Fuchsia, Purple, And Scarlet: Turning Inward

manitoba_weavers_guildOn Thursday I went to my first weaver’s guild meeting; 6 hours down and 6 hours back.  It was worth it.  I had a blast! :)  What a great group of people.  There’s a loaning library there…I was guided to a DVD entitled, You Have To Be Warped, by CD Weaver (…sounds like me!).  I can’t wait to watch it.  After the business part of the meeting we were paired up – two people per warping board – and given a surprise colour of thread.  We were to match it to two other colours, loading a warping board with the pattern in preparation for making a scarf with the following requirements: 115″ long, 126 ends for a 7″ wide scarf @ 18 ends/inch for plain weave – OR – 115″ long, 168 ends for a 7″ wide scarf @ 24 ends/inch for twill weave.

To go with the fuschia coloured yarn we had been assigned we chose a darker purple as well as scarlet.  They were all beautiful colours.  Some may think it odd that I as a man would appreciate colour, but not only does colour move me, it makes me feel fully alive.  I live in the outdoors as much as possible and colour is everywhere!  To participate in anything outdoors without noticing and being moved by colour is like sitting down to eat without savouring the aroma of the meal beforehand or appreciating the manner in which it is presented!  I personally do gravitate more toward subdued natural colour schemes, but there is nothing like walking through the bush – grey, white, green, brown – and then catching sight of the red crest on a pileated woodpecker.  Stunning!  Yesterday on the way home I skirted Lake Manitoba’s north basin.  The stunning blue of the water/sky juxtaposed with the shore grasses just leapt right out at me…made me slow down and grin!


I had obtained a homemade warping board with one of my looms so my partner loaded her’s first since I could work on mine later, after the meeting.  She chose to divided 126 ends by 3, ending up with three warps of equal width…42 each.  She wanted to experiment with various weft colours and their effects on her warp.  Winding the warp was new to both of us.  It felt wooden at first, but as time went on for my partner it came faster and more naturally.

Being new to this we took more time than others and I was left with what I thought would be too short an amount of time for me to finish winding my own warp.  So I helped others pack up and thought to myself that I’d load my board the next morning at my mentor’s house before she was to show me how to load the warp onto the loom.

But I got to a friend’s house later that night where I was staying and after a visit I went to bed but could not sleep with all the excitement of the evening running through my head, so I got up and loaded the warp.  It took about a half hour.  This is how it looked the next morning when I brought it with me in anticipation of setting up the loom…


…my real outdoor work for the year is over.  It’s time to turn my attention to fibre and weaving once again.

Advice From A Weaver On Buying New Reeds…

“A twelve dent reed is good for 2/8 cotton (also 2/8 cottolin, a blend of cotton & linen) at 24 ends per inch for a twill weave- 2 threads go into a slot. ( When you take out some of the magazines with patterns, you will see some of the instructions will have various threads at  so many ends per inch, so a 12 is a good basic size to have.)  Because reeds are so expensive, you might want to try rust remover and wire brushes- between skipping and doubling or tripling threads in the dent, you could have 6 or 12 or 18 or 24 or 36, or even 20 with a couple of single threads spaced out er inch and the rest doubled……)
“For rugs, I tend to use 5/8 linen which works at 6 ends per inch, ( you could use every second dent in your twelve but if you have thicker yarns, there might be some abrasion?). I just checked my reeds, I also have a 5 dent and an 8 dent, but I think I use my 6 dent a lot. I also got a metric one that works out to 7.5 ends per inch, which I think I have used for wool blankets, but an 8 would do.  I use the metric one because I got it with my loom.
“If you order a higher (4 inch)  reed, be sure your top of you beater will move up to accomodate the height. there may be holes or slots for the top of the beater joining it to the struts (??) at the side of the beater. the slots would allow different heights of reeds, the holes might not. I think I ran into that problem on one of the older table looms- I wanted to use a new 10 dent reed on it and it wouldn’t fit…. You might be able to drill a new pair of holes though, I am trying to visualize it.- as long as it isn’t too close to the old ones that it would weaken the wood, I would think.”