also make it much easier to find the center of the skein when I am ready to insert my hands in the rinsed skeins to snap them.

Golds in the dyepot And here are the golds.  I know, the one on the right looks more lime green than gold.  But when dry, and not set right next to the more yellow yarn, it should look gold.  And if it doesn’t, I will use it and love it!

I learned that dyeing with two Mason jars in the electric frying pan is different from dyeing with six.  With only two jars, more of the water in the water bath is exposed.  This means it cools more quickly, or, to put it in reverse, this means that it takes higher temperatures on the skillet to keep the dye bath water the correct temperature. 

Covering the skillet, even partially, would help stabilize the temperature.  But that is impossible with a tall thermometer sticking up out of a jar!

The red and blue yarns are 60/2 bombyx silk.  The gold yarns are the still shinier silk tram only slightly heavier than the 60/2 bombyx.

Related Post:
   Dyeing Books: Some Favorites
   Dyeing the Skein
   Dyeing More Reds
   Red Wefts Dyed
   Dyeing Yellows

Back to the Dyepots” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on April 24, 2009. ©2009 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Thursday, April 23, 2009


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

Crackle exchange spring 2009 samples

The samples are in the mail—all ten. Hurrah!

There are eight participants in this exchange, but two of the samples go to Complex Weavers. So ten samples it was.

For the curious, yes, that is a ball of sock yarn in the upper left-hand corner. And yes, I knit socks. Lots of socks. For me.

To see a better photo of the samples, before they were cut up, go to this post.

For the curious, yes, that is a ball of sock yarn in the upper left-hand corner. And yes, I knit socks. Lots of socks. For me.

Knitting socks keeps me sane waiting in doctor’s offices, waiting at the post office, and on long drives (when I am not the driver--grin!). I do like to read, but cannot read in the car, and TV sets on in doctor’s offices also make it impossible for me to read.

Related Post: Crackle Exchange Samples

Crackle Exchange Spring 2009” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on April 23, 2009. ©2009 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

Leigh mentioned in a comment on an earlier post that she has a desktop publishing tool on her computer called Scribus. This is an Open Source piece of software and works on Linux, Mac and Windows. The program can be downloaded from their website.

Also available on their site is part of their manual. The developers there offer a pdf download of the table of contents and chapter one. I did download these and it seems from a brief read-through that this program might be a bit more complex than Microsoft Publisher. This is not necessarily a bad thing. It means you can probably do more with Scribus than with Publisher.

For those who might be a little shy, here is the last paragraph on their web page:

There is an enthusiastic and friendly community around Scribus that assists beginner and pro alike through our mailing list, IRC channel, wiki, contracted support, and the bugtracker.

For a good review of other desktop publishing software, go here. the price range of the program goes from $15 to $111.

For a review of more software, including Scribus and Adobe (neither of which is reviewed in my first link), go to this web site.

Related Posts:
Sketchbooks for Weavers

Software for E-Sketchbooks” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on April 22, 2009. ©2009 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

Laying Season – from Susan Johnson’s “Avalanche Looms.”  I started reading this post because I thought the opening photos of her linen transparency were amazingly beautiful.  The title of the post did nothing for me.  At least at first.  But those photos.  Exquisite weaving. 

I continued to read the post and it is a wonderful read.  It is poignant history and courage.  And the conclusion she reaches in her final paragraph has shown me something about my own weaving and the desire to put all my eggs in one basket and yet the fear of doing just that.

The Slow Movement – from Stacey’s blog “The Loom Room.” This is an interesting post addressing the problem of speeding through life.  Anyone who enjoys it might like to read an old blog post of mine written about two years ago, called Slow Weaving.

I’m not alone, however, in my immersion in slow weaving.  Check out Tim’s pursuit of drawloom weaving on his blog, The Hawthorne Works. See the wedding project that Tien is undertaking on her blog. Look at this post by Susan to see slow weaving as meticulous attention to detail. And Meg is weaving at 160 epi!  That’s perilously close to three times the epi that I regularly weave at.

A Personal Look Back – from Susan’s blog “Thrums.” How many of us, I wonder, can even recall the first thing we wove, let alone still have it, let alone having woven something so wonderfully simple for our first piece?  Susan encourages the rest of us to share our own weaving history.

I probably will not honor Susan’s request.  Not because it isn’t a good request.  But because I am so involved in today and yesterday is so far away.  Perhaps someday when I am feeling a bit nostalgic?

To Read” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on April 20, 2009. ©2009 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Monday, April 20, 2009


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

I have been enjoying working with my E-sketchbook. Earlier I had shown an example of a page using both images and words. Here is an example of what a two-page spread looks like:image

There are no images, only words. The two red quotation marks might be considered design elements. The pages are not complete either in words to be entered or in the design layout. But possibilities for making an attractive and also useful layout are, I hope, clear.

Some of this you may recognize as having been pulled from a blog post. Entered here in the E-sketchbook, that information should be easier to access. It will also be easier to add additional information, ideas, and/or images.

What you see on these two pages are ideas I am using for my next crackle piece. For now I am keeping them in this E-sketchbook because of their applicability to all sorts of future weaving projects. I am close to being ready to start developing ideas specifically in relation to my next project, and those will go into my folder for that project, not here in my sketchbook.


To read more about E-sketchbooks, check out this article: Electronic Sketchbook and Electronic Portfolios.

Another article to check out: How Keeping a Daily Sketchbook Benefits Artists and Designers. This particular article raises a serious question for me. Should I make this into a daily sketchbook? My fear, if I do that, is that this E-sketchbook will take over my life. Is this a realistic fear?

Related Post: Starting a New E-Sketchbook

E-Sketchbook” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on April 20, 2009. ©2009 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Thursday, April 16, 2009


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

The loom is back together. This means that the top of the beater is back on; the front back beam is set back in; and the front breast beam is back in place.

The 15-dent reed is centered in the beater. And the treadles are tied up.

Also, my auto-denter is at the ready.

I started sleying after returning from an eye examination. An eye examination which required not one drop in each eye, but two different drops. Obviously I couldn’t get to work right away.

But I got to work sooner than later simply because I had my trusty auto-denter. I sleyed the right half with no problems. Occasionally, as I double-checked, I found four ends instead of five in a dent. But I never found a missed dent or eight ends instead of four ends in a dent. To be able to do that with my eyes still feeling the impact of those drops is a real tribute to the auto-denter.

But now all this must stop in preparation for the arrival of the grandchild. Oh, and daughter as well……(grin!).

Related Posts:
Sleying the Reed: Managing the Warp Ends
Sleying the Reed (using the auto-denter)

Now to Sley the Reed was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on April 16, 2009. ©2009 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

For a reminder, go here.

Several bouts were twisted.  All were satisfactorily fixed.   Except one.  This was the second bout on the loom.  So it was the View of the Raddle second-to-last bout I got to thread. The black arrow travelling to the right along the warp ends, away from the raddle, is the last of that second bout.  These ends have not yet been theaded.

Half of the warp ends went over the back lease stick and under the front lease stick.  The other half of the warp ends just floated on top.  What to do?

I kept my raddle on the loom just for the purpose of using it to help me thread this bout.  What I did was to go back to the raddle, grab the ends in one 1/4-inch section and pull those ends away from the rest of the bout so that my next threading would be from those ends only. 

As I threaded, I alternated the ends I chose, one floater, one non-floater.  But the floater I inserted through the lease sticks in opposition to the way the non-floaters went in.

When I finished threading that section.  I pulled out the next section and repeated.  And so on.

Not fun. But I think it worked.  At least it all looks nice and neat.  So now I can remove the raddle.

Removing the raddle is very important. But not for the weaving.  I made the raddle by nailing finishing nails to a length of wood I had rounded the edges on and sanded smooth. 

I did a horrible job, in the nailing, that is.  But that does not matter.  What does matter, however, is that 21-month-old grandson is arriving for a short visit on Thursday and that instrument of torture has to be off the loom and hidden away. 

Oh yes, his mother is coming also……….

Related Post:  Raddling

Remember that Disastrous Twisted Bout?” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on April 15, 2009. ©2009 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

I thread my heddles from the right side to the left side.  The shafts on my loom have center posts. What this means is that I need to pull out from the right side the heddles I will need for threading the right half. (The photo below shows the loom from the back.  Viewed from the back I would be threading left to right.)

The easiest way to figure out how many I need to pull out is to get the heddle count from my weaving software (PixeLoom). That gives me the total number of heddles I need on each shaft for the draft I am using.

I then divide the heddles in half for each shaft.

This has always worked fairly well.  Sometimes perfectly.  More often than not, I have been off one or two heddles in at least some of the shafts.  I have always attributed this to errors in counting.

View from Back of Loom This kind of inaccuracy is not a big deal.  I do have center posts on the loom.  They are not posts that go from the top of each shaft to the bottom.  Rather, they are metal pieces that sit at the center top and bottom of each shaft. The two black arrows in the photo point to them.

When I need to move heddles across the center of a shaft, I twist and push on them to release the shafts. When new they were terribly stiff and even caused my thumb to bleed.  But with use, they have loosened up to the point that moving them is just nuisance and slows me down a bit.

Before I even got to the center, I found myself 16 heddles short on one shaft and four on another.  So I moved heddles from the left side to the right side on those shafts.

Then I looked at the other two shafts.  It was immediately clear that I had way too many heddles on the other two shafts.  When i get to the center of the draft, I will be moving those heddles to the left side.

This is NOT inaccurate counting! This is a result of the threading draft.

This is the right side of the threading draft:

4342 (repeat 8x)
4313 (repeat 8x)
4131 (repeat 8x)
3134 (repeat 8x)
2432 (repeat 8x)
2324 (repeat 8x)

This doesn’t include any accidental threads between some of the blocks.

I had happily gotten 196 heddles ready, divided equally among the four shafts. That means slightly fewer than 50 heddles per shaft.  But look at the threading carefully:

Shaft 4—needs 56 heddles
Shaft 3—needs 64 heddles
Shaft 2—needs 40 heddles
Shaft 1—needs 32 heddles

When I have this kind of a weave structure, and especially where the threading on the right side does not mirror the threading on the left side, I need to take that threading draft and actually count the heddles on each shaft. 

Lesson learned.

Related Posts: 
   My Calculator Made a Mistake 
    I Ought Not to be a Weaver
   Getting Ready to Thread
   The Threading Process

Arranging Heddles for Threading” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on April 14, 2009. ©2009 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Monday, April 13, 2009


Posted by Peg in South Carolina


Today is my birthday. When I came to my computer, there was a paper copy of the web page with the camera tripod I asked for. On it was written the note: “if you still want this, please order it.” Hurrah!


Nigel had mentioned in an email a book by Kay Greenlees called Creating Sketchbooks for Embroiderers and Textile Artists. I purchased this book, perhaps six months ago. I skimmed through the whole thing and then started reading it. I stopped about a third of the way through and put it away.

I loved the book. It was beautiful. But how does a weaver create a sketchbook? The notion of drawing rocks or manhole covers, or leaves, or flowers and working from them to a weaving just didn’t seem to work for me as a weaver.

I had been following Nigel’s blog. He is using sketchbooks in the Bradford course. I knew that was part of the Bradford course. But still, though sketching is nice, I still didn’t see any real sense in it for weaving. Maybe for tapestry weaving. But not regular weaving.

And then Nigel mentioned the Greenlees book. So I got the book back out. I began to read it a bit more carefully.

Greenlees says that a sketchbook can be a written journal. In a sense, that is what I keep on the computer. So if I were doing the Bradford course, or something similar, I would have to transcribe the written sketches on the computer into an actual sketchbook. And of course it would include actual weaving drawdowns.


This time I noted that Greenlees discusses what she calls E-sketch books. She doesn’t seem overly enthusiastic, though she admits others are. She discusses pros and cons and suggests things to keep in mind as the artist looks for the most appropriate software for her purposes.

One of her concerns is the ease of mark making. So she is still thinking of an E-sketchbook as a computer equivalent of a literal sketchbook. I am not concerned with mark making or making sketches in a journal. I am interested in collecting ideas, both verbal and visual.

Any mark making I might be interested in doing can be done in Paint Shop Pro and I can bring anything I do there into other software.


I have some journaling software on the computer. I tried it a bit. It is a good way to keep the kind of stuff you would keep in any ordinary Word or Word Perfect document. But it fails miserably as an art journal.

Why? You can’t put objects anywhere you want on the page. You simply cannot design a page. And you can’t look at two pages next to each other.


A number of years ago I did a newsletter for our weaving guild in Atlanta. Always interested in new things, I purchased Microsoft Publisher. Easy to learn. Creates an effective newsletter.

Microsoft Publisher. Why not? You can design pages freely. You can view two pages side-by-side. So I went to work. And here is a page I put together rather quickly, just to see how it might work:Page from weaving design sketch book


The blue and pink lines are simply margin guidelines and do not print out. Also, the light squares around the various pieces of writing do not print out. They are simply guidelines.

And my name at the bottom is for the purpose of this post and is not on the actual page. Also, since this is the first page, only that page can be viewed. But when I work on the inside pages, then I can view the two pages side by side, as if I were looking at the real thing.

And of course, when I have filled a volume (I can add as many pages to this volume as I want), I can always print it out and have it bound. If I want to.

I can’t attach actual samples, actual yarns, actual leaves…….. But otherwise I do believe this offers exactly the flexibility I need to create a sketch book.

I checked the latest version of Publisher. Mine is 2000 and the latest is 2007. But the latest version has no advantages for me over my version to warrant spending the money.


Now what I need to do is to figure out a system for using it. Ideally, putting in something once a day would be great. But I do not have that kind of time. So I am going to have to do it like one day a week or some such thing. Maybe Greenlees has some ideas.

Or I could just keep it open on the computer. Right now that is a bit dangerous for the novelty of it keeps me at it to the point that it becomes a time waster. But the novelty surely will wear off (though the novelty of blogging hasn’t worn off yet……….).

Related Posts:
Playing with Color
PixeLoom, Paint Shop Pro and Gradated Warps
Painting a Mock-up – with Paint or Computer Software
Crackle Jacket: First Rumblings

Sketchbooks for Weavers” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on April 13, 2009. ©2009 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Thursday, April 9, 2009


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

Well, in truth, the cross is twisted.

Raddling has clearly not gone without a problem. When I was inserting the back rod and lease sticks in preparation for raddling, I suspected that I was going to be in trouble. Because the color was so dark, I simply had trouble seeing what was going on with the threads.

The cross is crossed My suspicion was rewarded. When I went to enter the warp bouts into the raddle I learned that of the seven bouts, four of the crosses were twisted.

If you look carefully at what is going on at the top stick, you might be able to see the twist. I am going to have to learn something about focusing this camera when I move in close.

To see a better photo of a twisted cross, go to my earlier post, Twist at Lease Sticks.

The first time I found a twist, I made a dreadful mess of getting it untwisted. I ended up with most of the warp ends going either above both lease sticks or else below them. A few did go over and under as they should.

My hope is that this does not ruin the warp. But I should be able, at the very least, to keep the threads in each of those raddle ends together when I thread. And it is a short warp.

The rest of the bouts I untwisted just fine. Actually, what I ended up doing was removing all the remaining bouts from the lease sticks and the back rod. Then I worked with one bout at a time. This way I was not having to constantly remove and replace bouts.

Related Post: Another Raddling Tip

The Cross is Crossed” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on April 9, 2009. ©2009 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

I have been very impressed with the scarves of a new weaver. Her name is Artemis. She is a jewelry designer who lives in London. Now she has taken up weaving and is recording those adventures in her blog, Tales of a jUnkaholic.

Go here to see a fascinating post with pictures of her little loom.

Take a look at her latest scarf here. This is scarf number six. Do take a look at her other scarves.

In scarf six, I am intrigued both by her treadling and by her use of color. The first thing than captured my attention was the various bands of pure white where she has used white weft against the white warp. She has several areas where three bands of white are grouped together, but none in the same way. And then there is one band of white.

The second thing that intrigued me was her treadling. The basic treadling is plain weave, but then she has occasional bands of a twill treadling. But not always the same treadling. And the bands are not always the same size.

The amazing thing is that, to my eyes, her approach works.

end of warp sampling 2008 So I took a look at the sampling I had done at the end of the last warp (and which is still hanging on my door). These are all the same treadlings. What is different is how I used color in the treadlings.

Looking at the gold and blue part on the left, you can see that colors are used to create blocks. Looking at the blue and red part on the right, you can see that color is used to create motifs. I had thought a bit about the possibility of combining motifs and blocks, but at the time it just seemed too complicated. I would need to sample.

And that is what I am getting ready to do. Right now I am getting ready to sample for creating motifs. I am happy about that, but who knows where I will be when I am done with that? Perhaps trying to combine the two approaches. Perhaps trying something else entirely. Wherever this upcoming scarf/sampler leads me.

Related Post: Crackle Shawl—The Motifs

Designing and a New Weaver” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on April 8, 2009. ©2009 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

My original plan for winding this warp was to wind six bouts with 56 ends each and one bout with 54 ends.  This would give me the right number of ends for the warp.

As I was winding these bouts I realized that this would mean the bout with 54 ends would finish, not back at the beginning (the threading end of the bout) but at the other end, the beaming end.  I would have to cut those ends there.  That would mean I would have two loose ends instead of a loop to insert the rod into.

One of the advantages of beaming a warp on B2F is that you insert the back rod through loops instead of tying onto the back rod.  Inserting the rod into loops is easier and faster.  And inserting the rod into loops almost guarantees that you will begin beaming on with warp ends that are all equal lengths. 

This means that winding the bouts starts at the threading end.  This means that the two loose ends (one at the beginning of the bout and one at the end) will be at the threading end.  The beaming end will consist of nothing but loops.


Unless you have an odd number of warp ends instead of an even number. Then you end up winding at the beaming end.  Result?  A loose end insteae of a loop.

In my experience, the average (whatever average means!) will usually consist of an even number of ends.  No problem.  But occasionally I find a threading that has an odd number of ends.  Winding a bout with an odd number of ends means that the winding will end, not back at the beginning, but at the other end, the end with the loops where the rod will be inserted.

One easy solution is to allow extra length in cutting that end off so that that particular end can be tied to the beam.

Another solution is to wind one extra end so that you end at the beginning.  After beaming and threading, you can discard the extra end by letting it  drop at the back.  It also means occasionally cutting it shorter as the weaving progresses so that it doesn’t get trapped in the rest of the warp.


Winding two ends at a time either using a paddle or a finger to seaparate the warp ends, guarantees an even number of warps.  But you can still finish with the last of the warp ends at the wrong end.  This is the case with my warp.  Here is what I have decided to do.

When I get to the point where I have two ends left, I will cut off one end at the beginning.  The other end I will wind around the entire board, returning to the beginning, giving me two ends.  This way I will have nothing but loops at the beaming end.

Here, by the way, is what I said in a post written in March a year ago:

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 have been known to change my mind on things…….

Related Post:  Changing My Mind at the Warping Board

Winding Bouts for Back-to-Front Warping” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on April 7, 2009. ©2009 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Monday, April 6, 2009


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

I am doing something else different. I have always chained my warps. But the 60/2 silk warps frequently presented me with a problem in unchaining. Indeed, there were times when I thought I would have to make the whole warp shorter because in the unchaining a warp bout had gotten so knotted.

Warp Bout Wound on Bobbin_thumb[2] So now, instead of chaining the individual bouts, I am winding them onto bobbins. The first one was a bit of a mess as I didn’t know exactly what I was doing, but the succeeding ones improved as I began to get the hang of spiraling the warp back and forth between the ends of the bobbin.

The choke ties unfortunately interfere with the neatness of the wrapping. I wonder if I might dare not use the choke ties? I think not.

The warp is short (four yards), so a bout fits nicely on a regular weaving shuttle bobbin. I don’t think I could go over five yards, however, or maybe six with a choke tie close to the beginning of the bout.

This process reminds me of the kite stick method. Peggy Osterkamp discusses this in Chapter Eight of her first volume called Winding a Warp and Using a Paddle. But instead of spiraling the yarn up and down the kite stick as I have done with the bobbin, she uses a method similar to that used in winding a niddy noddy. I have never gotten the hang of winding a niddy noddy. So I am taking for truth her statement that “you can wind it up any which way that keeps the warp under tension.”

She also suggests things you can use to warp the warp around: canvas stretchers and packing sticks, for example. These would be useful for longer, fatter, bouts, but I don’t think I would like to use them for 60/2 silk.

For the 60/2 silk I could use six-inch bobbins instead of four-inch bobbins. I could use the plastic bobbins that are used in sectional warping. The size of the latter would probably make winding and spiraling a bit awkward. For my particular silk warps, 6” bobbins sound more appropriate.

Related Post: Warping Paddle

Chaining the Warp--Not” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on April 6, 2009. ©2009 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Friday, April 3, 2009


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

My original intention had been to wind three bouts with 98 ends and one bout with 96 ends.  That would give me the total number of ends I need for the scarf/sample warp, sett at 60 epi. 

This would give me bouts more than one inch wide.  Actually, more than one-and-a-half inches wide.

Memory niggled at me.  I had read that fine warps should be wound in one-inch bouts AT THE MOST.  I don’t remember where I read this but from my own experience, I knew this was reasonable though tiresome to do.

Yes, I am lazy.  I am just as eager as the next person to take shortcuts.  But this weaving is just too important to me to let that laziness control me.  So I am making bouts slightly less than an inch wide.  I am winding six bouts with 56 ends and one bout with 54 ends.  Yes, this is tiresome.

Related Post: Warping Work Station with Coffee

Winding the Silk Warp” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on April 3, 2009. ©2009 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Thursday, April 2, 2009


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

A few months ago I found myself engaged in an email conversation with a composer who is now learning how to weave. This started me thinking about the process of creating .

I have begun to think in terms of two ways of bringing an idea into form.


One way is to collect a lot of different ideas. Ideas that may well have very little if any relationship to each other. This seems to be my way.

I collect ideas that come to me in the middle of the night. Ideas that come to me in the middle of a concert, ideas that have nothing to do with the music I am hearing. Ideas that come to me when a painting moves me. Ideas that come to me when I am planting a tree or a flower.

Similarly, I collect pictures that I like. I put pictures from magazines and catalogs that appeal to me in a large sketch book, sometimes making comments about what I found appealing. I make notes of pictures from books I own that I like. I collect images from the internet and keep them in folders in My Pictures.

What I then have is an array of possibilities. As I begin putting a warp on the loom, and work on the finishing of the warp just removed, I sometimes start looking at this array of possibilities. More often than not, I do not. In the process of the weaving of the warp I have just removed to finish, I have discovered the next project.


Another way is to allow oneself to be seized in the moment by the idea that comes. To analyze it, research it, make notes about it, collect information, make sketches, and to continue this process until a veritable folder or notebook is created that can be filed away, to be pulled out at a later date. The notebook then contains enough material to begin the detailed work of creating the intended object. This is not my way.

Or is it?

By the time I have the warp of my current project woven, I already have a small folder with both information and ideas about my next project. I will have done research and made some tentative decisions about it. So the weaving I am in the process of doing is at the same time my inspiration for my next weaving. It contains the ideas for my next weaving.


Why, then, keep collecting all these nuggets that I rarely look at? Well, I do look at them, but primarily for color ideas. But other idea nuggets get collected as well. Some of those nuggets get stuck into my brain and have an impact on what it is about my current weaving that is going to inspire my next weaving.

One of these nuggets I have is about double-weave, for example. Double-weave and crackle. One side crackle, the other side plain weave or twill. Both sides crackle, reversible. Both sides crackle, different colors on each side. Both sides crackle, but different block designs. Whether or not to stitch the layers. Interchanging the layers. Yes, thoughts about this grow increasingly intense. The point when it becomes more painful not to take up this particular gauntlet than to take it up is the point when I will begin serious work.


Now for the award. This is an award that Leigh has gifted me with and I am very honored indeed. For this is an award having nothing to do with weaving but with creating community:

"This blog invests and believes in the PROXIMITY-nearness in space, time and relationships. These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement! Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers!

I am passing it on to some other community-creating weavers:

Nigel, Kaz, Cally, Lynette, Laura, Janet

Related Post:
Multi-Pocket Folders
Organizing Projects: Part One
Why I Weave as I Do
Weaving as Exploration

Ways of Creating and an Award” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on April 2, 2009. ©2009 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

I haven’t trimmed the fringes yet………

Handspun shawl off loom

Peg Wearing Shawl

I soaked the shawl in hot soapy water for almost two hours.  I changed the water once and kneaded the fabric from time to time until my hands came out.  Then I hung it to dry.

When the fabric was dry I looked at it. It certainly had not fulled and definitely needed a trip in the washing machine.  It certainly looked nothing like the earlier sample I had woven of commercial wool.  Go here to see that sample.

But then I looked again. I felt the fabric.  Yes, the weave was still open, but the fabric was no longer fragile.  And canvas weave is a lace structure.  This is lace!

My intention had not been to weave lace.  My intention had been to create a fabric with floats in both weft and warp to show off the handspun.  And that is what had happened in my earlier trial.  But lace I wove and lace it shall be. Far be it from me to turn it into something it does not want to be.

I then pressed it with lots of steam.  My first round of pressing is always rather gentle.  And then I realize that pressing hard does not damage the cloth at all. Instead, pressing smoothes it out and creates a very thin, draping cloth.  So after that initial round, I did two more rounds pressing hard on the iron with both hands.

My iron is a Rowenta steam generator, so I get lots of steam before I have to add water.   It’s old but still works fine, though I do like some things about the new version.  But I shall wait till this breaks first.

Even though the fringes still needed to be trimmed, I just had to try it on.  It is light, airy, and warm and long enough so that I can swoop one end around my should to the back—the perfect wrap for late fall and mild winter days in the South.


Width: at reed: 27.5”; off loom and after washing:  20.5”.   This is 3.5” narrower than I had planned the finished shawl to be.

Length: on loom: 97.5”;  off loom and after washing: 79”.  This is 7” longer than I had originally planned.


For my birthday I am thinking of asking for a tripod.  I have a monopod which works pretty well but sometimes even with that I am shaky.  And taking a clear picture with one hand is impossible!  You should see all the attempts I culled out.

Related Post:   Handspun Shawl off the Loom

Handspun Shawl Done…Almost” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on April 1, 2009. ©2009 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina