Saturday, January 22, 2011

Progress on warping up the Estrella weaving project

I made some good progress today on warping up the loom for my Estrella weaving project. I got the reed sleyed the other day, so this morning I sat inside my loom and put each thread through a heddle. The heddles are hung on one of 4 shafts. I raise the shafts by use of a foot treadle, either solo or in combination with the other shafts. So I get the patterns in my fabric by way of what shaft I attach each thread to, and in what order I raise the shafts.

After each thread was fed through the reed and then through the heddles, I tied the threads on to the back apron rod.

Then I started cranking. The apron rod went down and around the back warp beam, and the warp followed merrily along. I put slats of wood (old window blinds) in between the layers of warp as they wind around, to keep individual threads from burrowing down through the layers and creating odd tension problems.

When I got the warp all wound around the back beam, hopefully under even tension, I trotted back around to the front and tied the other end on to the front apron rod.

There! 34 1/2 hours into this project (counting spinning the yarn), and I am almost ready to start throwing the weft shuttle back and forth. I just need to make sure the shafts are chained to the correct treadles, weave a header, and wind up some bobbins.

There is a moment here, when the loom is warped and ready to go, before you throw that first weft shot. Order has been created from chaos. The loom almost hums, holding it's breath, a symbol of perfect possibilities.

And then you throw that first shuttle pick, and you find all the places where you've screwed up the process. But for now, I'm just going to admire the sweet sweet potential.

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