Weaving Wednesday – April Fools

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Last night’s weaving class was one disaster after another it seemed.

My towels were tracking funny in the loom, the more I wove the worse it got until the weft had taken on a decidedly diagonal line.  I asked Pam if I should take off the toweling and tie the warp back on but we started out trying to see if we could just start over again and make it straight.  We checked all of the mechanics of the loom, tightened every screw, nut and bolt.   A few picks into it the problem was still there and it became obvious that the tension was more loose on one side than the other.  I had to unravel a good amount of weaving to save the warp length.  Wasn’t as bad as it sounds, once I got going it was almost relaxing.

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As I’m unravelling my mess, Jan, to my left is having the exact same problem.  It was hard to believe that both of us, doing completely different projects had the same thing going on.  It was true.  After tightening up her loom and measuring and remeasuring to see if it could be anything else she had to unravel her project as well.

As we were rebeaming my warp we found a problem with the brakes on the loom that might have been a factor in my whole fiasco so we had to pay attention to that before I continued.  All in all a rather stressful night for Pam.

While we were talking about warp tension she told me I should post a few photos of another project that has turned into what I would consider a nightmare.  A class member decided she wanted to weave yardage for a jacket out of chenille.  The pattern is lovely and they thought they had beamed her warp perfectly until she began weaving.

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In the process, while moving the warp forward, all hell has broken loose with her warp. This may be the nature of chenille since none of us has ever woven anything wider than 10 inches.

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The only way to salvage this was to use lease sticks in the warp while weaving.  This holds the tension evenly (although I couldn’t tell you how at the moment).

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Every time the lease sticks get to the heddles everything behind it has to be untangled as the sticks are pulled back.

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I’ll be honest with you – this might just be the project I would walk away from.  Or it might have turned into yardage for a vest instead of a jacket.

All in all last night was the first night I might have thought for a second we were the biggest April fools of all.

10 thoughts on “Weaving Wednesday – April Fools

  1. Thats interesting about leaving the lease sticks in. When I was in Sweden last year I asked a weaver about that and she said to leave them in ‘always.’ It seems to be another of those items of weaving dogma out there. I’m still trying to understand the benefits and disadvantages.

      • When I learned to weave at the Village (could it be 30+ years ago?!) we always left the lease sticks in. And you’re right, sliding them back kept untangling the warp. When I tried weaving at home someone convinced me the lease sticks were unnecessary. Until I read your post I always thought my messy warp was due to learning on a counter-balance loom and weaving at home on a small Harrisville. Perhaps I need to re-think things, and try again.

  2. Unless you get high quality chenille it has a tendency to “worm” – I never go near the stuff myself. I like the idea of leaving in lease sticks for linen, but not wool. And sometimes I leave the raddle up. No rhymes or reason, but it seems to help keep everyone on line!

  3. I have had trouble with chenille too, and I was working on a narrower warp with a looser sett. I admire your classmate for sticking with it! and I hope it works out well for her. I also hope you find out what caused your tension problems and let us know!

  4. Thank you for posting your weaving problems. I know weavers that leave their lease sticks in and others that say you should never do this. It’s like warping back to front or front to back which is correct?

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