I’ve been getting ready for my new class which starts on Tuesday, so all four table looms have been stripped and re-dressed with new sampling warps. On top of that, I have been warping up the Delta for a bit of 8-shaft echo. Quite a big bit.
These are the yarns…
…and this is the warp:
It took me a looong time to get from that state to this:
Not so much because anything went wrong, as because I was worried that it might — so I did everything super super slowly. I had eight warp bouts, each just under 4 inches wide and 20 yards long. I have got very used to handling the dense warp bouts needed for echo weave, but it is amazing how changing just a single variable can provide a shock to an established and smooth-running system.
For instance, I am used to long narrow warp bouts, but this warp was about 4 yards longer than my previous longest for echo weave. I am used to beaming long merino warps and long silk warps but this was a long cotton warp: I’m not sure what my previous longest cotton warp was, but I doubt it was more than 10 yards. I had done a sample warp with this cotton (which is the Venne organic 16/2 Ne) and found it went on very smoothly, but how well would it scale up?
Reasonably well, is the answer. I suspect it would have been easier with a big rugged mill rather than my double warping board set-up, which I have learned is not quite as strong as 20 yards of inelastic yarn! A few pegs have now been re-glued… Also, I wasn’t thrilled by some sections of the yarn, where the plying seemed to have gone a bit awry — one of the cones of pink was a particular culprit in this respect but the other was fine. However, the occasional squiggly bit doesn’t seem to have affected the beaming (well, nothing snagged or snapped) and I can replace a few ends as I go.
(During winding, when I reach a knot or an otherwise dodgy-looking bit of yarn I generally leave it in the warp. Then, when I am weaving, I graft in a replacement for a few inches before returning to the original end. I’ve discovered that I like this much better than either messing about with cutting and tying during the winding or having to darn in replacement ends off the loom. But while I don’t mind making a graft for a few ends over a long warp, if I have to be jumping up and down making substitutions all the time then I do get quite grumpy. And a grumpy me is a very unpleasant thing.)
Anyway, I’ve now progressed from here…
So tomorrow I can lash it on and see what I’ve got. I wound 1508 ends and drew up a threading for 1508 ends… and I ran out of ends at the same time as I ran out of pattern so I am quite optimistic. However, during my Day of Threading (aka Thursday) there were definitely moments when my eyes glazed over and I couldn’t quite tell whether my tick marks corresponded to my actual progress. Sadly, my heddle counts were completely to pot. Years ago I marked every 10th heddle with a black marker so that I could quickly count out heddles as needed. Well, I clearly can’t count to 10. I found one group with 13 in it! That is 30% too much heddle: a shocking level of error. And just as shocking is that it has taken me some 8 years to notice. How many more years do you think it will be before I do anything about it?