Tuesday, June 7, 2011


weighted warp ends

I beamed on the warp this morning.  This is the picture from the front of the loom showing the weighted warps.  At this point I had only about six more inches to wind on.

The white strings hanging from the top of the loom have loops in the bottom.  Through these loops I thread my floating selvedges so that they raise and lower more easily the way I want them to.

I now have the warp ends removed from the top of the loom and thrown the the heddle frames.  I am reweighting them so that I can easily get the lease sticks moved up close to the heddles in preparation for threading.

The raddle is still sitting on the back of the loom.  I will not remove it until I am done threading and sleying.  If then.

Monday, June 6, 2011


prayer shawl raddled

Swollen throat, hoarse, headache—reactions to a strong antibiotic.  Called doctor and she took me off of it.  Whew!  Had been given it for bronchitis (why? almost 100% of the time bronchitis is a virus).  In any case, have not had had it now for a few days and the antibiotics have been much worse on me.  So, to celebrate my no longer taking it, I thought I would practice my singing, no.  Sob. I decided instead to wind the rest of the shawl warp. 

Then, having done that I thought, why not raddle it.  After all, I’m still alive.  And I’m not light-headed any more.

So, here is a photo of the raddled warp as seen from the back of my loom.  If  you look carefully at the table at the front, you can see that the end loops of the warp, slipped through a metal bar, are lying on it.  It is ready (tomorrow!) to be dropped to the back beam so the winding on process can begin.  Currently masking tape attaches it to the table so that neither human nor cat can easily upset the thing.

If you look at the top of the loom, to the right of the warp, which is thrown up over it, are the 9 weights I will use to attach to the warp to make for even beaming on.  Each color section will have its own weight. This is my version of a warping trapeze, and it works just lovely for shortish warps.

Tomorrow I will set that up the weights and then I can beam on.  Or maybe, pretty-please-with-sugar-on-it, I will be able to sing????

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

I realized that those of you may be coming to my blog for the first time might be a bit confused by my last post.  Here is a brief explanation.

I spent months (actually, perilously close to a year) designing a silk warp for a shawl, dyeing the yarns, and getting the warp on the loom. The warp on the loom of yesterday’s post, is the warp in the waste basket.  Why did it end up there?

The original intent had not been a shawl at all.  Rather it had been a piece I intended to submit to a competition.  The deadline passed, so it became a shawl.  It had all become way too much for me.  I had to rethread at least 3 times because the complexity of the threading gave way too easily to errors.  The treadling, not yet finally decided, was also going to be extremely complex.  Moreover, many treadling decisions would be made as I actually wove.  Also I was using many colors, entailing multiple shuttles at a time.  I had over-reached myself and the joy was gone.

Add to this the fact that voice lessons, innocently started over a year-and-a-half ago, started taking over my life.
It took months, however, for me to come to grips with the fact that the warp, unwoven, had to come off the loom.  The prospect of weaving a simple prayer shawl made its removable possible.

Confused?” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on April 26, 2011. ©2011 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Monday, April 25, 2011


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

But first I had to take a photo………..

Crackle Warp in waste basket

For those who are curious and want to see what this lump of silk looked like on the loom, here it is:


And to read about how happy I was to reach this point, go to this post.


The Warp is History” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on April 25, 2011. ©2011 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Wednesday, April 20, 2011


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

And thank heaven for the wonderful search function in Windows 7 which quickly brought up my files on the acrylic baby blanket I woven several years ago for our grandson.

And why should this matter?

Our church has started a prayer shawl group.  I went to the first meeting, but when the meetings were set on a day I could not come, I fully expected I would knit on a prayer shawl at home.  The more I thought about it, the less I liked it.  I have too many other things right now that I would rather knit and not enough loose time (i.e., car travelling, doctor waiting, etc.) to do it all.  But…………..

I could weave one!

The baby blanket I had made provided the perfect model.  Machine washable, the right grist.   Perfect.  So I worked out the numbers.



I was going to wait a bit before ordering the yarn.  And then I thought, no, do it now.  So I ordered to cones, one a light dusty blue, one a medium blue.  I will weave large checks of these two colors.

But…………..the current warp still has to come off the loom.  I am getting close to actually doing it!

Related Post: Reflections on the Baby Blanket


Thank Heaven for Documentation” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on April 20, 2011. ©2011 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Posted by Peg in South Carolina


This draft represents only a very small part of the threading.  And the colors are not those I will be using.  I chose them in order to see clearly what is going on. The treadling is based on overshot treadling.  That is, for each given block, I simply repeat that particular treadle x times. 

Overshot requires a tabby between shots or the floats will be excessively long.  But that is not possible in this crackle draft because there is no plain weave possible.  No plain weave; no tabby.  So the threads that will be used to prevent excessively long floats will be called binder shots here.

What I would then ordinarily do is one of two things:

  1. Find a treadle for the binder shot which would give me something close to the opposite of the pattern shot.
  2. For each pattern shot in a given block, treadle one of the remaining treadles, a different one for each pattern shot.

I have done something only slightly different here. For each block I have picked two different treadles for the binders and alternated them for the duration of the block.

But I have done something else a bit different as well.  Not only are the binder shots a different color from the pattern weft;  the shot on one treadle is one color, and the shot on the other treadle is a different color.

The pattern shots will be use 60/2 silk;  the binder shots will use 120/2 silk. This difference will obscure a bit the pattern colors, which is exactly what I want. 

The trick to all this, is going to be choosing colors.  My overall idea is start with everything pretty much the same color—the browns and browned greens of the warp—and then slowly to bring in brighter colors, first in the binder shots, then in the pattern shots.

Test weaving and threading error

The photo on the left is from the original sampling, together with the as-of-then uncorrected threading errors.  The place to look at is the last 4 blocks.  Again, these are not the colors I will be using in the actual piece, but it does give an idea of the kind of effect I am after as well as the possibilities for manipulation of colors for lesser or greater clarity of blocks. In short, the binder shots wil serve much more than to provide a stable fabric;  they will be an essential part of the color plan.





Treadling Pattern Decided” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on January 25, 2011. ©2011 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

Ready to weave again 2

Yes, ice resulted in yet another voice lesson cancellation (till tomorrow) and so gave me the opportunity to get back to work on my much neglected warp.  The progress is clearly visible.

I did the following:

  1. I cut off the woven segment in the center, letting the warp ends hang loose from the beater.
  2. I tied those ends in groups of 32 ends in loose temporary knots
  3. I replaced all the knots with overhand knots.  
  4. I cut the ends off the overhand knots so that they would be even
  5. I lashed the ends to the front bar, using medium polyester cord.
  6. I adjusted the warp ends for even tension
  7. I threw the first shot on treadle 1
  8. I corrected the the crossed warp ends that that shot revealed.
  9. I threw shots on each of the six treadles, repeating this several times.
  10. I readjusted the tension
  11. I stopped for the day

Needless to say, I am mightily pleased with myself!

What I now must do.

  1. Try to figure out which of the sample treadlings I am going to use.  A few months ago, I knew which one, but I didn’t make a note and so…………
  2. Figure out what colors I want to start weaving with
  3. Wind the necessary bobbins
  4. Double check the warp tension.
  5. Hold my breath
  6. Breathe
  7. Start weaving

But not tomorrow.

Related Post:  Resleying Done and I am Stunned

Ice Brings Me Back to the Loom” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on January 11, 2011. ©2010 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina