Friday, February 27, 2009

The Taming of the Warp

Okay, the title is my little tip of the hat to Shakespeare. It is after all Ashland and the bard is alive and well in our little community. The more appropriate imagine might be
me holding a chair and whip and pointing them at Barbara V.  She's a big loom and has proven a challenge for me on a number of levels to become fast and efficient when warping her up. I'm pleased to say, I think we're almost there. The addition of aprons went a long way towards that goal and then, I had a custom raddle made for her. A nice woman on Etsy makes them. Her name there is Handywoman I believe, but if you do a search for raddles you'll find her. I wanted 1/2 inch spacing and the raddle needed to be longer than the spacing pegs. I sent her the measurements and a very reasonable payment and my raddle arrived three days hence all the way from the Lone Star state. I spent 6 years in Texas, but that is story for another day.

I finally got the 5/8 linen warp ready to go on and Gene put together two brackets
for me so the raddle can live on the loom. I like the raddle behind the
lease sticks and cross so I can neaten it all up and get my sections pretty before tying it on. There are as many ways to warp a loom as there are weavers. This one works best for me and with the addition of the new raddle I found that step going much faster than usual.
Makes the winding on nice and even too. The method came from Jane Stafford and
Louet looms have a built in raddle on the castle. This is as close as 
I can come with BV. Murphy gets a loop raddle clamped to the back of his castle.
I can then sit in a chair at the back of the loom and lash on in one inch increments
using texsolv and the grommets in the aprons. I just tie on in the front again through
the grommet in the one inch bundles. It was a weighty decision to take this fine old loom and make modifications that would leave permanent marks and drilled holes if someone wanted to put her back to the original set-up In the end, a loom is a tool and I needed to do these things to make her work better for me. Form follows function.
The linen itself is stiff and springy for these saddle blankets. Worlds away from the Maysville cotton carpet warp I was 
using for the rugs, which was very soft and had little body.
Today I'll wind it on and leave it for a couple of days while I resume painting. I'm sad
to say I will need a 3rd coat to really cover up the grey well and allow the new color to have the depth it should. 
Well, caprine and equine breakfast time has arrived as
have my two escorts. Time to suit up!


  1. Thanks for the raddle source info!! I'm actually shopping for one right now. At the moment I have 2 borrowed home-made raddles that I'm using, but I need to get or make one of my own.

    Your apron cloth has a ton of grommets compared to mine.

    What's that blue and pink thing on your loom?? I thought I was following your warping process...but that escapes me so maybe I wasn't!

    Bummer about the third coat of paint! Sheesh!!! Hope you like the new color - you're almost there!!!


  2. LOL, Sue, the purple/pink thing is a homemade sling for me to put my
    shuttles in while I'm weaving. BV doesn't have a castle shelf and I miss
    that feature, so I made a sling with little pockets that hold the shuttles
    and such when I'm weaving. Yes, tons of grommets! Instead of a few that you use to tie a rod on, I use them directly to lash the warp onto.
    Murphy is the same way.
    The raddle is wonderful, nicely made too.

  3. Your raddle looks great on your loom. Thanks for letting people know where you got her. I see you are enjoying her as much as I do mine.
    Janet Fox