Saturday, December 18, 2010


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

My warp still sits on the loom, waiting patiently for me to find the time(?) to finish the sleying, tying on, and in general just getting it ready to be woven.  I have lost interest in it. 

It has been hard for me finally to say this:  I have lost interest in it. 

I have not, on the other hand, lost interest in weaving.  But I no longer have the kind of energy that I originally brought to this particular warp.  The tremendous energy I have been bringing to weaving these past few years, and which has culminated in this particiular warp, has been diverted.  To music.  To singing.  To working on the development of my voice.  And this requires more physical and mental energy, more purely physical strength, than weaving has ever required.  The work is exhausting.  The result?  I simply have neither the physical nor the mental energy left that this warp demands.

To give me the energy that singing demands, I have upped my levels of aerobic exercise and of strength-building exercise.  I sleep like a baby!

So I have been tempted to just cut the warp off and throw it away.   Get it out of the house.  Out of my sight.  But I cannot seem to be able to do that either. Doing that would break my heart. 

Pulling My Head out of the Sand” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on December 18, 2010. ©2010 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

Before I started winding bobbins I decided I needed to do just a bit more testing of this warp.  I wove two blocks.  Whoops.

I learned that I cannot do the kind of treadling with six blocks that I had intended. When I get to using treadles five and six as the pattern treadles, I cannot use the same pattern of treadles for the binders that I used on the first four pattern treadles. What I will do is keep the original treadling for the first four blocks and when I start blocks five and six, figure out which treadles will work as the binder treadles.
Why didn’t this show up in the software?  Probably I didn’t know what I was looking for.

There are, yes there are, threading errors!  I fussed and fumed for a bit.  Well, actually, for quite a bit.  Then I began to wonder if there was a way I could correct these errors by either removing heddles or adding repair heddles, depending on what I found when I started investigating.
These threading problems all occur when, and only when, I change blocks.  This means that I do not quite understand the process of changing blocks in terms of the threading.  It also means that when I check the drawdown for errors in the future on this kind of crackle, I need to watch especially carefully those places between blocks.

I was glad there were only three!
1. In the case of the first error, the last thread of one block was not on the correct shaft.  I added a repair heddle to that shaft, removed the errant warp end and rethreaded it into the repair heddle, sleyed it and pinned it to the woven fabric.
2. The second error involved simply removing a heddle and removing the warp end.  That solution will cause me to have to resley everything from there to the right side of the loom.  And I will have to tie on the whole warp. Still, that is not as bad as rethreading!
3. And the third error, like the first, involved adding a repair heddle to another shaft, remove the warp end from the incorrect heddle and thread it through the correct one.
Before I made these corrections, by the way, I checked VERY CAREFULLY the drawdownSmile
So now I can cut off a small bit of warp on the left side of the loom and a larger bit on the right side and prepare for some re-sleying.  Again.

Related Posts:  

Threading Problems Yet Again” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on October 26, 2010. ©2010 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Posted by Peg in South Carolina


I have treadled the blocks in twill order and in that case, adding the two blocks at the end is really a distraction to any pattern.  That does not mean that I will not use them.  It does mean that I will have to plan what blocks I treadle when, focusing as well on the color interactions that will occur.

To complicate matters still further I have included an Italian manner of treadling this crackle.  It works beautifully with standard 4-shaft crackle.  This, however, is not standard 4-shaft crackle, but rather an innovative threading of crackle explained by Zielinski.  I really like this because it creates a more complex surface effect.  But would Italian treadling work here?


Here I have used blue for the pattern wefts.  The only real difference between the two treadlings is that the first treadling has two (different) binder threads between each shot of pattern weft.  But this second treadling has only one.  the result, in this second treadling, is a greater emphasis on the pattern.  And again, when treadled in twill order, the last two treadles are a bit of a distraction to any pattern.

So, do I want the weft pattern strongly emphasized or not?  Actually it also seems that in this second one, the warp emphasis blocks are also stronger.  So, do I want those patterns emphasized or not?
Why not do both?  I plan, in the weaving, to move from primarily dull and dark colors to brighter colors, and perhaps I could move in a parallel manner with the way the binders are treadled.  We shall see.  I am probably getting far too complicated for my own good.

Still, I think I am ready to try to see if I can substitute the actual colors I plan on using for these rather strident colors and see what happens.  I suspect I will not have the patience, but I will try.  Or perhaps that is a foolish waste of time.  After all, these colors that look so strident in the software are the colors are used in the sampling and there is certainly no stridency there.  Perhaps it is time I shed my fears and get back to the loom.
But first I have to wind bobbins………………

Four Blocks and Six Blocks” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on October 20, 2010. ©2010 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Monday, October 18, 2010


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

In the sample weaving that I did at the beginning of the warp, I had tried different treadlings.  The one I saw as having the most possibilities was the last treadling.  Before I start working in earnest on the warp, I decided to work with the software.  And here is the result as displayed in a page from my e-sketchbook.


The image at the top of the page is about half the warp, reduced so as to give a sense of the fabric.

The second image is a blown-up detail to give a sense of what is actually going on.  The red wefts are the pattern wefts and they are twice as large as the other wefts, the orange and the blue, which are the binding wefts. 

The tieup and treadling are to the left.  And finally a photo of the actual fabric.

I used a black warp in the software, but I used the same colors in the weft as I did in the sampling. 

How much more garish the drawdown appears than the actual fabric.  The black warp plays into the garishness, but even so……….   It is really difficult, though probably not impossible, to get the kind of subtlety the fabric displays in the software.  The most obvious problem here is that the impact of the smaller binding wefts is far greater in the fabric than it would appear in the computer drawdown. That is why I would never trust choice of colors to the software.  Only actual sampling will work there.

I realize now that this used only 4 of the possible 6 treadles that I have available in the tieup. Looking at the tieup on the reproduced page will reveal that. So the next thing to do is to create a version with all 6 treadles next.

Related Post:  E-Sketchbook

Playing with the Software” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on October 18, 2010. ©2010 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

Ready to weave again This has been really really slow going.  My heart has not been in it.  My juices have not been flowing.  There has been no eagerness.

But now all that is beginning to change just a bit.  I feel as though deep inside there is a spring that is beginning to come alive and reveal a bit of its bubbling water.

It is true.  My heart is in singing.  Nearly my entire heart.  I was beginning to think that there was no room there for weaving.  But I think that maybe there is.  The real trick will be to pace my energies.

Related Posts: 
Lashing on to the Loom: Part One
Test Weaving the Warp

Ready to Weave Once Again” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on October 13, 2010. ©2010 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Wednesday, October 6, 2010


Posted by Peg in South Carolina 

Trial sample modelled

A quick and dirty shot reflected in the mirror. 

I am much happier with this sampling than I was when it was on the loom.  Washing in very hot soapy water followed by hard pressing on a wooden board has resulted in a fabric that is delicate and drapes beautifully.  I now believe it will be very worthwhile to take my time to get the color decisions and the weaving right.

Related Post: Crackle Threading Issues Emerge

Initial Trial Washed and Pressed” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on October 6, 2010. ©2010 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Thursday, September 30, 2010


Posted by Peg in South Carolina 

Cone crooked wound

Well, it’s not the cone that is crooked;  it’s the winding. 

When I got to this point, I could no longer turn the handle.  Something was jammed.  I am not a mechanic.  Still, I took the cone off the winder, turned the winder upside down in my hand.  I looked through the tiny opening and it seemed to unmechanical Peg that there were bits of threads caught in the gear mechanism.  What to do?

Could I take it apart to get at the gears?  I saw 4 screws on the bottom. I removed them and proceeded to pull the bottom of the winder away from the top.  But it wouldn’t come apart.  Was there something else I could do? 

I’d had this (relatively) inexpensive winder for close to 10 years.  I knew I wouldn’t feel badly about buying a new one.  But I was still determined to try to get it back into working order.

I could not find another way to separate them into the two pieces.  But, there was enough of an opening that I could clearly see the threads caught in the gears, but not enough of an opening for even one finger to slip through.

I tried a long beading tweezers, but even that was too wide.  So I took a crochet hook and poked around until a thread came to where I could grab it either with my fingers or tweezers.  Then I pulled it out of the gear.  I did this any number of times, pulling out not only threads but bits of dust ball sort of things.  Finally, the gear mechanism seemed to be clean of any garbage.

I put a fresh cone on, attached the thread, took the handle in my fingers and turned.  It turned freely.  It wound out correctly.  I am so proud of myself!

Crooked Cone” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on September 30, 2010. ©2010 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Posted by Peg in South Carolina 

Today I cut off the right side of the initial weaving. Then I tied the previously sleyed ends of the right side in bow knots so that they would not slip through the reed as I sleyed the left half.  So far so good.

Then I began sleying the left side.  I hadn’t gotten very far when I ran into a clump of empty heddles on shaft 2.  Oh dear. I don’t know how I managed to do that!  But at least I know why I had to add all those heddles on shaft 2 at the end of the threading.

But what to do now?  Do I rethread yet again?  I decided that there was no way I was going to do that.  I decided to leave those empty 8 heddles on.  Because of where they are in relation to the threading, i don’t think they will cause a problem when I weave.  And if they do………….off with their heads!  The monetary cost of 8 heddles is hardly worth all that re-threading!

Related Post:  Adding Heddles – Take Two

Why I Ran out of Heddles” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on September 22, 2010. ©2010 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

I am done threading, but the warp didn’t let me off easily.  When I got to the last block, I discovered I needed 8 more heddles on shaft 2.  Huh?  I didn’t need them when I originally threaded this side?  Obviously, I have done some things differently. Did I make other mistakes in my first threading?  Or did I make mistakes this time?  It will be interesting to see what happens when I start weaving.

Also, irony of ironies, the first time I threaded this project, I discovered at the end of the threading that I had to add more heddles. You can read about this at my June 14th post, “Adding Heddles

Adding heddles to a loom is not all that hard.  When the loom is empty.  A warp on the loom makes it, at least for this loom, a much harder job. 
Heddlese at side of loomIn the photo at the left, I have tried to give an idea of how tight things are at the shafts on the left side of the loom. It’s not that there are heddles right up against the left side that is the problem.  The problem is the tiny space between the left side of the shafts themselves and the side of the upright.
Look at the top flat metal runner that slides through the tops of the heddles.  You can see that it ends on the left by slipping through a hole in the vertical piece connect the top and bottom of the shaft.  Just between that vertical piece and the loom upright, barely visible is the gray metal rod that gets clicked into the hole at the end of the vertical piece.  There is barely any room for my fingers to work!

I definitely was not going to remove heddles from an overloaded shaft and move them to shaft 2. I did not want to have to deal with more than one shaft.

So I pulled 8 heddles off a string of heddles that I had not used up earlier.  I pulled them onto two knitting needles, one needle inserted through the tops of the heddles, the others through the bottoms. That is what I normally do when I add heddles.  The knitting needles keeps them neatly in order.

But the space here is much too cramped for the knitting needles.  So I then cut another string and poked the string through the bottom and top of the heddles and tied the ends together in a bowknot.  Simple. 
Then came the hard part:  getting them on the shaft.

That involved getting the runners that the heddles slide onto unlocked from the top and bottom of the shaft and then pulled out of their slots.  A screwdriver for leverage helped quite a bit.  But putting on 8 heddles at a blow in a tiny space with little room for maneuvering was not easy.  One at a time would have been easier.  But I did get them on.  The runners are back in the slots but I could only lock the top one.  I doubt that the bottom will present a problem.

And I am done threading!

Adding Heddles - Take Two” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on September 3, 2010. ©2010 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


Posted by Peg in South Carolina
I got a new computer a month ago and also a great big LED screen.  The screen is wonderful, except that I was getting a neck ache because I was lifting up my head so I could read the screen through the lower part of my bifocal glasses.  I knew that the next time I went to the eye doctor, I would have to talk to him about what to do.

But then I got an idea.  What if I got a cheap pair of plastic frames and had the whole lens be the prescription for the reading part of my bifocals?  I went to the store.  And yes, though she was not happy about not having a prescription from the doctor specifically for that.  I practically had to swear in blood that I would not complain if they did not work.

Three days later, I had my glasses.  I can read the computer beautifully with no neck strain.

I can also thread heddles much more easily.  That was a surprise.  That means that sleying the reed will be easier with these glasses as well.

But the biggest surprise was how well I could see all around.  Things are a tiny bit wonky when I look into the distance but still quite clear; so just to get up to go the bathroom or to get something, no need to change glasses.  I am shocked because I am so very near-sighted.  Or at least, I thought I was.  Without glasses, I am hard put to even find the chart in the eye doctor’s office with out my glasses on, let alone try to read any of the letters.
I have been told that I have extremely bad astigmatism.  I wonder if, in reality, I am not particularly near-sighted, just stuck with astigmatism!  I will have to ask.

New Glasses for Computer, I Mean, for Weaving” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on September 3, 2010. ©2010 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Friday, September 3, 2010


Posted by Peg in South Carolina


Chuck held warp ends taut and pressed treadles.  I got the lease sticks in. 
You can tell from the tautness and neatness of the threads, those that are still attached to the woven cloth.  And it is clear that these are not tabby sheds.  As I said, you cannot get tabby on this threading.

Rethreading prep from back

The messier side is where the warp ends had been disconnected at the fell and Chuck was holding them.  Though I don’t have perfect tabbies, these sheds, combined with the raddle divisions, should give me a good enough way to make choices when I start threading.
My next step was to pull all those ends out of their heddles. When I did this, I discovered that there were some ends that had not been caught in the lease sticks at all. I was able to use my raddle (still sitting on the back beam) to determine where those ends were to be inserted into the lease sticks.


So I have begun the threading.  Not quite halfway through.  It is harder going than when I did it originally.  Normally when I thread, I remove the back beam and the cloth beam.  Doing this allows me to get closer to the heddles.  Since, however, the right half of the warp is still attached to the cloth beam, I had to leave both beams in place.  This means some awkward leaning over to reach the heddles.  Not easy on the back.

Sometimes I stand.  Sometimes I sit.  Neither way is perfect but at least it changes my body position.

When I inserted the lease sticks, I did not choose the best sheds.  Not realizing it, I had chosen sheds that always left 3-4 warp ends next to each other either going under or going over the lease sticks.  I am hoping that this will not create a problem when I start to weave.  I worry about sheds not clearing properly.  Only time will give me the answer to this one!

Re-Threading” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on September 3, 2010. ©2010 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Thursday, August 26, 2010


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

I just found the following tidbit on a sewing blog.  I couldn’t resist making the connection to weaving and wrecking thousands upon thousands of yards of yarn (not to mention, fabric).

To paraphrase Kenneth King (big shot teacher), if you don't wreck thousands of yards of fabric, you're not really learning to
sew. That makes me feel good and terrible, all at the same time. I mean, hello, I'm well on my way to meeting that goal :-).
And yet, really, who has that much fortitude?

From a post called Faith-Based Education by K-Line.

Faith and Weaving” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on August 26, 2010. ©2010 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


Posted by Peg in South Carolina


I carefully checked the threading errors in the draft itself against the actual threading on the loom.  I discovered that there are no problems at all on the right side.  The major threading error in the draft I must have caught while I was threading, because the threading at that point is absolutely correct.    The other possible errors on the right side were not errors at all, at least visually.

In short, the threading errors begin on the left side, a little left of center.  I pinpointed where I needed to start the re-threading, both on the warp itself and on the the draft.  With great confidence, I then cut off the left side close to the fell.  I should always worry when I do things with great confidence.  For that led to


I no longer had the lease sticks in.  I no longer had a cross.  Once a pulled the threads out of the heddles I would have to way to tell what order to pick up the threads for threading in the heddles.


1. I still had the raddle on the back beam.  There are 15 ends in each raddle section.  That represents 1/4-inch worth of warp ends.  So I could use the raddle to select my threads from.  How would the weaving go?  Definitely better than having no order.  Otherwise, I don’t know.  I would worry about crossed ends, so at least for awhile I would  always be checking the back of the loom each time I moved the warp forward.

2. I have a husband who I think could hold the ends taut and step on the appropriate treadle.  Standing at the back of the loom, I could then insert the warp sticks into the sheds.  The sheds would not be perfect tabbies, as that is impossible on this kind of warp.  And it will not be easy to clear the sheds in order to put in the lease sticks.  But I think it is worth a try.  So tonight I will put him to use. 


1. I almost always leave the lease sticks in when I weave.  Maybe 3 times in my weaving life have I removed them.  Why did this have to be one of them?!?

2. Having removed the lease sticks, why didn’t I think to put them in before I cut off the warp?

Rethreading prep

Re-threading: Good News and Bad News” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on August 24, 2010. ©2010 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

And it does not look promising.  At this point, just looking at

1. The threading – noting the blocks and finding some definite problems and some possible ones

2. The fabric as it appears on the computer screen – finding definite problems

Here is a view of part of the fabric as it appears, treadled in the Italian manner.  This is the treadling I am strongly favoring right now:


How many threading errors can you find?  Two of them really stand out, but there are others.  Why, why, why did I not do this before I even started to thread?  Truly, I am not stupid!  I guess I simply did not realize just how well the software could display the smallest of errors if I used it well.

And here is a clear threading error illustrated in the threading—actually a small cluster of threading errors covering 12 ends:


If you can’t find it in the threading, look at the drawdown and the error is clearly visible.  This, by the way, is on the RIGHT side of the warp, where I did not think there were any errors.  I had seen errors only on the left side…………..

Of course, once I am done with this, I will have to check all this against the actual fabric and threading.  It is possible that

1. I corrected some of the threadings as I did the threading

2. That I simply did not see some of the threading errors in the woven cloth. Alerted, I will now probably see them.

It seems likely at this point (not yet finished with the analysis) that I am going to rethread the whole thing. 

Well, I am not done yet.  And tomorrow we leave for a weekend in Charlotte.  That will get me away from all of thlis and I will return ready to tackle anything that needs to be tackled.  Or, at that is the hope!

Related Post:  Process versus Product

Checking the Threading in the Software” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on August 19, 2010. ©2010 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

Test weaving left side


I am very pleased with how the warp is handling during this test weaving.  I still have some problems with clean sheds.  The problem is clearly visible in the mirror I use and it is easiily resolved by simply strumming with my hand the top part of the warp.  Since I am sampling, I am fairly easily prone to treadling errors, but once I settle on the treadling structure, that problem should begin to clear itself up.

I am also having problems with the selvedges.  The selvedges themselves are fine.  The problem is that weft threads tend to get caught there and form loops—sometimes long loops.  I am using 3 shuttles and that is a normal problem.  I have not been particularly concerned with it during the test weave, but when I start the real stuff, I will have to become concerned.

Related to that problem is little loops of weft sometimes appearing somewhere across the warp.  They are probably also on the underside.  I should be able to resolve that by tightening the tension just a bit on my end feed shuttles.

I am ready to start sampling with the yarns I dyed for this project. No more stash yarns!  I have a good idea of what I want to do, but I will have to test it.  I was getting so excited.

Yes, the tense of the verb is correct – “I WAS getting so excited.”


I have been watching a nasty line develop along the length of the warp in one spot on the left side.  The detail below shows it quite distinctly.

Test weaving and threading error

I finally checked it out.  As I suspected, a threading error.


I figured that I could insert the 4 necessary repair heddles on the correct shafts.  I could lengthen the 4 yarns by tying on more length to each of them.  Then, after threading and sleying, I could put a pin in the weaving and wind the yarns around the pin to tension them.  Or I could just weight them off the front of the loom.

Doing this was going to be a bear.  I decided to wait until this evening when my husband was home.  That way he could hold each shaft up for me while I attached the repair heddles.



There is at least one more similar threading error on the left side.  So I really think re-threading the left side is in order.  Also, the sett 0f 60 epi means that the heddles are pretty close together and in the problem area I would have 4 empty heddles taking up the same amount of space that the 4 repair heddles would take up.  This, it seems to me, could affect the cleanness of the sheds.  Sigh

So, right how this is my plan.

Cut off the warp at the fell, but only on the left side, beginning with the first threading error.  To keep the warp rod level and steady, I will insert a piece of wood for it to rest on. I will pool the ends out of the reed and out of the heddles and re-thread that side.  First, of course, I have to find in my threading draft where that starts. 

I will re-thread, praying that I make no new and surprising threading errors.  Resley.  Then cut the rest of the warp off at the fell, remove the weaving and tie on the warp again.

Hoping all that goes uneventfully, I will then  test-weave one more sample with stash yarns;  then start using the real yarns………..


Am I getting discouraged?  Well, yes.  At least at times I feel discouraged.  But really, a better word to describe my feelings right now is a kind of calmness.  Actually almost a sense of numbness.  I no longer care about getting this finished, at least in any particular time frame.  I just kind of feel like I am in some kind of time warp (pun?) where the piece is in control.   It is going to be ready to weaving only when it  is ready.

Related Posts: 
Test Weaving the Warp
Finished Sleying? Well, No

Crackle Threading Issues Emerge” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on August 14, 2010. ©2010 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Saturday, August 14, 2010


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

The magic phrase?  Enable 3rd-party cookies.  As soon as I did that and restarted Firefox, the issue was solved.

Blogger Sign-in Solved” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on August 14, 2010. ©2010 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

I cannot leave comments on Blogger blogs. I can publish blog posts. But I can edit my own published blog posts only through Blogger’s dashboard.  The dashboard always has me signed in but my blog always has me signed out.

I use Firefox for my internet browser.  This started about a week ago.  I discovered that there are no problems with Internet Explorer.  So it is clearly a Firefox problem.  I have not changed any settings.  And I double-checked them to make sure they were OK.  I have used Blogger Help to see if there is anything else, and there doesn’t seem to be.

My greatest frustration is not being able to leave comments.

Suggestions anyone?

Blogger Problems” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on August 11, 2010. ©2010 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

I continued weaving on the beginning of the warp. I wasn’t exactly falling over my feet crazy in love with the results.  Here is what I wove:
1. Alternating shafts 1 and 2, using blue 60/2 silk for pattern weft and 120/2 orange for tabby weft.
2. Alternating shafts 3 and 4, with some colors.
3. Treadling 1 shaft after another, alternating 60/2 green with 60/2 blue.
I tried to tell myself I kind of liked what was happening.  It would improve once I started using the intended colors.


What on earth was I thinking?  This threading is NOT for a traditional 4-shaft crackle (though threaded on 8 shafts). It is for and 8-crackle-blocks on 4 shafts structure.  THERE ARE NO TABBIES POSSIBLE!!!!

I had tied up the treadles for traditional 4-shaft crackle:

1,2; 2,3; 3,4; 1,4;  and tabbies 1,3 and 2,4

But I had threaded for 8 crackle blocks on 4 shafts (spreading them out to 8 shafts.).

Won’t work.

I think this blog needs a category for “senior moments”, though this was certainly longer than a moment……….

What Was I Thinking?” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on August 10, 2010. ©2010 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Thursday, August 5, 2010


Posted by Peg in South Carolina 

“When the outcome drives the process we will only ever go to

where we've already been. If process drives outcome we may

not know where we’re going, but we will know we want to be



I found this quote, credited to The Incomplete Manifesto of Bruce Mau on a recent post in the blog, “From the Studio of”

I don’t think I have ever found a statement that so completely represents my approach to much of what I weave.

Process versus Product” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on August 5, 2010. ©2010 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

Test weaving the warp

I finally got the warp lashed on successfully.  The next step was to treadle tabbies to discover problems.  And there was a problem.


A bad spot where warp ends were crossed at the reed.  It took me three attempts before I finally got it right.  I always have problems trying to figure out how to fix this kind of a problem.  It always involves experimenting.  But I’m much calmer about it that I was.  Especially when it occurs in only one place.


The orange you see consists of shots of tabbies in some 60/2 silk I had leftover from another project.  Throwing these involved dealing with sheds that did not want to clear big time.  Each time I treadled I had to clear the sheds manually before I threw the shuttle. I used a long pickup stick and my hands to clear the sheds.  Gradually there were fewer and fewer threads blocking the sheds.


I have a cosmetics mirror standing on a table next to the loom, positioned so that I can see through the sheds from one end to the other. I used to use two mirrors, one on each side of the loom.  I broke one of the mirrors.  And now I’m finding that one mirror is sufficient.


When things started settling down a bit, I started weaving crackle.  It’s not very visible here but I was throwing shots of blue 60/2 silk pattern weft alternating with shots of orange 120/2 silk for the tabby wefts.  Again, lots of clearing of sheds.  But slowly in got to the point where strumming the top of warp would clear the sheds and I would need need only a few ends to clear.

I still have two more sheds to work on till they start clearing more easily.

It is typical for my silk warps to take a bit of weaving before the clearing of sheds really settles out.  Maybe five or six inches.  In any case, right now I am going to use this test weaving, so to speak, for trying out part of the treadling design I have worked out, and trying different ways of using colors in the treadling.  I will continue to use leftover yarn, partly because I still have to wind the bobbins for this warp.  But also, I think it will be kind of fun to try using wildly different and unplanned colors just to see what happens.

I had been worried about how such a wide warp would handle in 60/2 silk.  Up till now I have only woven narrow things, generally 10” to 12” wide.  I am pleased that this warp is behaving so very well.  It is nice to be weaving again!

Test Weaving the Warp” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on August 4, 2010. ©2010 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Monday, August 2, 2010


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

My new computer arrived last Monday.  It took three hours for him to set it up and move files and folders (but not programs).  During that time I worked on tying my warp onto the front beam.  My loom is in the next room, so I could easily respond to questions.  And the tying-on process is an interruptible process.

First I tied each of the one-inch bouts with overhand knots.  Then I cut off a LONG length of slippery cord and used that to lash the war; on to the front rod.  I then decided to tie up the treadles.  Finally, I realized I had not removed the lease sticks from behind the heddles.  Normally by this time I would have moved them from that position to the back of the loom where I would sit them in my Angel Wings from Purrington.  But I had not done that. 

Big mistake.

So I removed the lease sticks entirely.  The raddle was still on the loom.  That would reduce any trouble I might have in locating warp ends should one decide to up and break.  But what I had not counted on was…………..all the various loose ends at the back of the warp!

I went to the front to pull on them.  Didn’t help.  All I could do was pull those ends that were loose up to the front of the loom and that, believe me was a royal mess.  I ended up pull everything tight up to the front and reknotting the warp ends.  And then trimming them.  I am only partway through this.
1. I’m just a bit tired of doing this.
2. I am heavily involved in getting all my programs back onto the computer.
The real slowdown with this last has been that I am missing some passwords.  I printed them all out of my program before I turned my old computer over to the computer expert.  What I did not know until the computer had been removed, taken apart for spare parts, and discarded by the company that built my new computer, was that two pages failed to print.  Pages that contained passwords beginning roughly with F and G, and with R and S.  This has sorely tested my patience.

Also testing my patience is also being tested by one of my programs, InfoSelect.   This is a wonderful piece of software for keeping notes about all sorts of things.  And everything is in the same place.  Very very often it is far easier to bring up a page into that program than to open Word Perfect or Microsoft Word.


The software would only read my backup.  It refused to save it because it said I did not have administrative privileges.  Sorry.   I do. But apparently there was no way to communicate that.   So, I ended up copying individual entries and pasting it into the program. I did a lot of cleanup in the process.  I.e., there are a lot of files I didn’t copy because I didn’t need them anymore.  I am almost done……… 

New Computer and Weaving (Not Exactly)”  was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on August 2, 2010. ©2010 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010


Posted by Peg in South Carolina 


I have finished sleying the reed.  I found another doubled warp end.  That was a real surprise, since this is the second time I sleyed this part of the warp.  Clearly didn’t catch it the first time.  So the front beam is back on and I am ready to get to work I need to do before attaching the warp to the front rod.


Now it’s time for a change of pace and turning to winding the 120/2 skeins I dyed earlier onto cones.  I approach this with fear and trepidation.  After setting up the apparatus, I carefully put the warp onto the skein winder, making sure that the knots on the ties all faced the same direction.  I found the two ends, separated them and tied bits of white yarn to the ends of both so that they could be easily found.  I removed the skein ties.  Then I determined which of the two ends would wind off the top.  I got the right end attached to the cone winder and started winding, gleeful at how good I have gotten in dealing with these silk skeins.


Sigh.  Of course it got buried somewhere in the midst of the skein.  It would be easier to find a lost end on a spinning wheel than to find this end. 

I tied a couple of ties around the skein, removed it and turned it inside out.  The last time I did this I had not put the ties in.  I decided that not putting a couple of ties on was quite foolish.  Anyway, I had to do turn the skein inside out because that would make it possible to unwind from the other end with it working across the top of the skein instead of the underside. I’m back winding the cone again. 

And I am very nervous.

I am going to be very careful, because if this end breaks I am in serious, serious trouble.

And no, I do not know why the first end broke.  In the process of unwinding I have seen one knot.  I hope this yarn is not tender and easily breakable……….

Related Posts:  
Winding Commercial Silk Skeins onto Cones
More on Winding Fine Silk onto Cones

Winding 120/2 Dyed Silk onto Cones”  was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on July 21, 2010. ©2010 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Posted by Peg in South Carolina 

I have always been interested in, have always loved, color.  But grayscale?  I hate it.  Why?  Because I simply cannot judge the grayscale values of color, except in really extreme cases.  But digital photography has made this a snap.  Thanks to this technology I could take the colored photo and transform it into a grayscale version.

Dyed Binder Yarns

Grayscale version of the photo:

Dyed Binder Yarns gray scale

Having transformed the photo, thanks to Paint Shop Pro, I could see that the lime green was definitely lighter on the grayscale than the others.  But, until I converted the image to grayscale, I would have guessed that it was a great deal lighter than either of the two other skeins.  Not so.  It is a great deal lighter than the skein on the right, but not so much lighter than the middle skein.


I have Karren Brito’s new Weavolution group to thank for this helpful trick.  Karren, an accomplished dyer, especially in using Lanasest/Sabraset dyes on silk, has started a new group there called the Munsell+Dye Study Group.  If you go to the group’s Forum here, you will see the post and photo that inspired me.

By the way, Karren is also a weaver, a craft she has lately returned to.  She has a web page/blog which she calls Entwinements. She also has a Facebook page, for anyone interested in social networking.

I am not, by the way, a member of Karren’s study group.  By the time I learned about it, the group was closed.  However, at Karren’s suggestion, I am now working on collecting names for a second group.  If you are interested, go the Munsell+Dye Study Group on Weavolution and either post your interest on that group’s forum (you will see the appropriate topic there) or send me a PM.

So now I have a new tool to help me judge colors, the placement of colors, and the amount of colors in weaving piece I am designing.

Gray Scale and Color”  was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on July 20, 2010. ©2010 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

Dyed Binder Yarns


Yes, the table in reality is actually black.  Why is it green in the photo?  Because I fiddled with Paint Shop Pro to get the colors right.  This meant ramping up the green and also, a bit, the yellow;  and lessening the red.  Doing this affects the whole photo, so the table got to be green as well. 

How to avoid this?  Yes, it is possible.  Select the skeins out from the background, create a new layer, and work only with that on the color.  I have not mastered the skill of selection and do not feel the need to.  This photo is not for professional publication, after all!

So, what was the problem that led me to doing this?  The green yarn on the left wasn’t quite bright enough.  The yarn in the middle did not have enough of a green cast and the yarn on the right was way to red.

The results are not perfect, though there is definite improvement.  The color of the green yarn is accurate.  The red is still a tiny bit too red.  The brown is quite off the mark. It definitely needs to be more of an avocado, though a dulled avocado.


But there is another problem, and this one is a bit more serious.  The yarn on the right was to be my main binder yarn so I dyed three skeins of it.  But it turned out way too red for that purpose.  The middle skein turned out exactly right for that purpose.  Clearly, when I moved from dyeing small sample skeins to dyeing 100 gram skeins, something went amiss in my calculations.


Based on what I saw, I changed the dye calculations and came up with the middle skein. I am not going to dye any more of this color until I have started the weaving and can get a better estimate of how much more yarn I will need.

I would, however, like to dye a smaller amount of a green that is between the brightest green and the avocado green and also a smaller amount of quite a bright version of the red.


Not to mention winding skeins onto cones………..

Why is the Black Table Green?”  was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on July 14, 2010. ©2010 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina.

Friday, July 9, 2010


Posted by Peg in South Carolina 

I finished sleying the warp.  The dyeing is done.  Now to wind cones from the skeins and then pirns from the cones.  Now to tie on the warp to the front beam.


But I have not forgotten.  Here is what I wrote at the end of a recent post, Sleying Left Half Faster—Why?

This alternation between front and back shafts did not happen on the right side……Whoops?

So, finished with the left side, I went back to check out the right half.  I found the problem:  5 ends in one dent.  Did it happen near the selvedge?  Of course not!  It happened very close to the center.  That would give me the privilege of resleying almost half the warp instead of just a few ends.


When I started the sleying process, I had not thought about any kind of pattern to the threads.  I thought only about drawing out 4 ends for each dent.  Had I realized that there was a pattern—that all four warp ends would be either from the first four shafts or from the second four shafts, I would have immediately seen the error.  I would not even had to have counted the ends.


Now, to finish the sleying, winding skeins, winding pirns…………….

Finished Sleying? Well, No”  was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on July 9, 2010. ©2010 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

2 loose ends One loose end on the right half;  now one loose one on the left. The one on the right side (left in the photo) was the result of inadvertently threading two ends in one heddle.  The other one was a thread that was appropriately in the lease sticks but simply had been apparently dropped as I was threading. 

Note how I put that the main part of that last clause in the passive voice:  I absolutely disclaim any responsibility for that error!

I have wrapped each end around a knitting fair isle bobbin.  Who knows, maybe as I weave a will break a nearby warp end and there will be one to neatly replace it!


The few remaining warp ends that need to be sleyed are through the lease sticks on the right side of the photo.  I didn’t finish today.  Aside from having spent the last two days dying, I ended up sleying one group of ends THREE times.   Sigh.  I have to be very careful when I near the end of something.  Try as I may, some kind of hopeful energy surges through me and I start making mistakes.  I was so sure I would finish sleying during this session…….


This warp, by the way, is not red.  Not red at all.  It is brown and a browned yellow-green.  Red, however, was one of the colors in the dye pot.  Every time I take a picture, I am astonished to see how desperate my camera is to bring that red into the foreground.  I have given up fussing with Paint Shop Pro to correct the issue.  I am going to allow my camera to have its own way.  Sometimes one simply must.

Related Post:  Sleying the Reed Half Done

Now It’s Two, Not One, Extra Warp Ends” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on July 7, 2010. ©2010 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

I saw today that Dot’s new spinning magazine, called YarnMaker,  is nearly ready to be printed. From the description of the magazine on her blog, Dot’s Fibre to Fabric, it looks like it’s going to be a wonderful magazine.  And from having observed Dot’s blogging, I believe it will be extremely well done.

I was all set to pre-order it.  I went to her website from the link in her blog and there I found the order form. She makes it possible to use a credit card—very easy for those of us on the other side of the pond! But after I had printed out the order form, I discovered that she was going to enable Paypal payment towards the end of July, so I decided to wait for that option.

I am so excited!  I have missed Dot’s blog posts, but she has been using her time well.

And yes, I do spin, though not as much as I would like.

Pre-ordering Dot’s New Spinning Magazine” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on July 6, 2010. ©2010 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina.


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

I have, thanks to the Weave Tech list, discovered a new-to-me weaver with an intriguing technique.  Her name is Fuyuko Matsubara.  She is Japanese but now lives in the United States.  To learn more about her, read this piece.  Go here to see an example of one of her pieces.

To oversimplify vastly, this is, at least in part, what she does.  She weaves two pieces of cloth in white.  She cuts them off the loom and paints the two of them with MX dyes.  The designs she paints on the two pieces are identical.  The colors, however, are different.

When done with the painting, she washes the painted fabrics and  then unweaves the two cloths and puts the warp back on the loom.
For the first warp, she weaves with the weft from the second piece of cloth.  For the second warp, she weaves with the weft from the first piece of cloth.  And this weaving with the now colored yarns is done in a structure different from the one she used when weaving the white cloth.  From what I could see, it looks like she uses a jacquard loom for the final weaving.

As she herself admits, this is a very tedious way to make cloth.  What she does, requires extraordinarily kinds of calculations.  What she does is far more complex than what I would even dream of attempting.


The process, on a small and much less complex scale, really intrigues me.


Why can’t I just push myself into exploring a bit of weft ikat?

Warp and Weft Painting Raised to a New Level” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on July 6, 2010. ©2010 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina.

Monday, July 5, 2010


Posted by Peg in South Carolina 

Sleying the left half has been going extraordinarily easily and quickly.  Two reasons are possible:

1. The experience I have built up sleying the right side has made me faster.

2. Moving right to left, as I do on the left side of the warp, instead of left to right, as I did on the first half,  might be more natural for me.

Both of these answers may be involved, but they are not the real reason.  The real reason has to do with the grouping of the threaded heddles.

The crackle units consists of 4 threads to a  unit.  Even though they threading changes from time to time, the 4 threads consistently alternate between the front 4 shafts and the back 4 shafts.  On the left side.  This makes picking out the 4 threads a whole lot easier and faster and is another double-check on accuracy.

This alternation between front and back shafts did not happen on the right side……Whoops?

Sleying Left Half Faster – Why?”  was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on July 5, 2010. ©2010 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina.

Friday, July 2, 2010


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

Sleying fine threads threaded in a crackle structure is not the easiest thing in the world.  I have a friend who loves to weave overshot but swears after each warp is threaded that she will never ever do another overshot draft again.  She of course tends to change her mind on that one.  But then she is not working with excessively fine threads.


It is the combination of a draft where (as in overshot) the threading is continually changing and where there will frequently be threads next to each other but not on adjacent shafts, it is the combination of this plus the fine threads that has taught me quiet patience. Well, sometimes I do have to work at keeping the internal screaming under control….  But it has also taught me to find ways to help ensure a correctly threaded and sleyed warp.


With this warp, the process of sleying involves pulling out from the threaded heddles four groups of four warp ends each.  To choose the four ends, I look at the heddles.  I make sure that I am pulling threads threaded into four heddles. I lay each group of – hopefully – 4 ends across the top of the beater and put the rest of the ends over the top of the shafts.


At this point I count the number of ends in each group.  This is a necessary double check.  On this warp at one point I found two ends threaded through a heddle.  Had I not counted the individual ends, I would have ended up with five ends instead of four in one reed space. It might also be possible for an empty heddle to get grouped in.  Assuming that the empty heddle does not represent a threading error, I would then be in danger of putting three ends instead of four in one reed space.

I check and double check. And check for an errant thread that may have slipped from its neighbors and is hanging there, alone, from its heddle. Then I pull each of the four groups through their respective dents, making sure I still have four heddles and four ends in a group. 

I do three sets of these.  Then I return to where I began.  I pull the ends taut and look at the reed spaces to make sure there are no skipped spaces and then to make sure that there are no thick groups, indicating I sleyed two groups in one space.  I then pull the first six groups taut, double check them and tie them together in a slip knot.


I repeat this for the next group.  then I begin the whole process again.

Related Post:  Sleying the Reed Half Done

More About My Sleying Process”  was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on July 2, 2010. ©2010 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Thursday, July 1, 2010


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

I made the three dye stock solutions I was low on but that I needed for creating the colors for the 120/2 silk yarn I am getting ready to dye.  Sabraset/Lanaset Violet and Sun Yellow and Washfast Acid Magenta.  The first and third I generally do not use much of in my dyeing, but, over time, the solutions needed to be replenished.  Sun Yellow, because of its weak coloring strength, I go through tons of.  Well, liters of…..  So now I have the stock solutions I need make the colors I want.

Making dye stock solutions is not my favorite task.  It’s not really the danger that the powder poses, except indirectly.  I need to do this out of the house/in the garage.  Because the garage gets much too hot and humid in the summer, I am not willing to risk storing dye powders there. Nor am I willing to even think about storing anything plastic there.  Consequently I need to bring everything out there from inside.  And then, of course, bring everything back in after I have cleaned up. 

Not my favorite thing to do. And so I drag out the process, which goes something like this:

1. Check formulas to see how much I will need of each dye stock solution.  Did this a couple of weeks ago.

2. Check stock solutions to see which ones, if any, need to be replenished.  Figure out how much I need to make. Did this a week ago.

3. Gather up the supplies I need and put on a tray.  Did this two days ago

4. Prepare garage space and bring out the supplies.   Did this before lunch.

5. Get to the gosh darn work of making the solutions and then cleaning up.  Did this in the middle of the afternoon.

This kind of dragged-out process is quite typical of my behavior.  It does get done, but sneaked in between other activities.


By the way, if any of you love anything red as I do, do check out Sandra Rude’s latest post, “Fire Warp Beamed.”  It is drop-dead gorgeous.  And here I am working with a primarily green warp.  Sandra also dyes her yarns.  They are always beautiful.

Related Post:   Making Stock Solutions

Dye Stock Solutions Made”  was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on July 1, 2010. ©2010 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

Reed half sleyed

At the front of the beater, you can see that I have tied the warp ends in groups and slip-knotted them.  I have tied them in groups of 6-dents-worth.   That is, 24 ends are in each knotted group.  That is slightly more that one-half inch of warp—the size of the warp groups I will tie onto the front of the loom when I am done sleying.


The beater would appear to be defying gravity in this photo. It is not because of the angle of the shot. It is because, on the left side of the loom, I have tied the beater to the frame so that what you see is the closest position to the front of the loom that the beater can fall.  It’s also tied so it cannot fall complete to the heddles either.  This makes for much easier sleying.

Some people like to have the beater straight up for sleying.  I find being able to move it between this more forward position and back to a more leaning position in the opposite direction suits my technique better.  One of the things I do, for example, when I am collecting the groups of thread to tie them is to look at them as they come from the reed at the rear side of it, holding the group taut with my hand.  It is much easier for me to see that way than looking from the front of the beater.


image With my auto-denter, sleying a 15-dent reed (4 ends per dent) is easy, if slow, work.  The auto-denter moves kind of automatically from dent to dent.  I hear a click when it has moved successfully. If I don’t hear a click, I do it again.  This greatly reduces the anxiety that comes from staring and staring at the gosh darn reed’s openings.  That can leave me frazzled after awhile.

Still, it is sometimes not without its problems.  The auto-denter did come apart at one point.  This is not really a problem.  It is made in two parts. If you look carefully at the photo, you can see where the two halves are joined.  When they become separated, it is easy to put them back together.   Because this happens so rarely, when it does happen I never remember exactly how to do it so I have to fiddle with it a bit to get it to work right.  And the instructions that came with the tool are no help here. 


1. I discovered that I had threaded two threads in one heddle.  Clearly the two threads had kind of stuck together, as there was no threading error involved.  So all I did was pull one thread out, unwind it and wound it around a bobbin.  I will just gradually let it unfurl as I weave.

2. I discovered two threads that were crossed on the lease sticks.  An easy fix.  I unthreaded the two heddles and then threaded them in the correct order.


Now to see what will happen as I sley the second half of the warp.

Related Post:  Sleying the Reed

Sleying the Reed Half Done”  was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on June 30, 2010. ©2010 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


Posted by Peg in South Carolina 

I love to spin.  I do not get a lot of chances to do it, but when I can, I do.  I rarely spin for Orange Plied Skein a particular project.  I spin because I have found some fiber I love.  The result of this is that I generally purchase only 4 ounces of any given fiber and the result of that is that I never have a lot of yardage of any one particular fiber. 

Spinning this way has never bothered me.  Spinning, for me, is simply an indulgence.

A piece in the latest Spin-off magazine* about using small amounts of fiber in hand knitting projects got me started thinking.  What about modular knitting?  I could design a modular knit afghan, not unlike the one I knit for our grandson when he was born.

And then I thought about weaving a patchwork afghan.  But when I thought about sewing the pieces together, I balked.  So I thought about weaving long strips.  Still didn’t like the idea of sewing strips together.

So, what about putting on a warp with narrow or broad stripes of the different handspun yarn and then weaving with those to create small or large checks.  And what about doing it double width.  Voila.  The germ of an idea finally arrived.

*The essay is by Ingrid Brundin and is called “Making Shells—Using up small bits of handspun with modular knitting.”

Related Post: 
Reflections on the Baby Blanket

Thinking about Afghan from Handspun”  was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on June 22, 2010. ©2010 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

The threading is done.  This block seemed to require more care and attention to avoid errors than the rest of the warp did.  Perhaps it was my eagerness to get done that I was having to compensate for.  In any case, it is done, and the reed is in.  15 dents, to be sleyed at 4 ends per dent.  Thank heavens for the auto-denter.  The only problem is that I use it so infrequently there is always a learning curve to start.  Still, it is a marvelous tool for fine threads and the learning curve is now short indeed.

I began to realize that I had not yet dyed the 120/2 silk I plan for using for the binder shots.  And I also saw that the amount of yarn I ordered from Treenway was half of what I had thought I needed.  But I am going to get on with dyeing what I have and see how it goes.  It’s expensive stuff and I certainly don’t want to order much more than I will actually need.

There is, however, a slight hitch in the dyeing plans.  I will have to make some stock solutions from dye powder.  I do this in the garage.  The temps here are running in the high 90’s with heat indexes up to 110.  Doesn’t seem to be much end in sight.  Do  you think I look forward to working in the garage………….even with the door open?

But daughter and grandson are planning to come on Friday for a long weekend.  Perhaps by Tuesday the weather will have improved.

Related Posts: 
More Dye Stock Solutions
Dyeing in the Kitchen

Threading and Dyeing”  was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on June 16, 2010. ©2010 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina.

Monday, June 14, 2010


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

I was at the last block.  So close to being done.  I pulled out the 8 heddles for the first two units.  Or at least I tried to.  I needed two heddles from the second shaft.  There were no heddles on the second shaft.

Yes, I had counted everything out before I started theading.  Added several hundred heddles.  I knew how many heddles I needed on each shaft.  Even so, I allowed for many more than I needed on both sides of the middle.

What went wrong?  I have no idea. But it had to be done.  There was no help for it.

View of shafts Here is a photo of the situation I had to deal with. The black arrow points to the bottom of the heddle frame held in place by that devilish metal device that goes into the hole of that frame.  There is a similar fiendish metal device at the top of the frame.

You have to pull that device either backwards or forwards (depending on its location vis-a-vis the shaft) to slip it out of the hole and so release the shaft.  Then you get to reverse the process in order to reattach the shaft.  This is not fun. Especially working in such close quarters.

So, with the help of a screw driver for leverage, I pulled 15 heddles off the first shaft and put them on the second shaft.  The screw driver saved my fingers.

Having added the heddles,  I threaded the last block. 

I went to check the threading.  Grouped between two heddles were 10 empty heddles on shaft one.  This block used no heddles on shaft one.  Did I mention that they were grouped between two heddles in the first unit I threaded?  Well, of course.  Why not? 

I have carefully pulled all those fine silk threads—threads that tangle if I breathe too hard but fortunately the humidity in the house is 70% (I haven’t turned on the air conditioning yet) so the tangles were fairly easily untangled.  They now sit waiting to be threaded.

I am NOT done threading.  Do you think I am a wee bit upset?

Related Posts: 
Cutting a Wire Heddle off the Shaft
I Ought Not to be a Weaver

Adding Heddles”  was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on June 14, 2010. ©2010 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010


Posted by Peg in South Carolina 


As I was threading I came across an unbelievably crossed heddle.  The heddle was attached to the top of the shaft, to the right were five more heddles, and then to the right of these was the first heddle but attached to the bottom of the shaft. I walked away.  Then I came back.  Nothing had changed.

I was not about to remove the 50 or so heddles from the shaft I would need to in order to get the mess straightened out.  On this loom it is possible but extraordinarily difficult to remove and add heddles from and to the shafts when the loom is threaded.  Or in this case, partially threaded.


A wire cutters seemed to be needed to save the day.  I don’t know much about wire cutters.  But I did think that I had a pliers with a wire cutter as part of it.  Couldn’t find it.  Decided I would have to go buy one.

First, however, I decided to send an email to the WeaveTech list to see what kind of wire cutters I should buy and if anyone had guidance for using it.


The response was gratifyingly immediate.  Just use a scissors and cut it straight on.  I got an old scissors and cut it off.  Doing that certainly took care of my excuse to discontinue threading the loom………….


I got some other answers as well. I read these after I had cut off the heddle with my scissors.  Several people told me to use a wire cutters and to cut carefully at either end so that I could just slip the heddle off for use later as a repair heddle.  I could tape the cut end so that it wouldn’t snag on things.  I will have to remember that.

I have made a note to order/buy the recommended diagonal wire cutter.  This is what I would need to make the careful cuts that would preserve the heddle for future use as a repair heddle.

Cutting a Wire Heddle off the Shaft”  was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on June 9, 2010. ©2010 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina.