A warping board came with the second loom that we purchased last spring. It was a homemade board, and roughly made, which is really all that anyone needs. I have the greatest admiration for people who make their own weaving equipment/tools on any level…
There was a problem…the pegs were loose. I used it a couple of weeks ago for the first time. The more warp I loaded the more the pegs bent toward the centre of the board. This condition did not render it unusable, but it made for the warp to want to work its way off the pegs as I progressed. I knew it had to be fixed; it was too good to throw away. I began by removing finishing nails that held the pegs in place. The nails were too small a diameter to do any real mechanical good, I’d have to replace them with larger diametre common nails on the rebuild, which while not as aesthetically pleasing, would actually exert a great deal more mechanical advantage. I planed the disassembled frame itself. Then I dadoed the ends to form an actual joint at the corners which would stop it from transforming from a rectangle into a parallelogram, and consequently of compromising the warp while it is in the process of being loaded. I trimmed the original wood glue off of the pegs, mixed epoxy, coated the holes, set the pegs back into place, and used new 2″ common nails in new pilot holes to anchor the pegs. Overnight the epoxy solidified nicely. I also trimmed the bolts in the corners to a shorter length so that they would not interfere with loading any warp in the future. I started treating it with boiled linseed oil, which dries to a hard finish; it brought out some of the beauty inherent in the wood on this board. This frame will be hung on the wall in the Weaver’s Loft once it is ready to house weaving equipment. I am really pleased with how this turned out…simple and beautiful. Certainly an example of all that is needed to start to be successful in weaving. I will build another warping board that is heftier and which will accept a larger warp this winter.
On 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.