Process Review: Beaming the Warp

I am making a new ‘cello skirt (a tiered skirt), starting from scratch. The warp is 24/2 cotton, most of it unbleached. Each tier will be edged with a narrow Poppy border. The pattern in the cloth will be a huckaback (huck lace) design, adapted from Little Tablecloth in Huckaback on p.10 in Happy Weaving from VävMagisinet.

Preparing to beam the warp.

Today, I’m beaming the warp. My method includes a combination of things I have learned from these three excellent sources: Learning to Warp Your Loom, by Joanne Hall, Dress Your Loom the Vävstuga Way, by Becky Ashenden, and The Big Book of Weaving, by Laila Lundell.

I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.

Using warping trapeze to beam the warp.
Transferring the lease sticks.
Transferring lease sticks.
Transferring lease sticks.
Transferring lease sticks. Beaming.
Beaming a new warp.
Beaming the warp with a trapeze.
Beaming the warp with a trapeze.
Warping trapeze in use.
Using warping slats.
Placing warping slats.
Beaming with warping slats.
Beaming with warping slats.
Warping trapeze in use.
Warping trapeze in use.
Warping slats for beaming the warp.
Last step in beaming the warp.
Tie the lease sticks to the back beam.
Lease sticks tied to back beam.
Ready to cut the end-of-warp loops.
Cutting loops at end of the warp.
Cutting the loops at the end of the warp.
Beaming a new warp.
All Counted into Threading Groups
Newly beamed warp. Complete process pictures.
Newly beamed warp ready for threading.
Beaming process in pictures.

Do you have any questions about my beaming process? If you warp back to front, like I do, what do you do differently?

May you find yourself beaming.

Happy Weaving,
Karen

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Warp Sequence Planning

When I wrap potential warp sequences on folded index cards it brings design thoughts out into the open. It makes the ideas tangible, helping me plan a pleasing warp. For this 8/2 cotton warp I am choosing colors from the plentiful selection I already have on my shelves.

Planning warp stripes with 8/2 cotton.
8/2 cotton left from previous projects fills the shelves. Each warp wrapping sparks ideas for more possible warps.

This warp will be woven as eight-shafttwill yardage, about 15 1/2 inches wide. The fabric will be cut and hemmed to make colorful arm and headrest covers for my mother-in-law’s comfy off-white recliner. I will increase the width of the stripes proportionately to fill the warp width. My mother-in-law will have the final say, but if you could help her decide, which set of warp stripes would you choose? Please let us know in the comments.

Planning warp stripes.
Planning warp stripes.
Planning warp stripes with 8/2 cotton.

What if our attitudes were made tangible? What would our thoughts look like if they were out in the open, wrapped like colored threads around our actions? With the love of Christ in us, forgiveness is the recurring thread. Forgiveness is for the undeserving. That is who we forgive. Because that is who we are when we are forgiven by God.

May the thread of forgiveness be woven in your life’s fabric.

With you,
Karen

30 Comments

  • Jo says:

    Hi Karen,
    I have enjoyed your weaving and your threads of wisdom for quite a while. This post on forgiveness is on target . Thank you for your insightful messages. I would choose the blue with salmon , yellow and orange. The yellow stands out like sunshine (Sonshine) of God’s forgiveness.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Jo, Thank you for letting me know you are a part of this weaving journey. I enjoy hearing your reason for your choice of the warp wrappings.

      Hugs,
      Karen

  • Linda Cornell says:

    A very good reminder. We forgive because we are forgiven.

    The wraps are so beautiful in themselves. I lean toward 1 or 3 or 5…..blues with pop of color. It will be fun to see what your mother-in-law picks!

  • #2 and my reasoning is simple – bright, joyful and a reminder that your warmth and loving arms are surrounding her with the skills you have to share. Blessings!
    Bethany in Kingston ON Canada

  • Nannette says:

    Good morning Karen,

    Prefaced with not knowing what else is in the room and color preferences of your MOL…I am drawn to number 2.

    The warm colors bring a spark of excitement to the a
    off white chair.

  • Maria says:

    I look forward to reading your wonderful words each time you post. You inspire me to weave and be a better person! I would choose #3 and #5. I like the play of blue with the red and yellow.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Maria, I’m encouraged by your kind words. It’s a joy to have you along. Thanks for giving your opinion on the warp wrappings.

      All the best,
      Karen

  • patricia ahrens says:

    I agree with Karen. #2

  • Ellen Sturtevant says:

    #2 or 3. Like the pop of color in both. Hard to say tho without knowing what other colors are in her room. I’m sure you’ve considered color with all your selections.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Ellen, You are right, I tried to include colors that would work in her room. And I didn’t include green at all because I know it’s not one of her favorite colors.

      Thanks for participating,
      Karen

  • Linda Adamson says:

    For me personally I would pick 2 or 3. I like lots of color. If she doesn’t like as much color then 6 has potential as you get variations of blues with a touch of black. A more restful but interesting warp.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Linda, I included #6 for the very reasons you describe. It truly does look very restful. The black is actually navy blue. The iPhone camera does pretty good, but just can’t get it quite right. Thanks for your thoughtful response.

      Happy weaving,
      Karen

  • Charlotte says:

    Good morning, dearest!

    As I picture the off-white recliner…#6 seems to pop in my mind. It would hide possible soil marks and be stunning against the recliner. But, then…you might want something more cheerful. What is her personality? What are her favorite colors, I wonder. No matter the color choices…the end product will surely bless her more than there are color choices to make.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Charlotte, I like your reasonable approach. Yes, there are several factors to consider. Personality – delightful and fun. Favorite colors – I know she favors blue, and also likes other colors in colorful things. It will be a great pleasure for me to make these for the woman who has enriched my life so much.

      Thanks,
      Karen

  • Annie says:

    Good morning, Karen.

    Rather a scary premise to have all of our thoughts out in the open for everyone to see! However, I do believe that God sees them all and that knowledge keeps me working on improving.

    My eyes keep returning to wrap #3. Bethany said it best, though, when she said any of them will be a reminder of your warm and loving arms around your mother in law. She is very blessed to have you for a daughter in law.

    Can’t wait to see what she chooses.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Annie, Thankfully, God’s grace through Jesus supplies what we need to live for him. I’m glad to know your choice on the wraps. Yes, Bethany had a sweet way of expressing it.

      Thank you,
      Karen

  • Joanna says:

    Number three for this old lady. Blue for the sky of Heaven, yellow for the Light that shines upon us all, and red for the love of our Maker. Back to the primary, cheerful colors, unmuddied by doubt. Lucky Mama to get such a thoughtful gift!

  • Jan says:

    Good morning Karen

    I choose No 2 for your MIL to wrap around her gentle precious body.

    I enjoy reading your posts, thank you for your inspirations.

  • Joanne Hall says:

    When I saw #3, my immediate thought was that I need to remember this and use it on something sometime. Charlotte is right about the blue #6, very practical and blue is very calming. But that #3, I really like it.
    Joanne

    • Karen says:

      Hi Joanne, I, too, like #3. It seems well balanced and tidy, and most of all, cheerful. When I finished wrapping that one, it felt very familiar, as if I had done that same arrangement before. Maybe my memory copied a previous project?? 🙂

      Thanks for your input,
      Karen

  • Mary says:

    Hello, Karen! I like #1, which reminds me of a lovely sunset after a summer day filled with everything I love to do; #4 with a nod to the bright yellow that shines out of the dark contrasts, the light with which we are all acquainted; and am drawn to the orderliness of #3.And thank you for the gentle reminder of the importance of ‘forgiveness for the undeserving’. Important, yet challenging. I will work on that.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Mary, Oh yes, I can see the summer sunset in #1. What a wonderful description that fits. And the bright yellow in #4 does make the whole arrangement shine. Yes, #3 seems tidy to me, as I mentioned to Joanne. So many aspects to consider!

      Forgiveness for the undeserving is extremely challenging. I’m thankful we have been given an example.

      Thank you,
      Karen

  • Jenna says:

    great idea. I hate doing samples but I could handle wraping the warp around cards.
    Thanks
    Jenna

    • Karen says:

      Hi Jenna, This is very easy and pretty fun. I fold a regular index card in half and put double stick tape on the back side to hold the threads.

      Happy wrapping,
      Karen

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One More Swedish Art Weaves Bag

A warp is finished when the woven cloth has been taken to completion. At that point, the loom is free for a new warp. That is the rule I’ve given myself. If I ignore the rule and put on a new warp before its time, the unfinished cloth has a way of staying unfinished for too long.

Joanne Hall's Swedish Art Weaves workshop in San Antonio, Texas.
Ready to pack up after the Swedish Art Weaves workshop and take my loom back home. The Joanne Hall workshop was sponsored by the enthusiastic San Antonio Handweavers Guild a few months ago.
Monksbelt woven with pick-up.
Monksbelt pattern continued at home.
Swedish art weaves - dukagång.
Woven from the back, this dukagång pattern came from a Swedish publication I borrowed from the San Antonio Handweavers Guild library.
Weaving krabbasnår and other Swedish art weaves.
Krabbasnår, just behind the fell line, is from a pattern in Heirlooms of Skåne, Weaving Techniques, by Gunvor Johansson.

Thanks to that completion rule, I have a new bag. This fabric includes the various patterns that I wove in Joanne Hall’s workshop on Swedish Art Weaves several months ago. You will also see that I explored some patterns on my own at home. I gained two excellent outcomes from this finishing pursuit—a new bag to use, and a loom that is free for the next warp! (See the first bag here: Monksbelt Flowers on a Shoulder Bag)

Making a bag from Swedish art weaves.
Side piece, krabbasnår, is hand-stitched in place. From the top of the bag to the bottom – krabbasnår (krabba), rölakan, halvkrabba, dukagång, munkabälte (monksbelt), each section separated by plain weave stripe variations.
Handwoven bag made from Swedish art weaves.
On this side of the finished bag, from top to bottom – halvkrabba, dukagång, munkabälte. I made the hard decision to take out a section of rölakan I had woven in order to be able to put the knots from the linen warp at the top of the bag.
Handwoven bag made from Swedish art weaves.
Bag is lined and has pockets, and has a magnetic snap closure. The 6/2 Tuna wool shoulder strap was woven on my Glimåkra band loom.
Handwoven Swedish art weaves bag just finished. Now, on to the next warp!
Now, on to the next warp!

Left to myself, I’d rather do what I want. I’d rather start a new project than bring an “old” one to completion. I’m glad my Lord is faithful with me. He completes the work that he began. The Good Shepherd tends his sheep. He leads us to the still waters of peaceful perseverance, saving us from the regret of going our own way. And we have his perfect outcome to look forward to.

May you resist doing what you’d rather do.

With you,
Karen

14 Comments

  • Beth says:

    Wow! You never cease to amaze me, Karen. It’s lovely!

  • Karen says:

    Absolutely lovely…so colorful and lively. I just love this!

  • Joanne Hall says:

    Hi Karen, what a great bag you have made. I think you will have fun using it. It is so colorful and playful. Thanks for sharing this. I have a few samplers that I could make into more bags.
    Joanne

    • Karen says:

      Hi Joanne, I think this will become a favorite bag to use for special occasions. Every time I look at it I’m reminded of how much fun we had in that workshop! Making a bag is a great way to use a sampler.

      Thanks so much,
      Karen

  • Denise Schryver says:

    Very beautiful Karen!
    Our guild had a Swedish art weaves workshop with Joanne scheduled but was cancelled due to covid. I may have to try on my own after seeing your lovely work!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Denise, I hope you do give these beautiful weaves a try. The Väv 2/2013 issue has very good instructions, as well as the book I mentioned in the post. Nothing beats being taught by Joanne in person; however, you can still do it on your own. And hopefully after things get back to normal, your guild will have Joanne come then.

      Thank you,
      Karen

  • Nannette says:

    Good morning Karen,

    Basis the condition of both our homes as we push through transition to retirement, I’ve been deaf to God’s direction for a long time.

    One hour home repairs finally done.

    Long forgotten ‘ must make ‘ textile projects rediscovered in a mystery bag stuffed in a basement box.

    Projects started by beloved long gone, and never finished.

    Love your posting.

    Nannette

  • Linda Adamson says:

    Love your “bag” which I would call a work of art. Thanks for sharing your posts. God Bless!!!

  • Elisabeth says:

    Beautiful, and great use of the Swedish art weave fabric!
    And I really like that rule, I don’t think we were meant to procrastinate 🙂

    • Karen says:

      Hi Elisabeth, Things go better if we don’t procrastinate. I’ve had to relearn that more than a few times. The Swedish art weaves are so beautiful, so it’s nice to have a way to show them off.

      Thank you,
      Karen

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Tried and True: Checklist for Winding a Warp

I am winding a narrow warp for my next drawloom project. My warping reel is in a little four-foot-by-four-foot corner of my drawloom studio, and has just enough room to maneuver. When I am ready to wind a warp the first thing I pull out is my trusty checklist. I use a checklist for efficiency. It keeps me on track. And it’s more dependable than my memory.

Checklist for Winding a Warp

__ Weigh warp thread and write the amounts on the project notes. By weighing the thread before and after a project, you will know exactly how much warp thread was used in the project.

__ Stick a sample four-inch thread to each thread label; put a rubber band around the tube. After you finish winding the warp, you can quickly pair each yarn with its correct label because of the sample thread stuck to the label.

__ Bring supplies to the warping reel. If your warping reel is in a different room, or in a separate building, like mine is, make sure you have all you need before you head to the warping reel.

+ Thread for the project

+ Thread stand, if not already in place

+ Scissors

+ Choke ties

+ Project notes, with fully completed draftAn incomplete draft may give faulty information. Also, a review of the project notes and draft is a good idea, especially if weeks or months have passed since you wrote it all down.

Checklist for winding a warp.

__ Set up the warping reel for warp length. Use a guide string, or measure the distance needed to place the pegs and turning pin at the right place on the warping reel for the warp you are going to wind.

Checklist for winding a warp.
Checklist for winding a warp.

__ Set out the thread on the thread stand. Wind the warp with two or more threads at the same time, for best results.

__ Hang or tape up the project notes at eye level. Project notes show the warp sequence and other vital information.

__ Take note of warp length, number of bouts, and number of ends in each bout. Aim for 25 cm (10”) or less in the reed, or 200 or fewer ends, per bout. For the drawloom, wind the warp in pattern unit increments when possible.

Checklist for winding a warp.

__ Wind first bout, counting warp ends. Use a cord between groups of ends to keep track of the counting.

Checklist for winding a warp.

__ Visually check the warp order. Check to see that the warp order on the warping reel matches the warp sequence on the project notes. (I added this step to my checklist after the time I omitted 6 threads at the center of a warp, discovered after threading the loom.)

__ Tie off around the turning pin or the outside peg. Always wind the last pass with two or more threads together so you can tie them around the pin or peg.

__ Tie the lease cross; and tie choke ties on the warp. Tie the cross first, and tie any passes of the warp directly above the cross. Then, spin the wheel and tie the warp wherever it passes on the side opposite the cross. Also tie at the turning pin, at the top and bottom of the loop.

Checklist for winding a warp.

__ Chain the warp bout. Start the chain by holding the loop at the turning pin, and pull out the pin. Chain the warp, ending at the cross. (I use my knee, not so gracefully, to control the turning of the reel as I chain the warp.)

Checklist for winding a warp.

__ Place the warp bout on the loom, with the lease cross end going through the beater.

__ Wind remaining bouts, following the same procedure. When you place the warp chain on the loom double check the warp sequence to make sure the bouts are in the right order.

Checklist for winding a warp.
Checklist for winding a warp.

__ Roll up the thread tubes, replace labels, weigh thread and write down amounts, and place thread tubes in project bin. Each loom has its own project bin to hold the thread for that project.

Checklist for winding a warp.

__ Put away the choke ties, scissors, and thread holder.

__ Fold up the warping reel.

Checklist for winding a warp.

Get ready to dress the loom!

Checklist for winding a warp.

May you enjoy the process.

Happy Weaving,
Karen

10 Comments

  • Elisabeth says:

    Thank you so much! I realize it has been awhile, long enough to forget the steps. I’ll wind a warp today following these instructions. Then I will have two towel warps and can hopefully dress the loom without my usual long pause I’ll weave the easy one first, to get back into it, and have as a goal to have some towels ready as Christmas gifts.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Elisabeth, I’m glad you can use this! A checklist really helps me when I’ve been away from the loom for a while. I don’t have to re-think everything. I’m looking forward to hearing more about your towels. They will be beautiful, I’m sure!

      Happy weaving,
      Karen

  • Betsy says:

    Ah, yes, tie the cross. I don’t know how many times I’ve come *this close* to forgetting that step.

  • Karen Simpson says:

    Thank you so much….I’ve never weighed before to determine usage amount…will do. I also number my bouts with a sticky…learned the hard way..ha….

    • Karen says:

      Hi Karen, I’ve learned a lot of things the hard way, too. 🙂 I also weigh my weft thread before and after. The accumulated data helps when planning new projects.

      Happy weaving,
      Karen

  • Barbara says:

    I use a different color tie at the top of the lease cross so I know which way is up when taking the warp bout to the loom. Got confused once with a striped warp, took a bit of “undoing” to be sure I didn’t have the same colored stripes next to each other.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Barbara, Thanks for sharing your helpful tip. Getting the warp bouts mixed up at the loom is not fun. Some of our best lessons come through fixing our mistakes!

      Happy weaving,
      Karen

  • Summa Irukalam says:

    This is terrific! Thank you.

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Warp Chains Are Beautiful

The reel spins ‘round, ‘round, ‘round one way, and then ‘round, ‘round, ‘round back the other way. Rhythmic, mesmerizing, and strangely soothing. Counting, as I wind two ends at a time, I find myself whispering “2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, ….” The warping reel is one of my favorite pieces of equipment. This warp has seven colors of 22/2 Cottolin for bath towels which are to accompany the hand towels I recently made. I am winding this in four bouts, and there are different color changes in each bout.

Winding a warp for cottolin bath towels.
First bout on the warping reel.
Making cottolin bath towels.
Second bout. Choke ties about every meter keep the ends from shifting as the warp bout is chained and taken to the loom.
Making a warp for handwoven bath towels. Cottolin.
Third bout. Each of the four bouts has nearly the same number of warp ends.
Glimakra warping reel - one of my favorite pieces of equipment!
Fourth bout.

I marvel at the combination of thread colors as I chain each bout off the reel. The warp chains look beautiful. They always do. Warp chains are dreams in the making, where anything is possible. Haven’t you dreamt of handwoven bath towels?

Winding a warp on the Glimakra warping reel.
Came close to running out of thread on some of the tubes. (I did have backup tubes, but not from the same dye lots.)
Beautiful warp chains!
Beautiful warp chains, ready for the loom.

When we listen closely, we can hear the inaudible. Our hearts can hear the softest whisper. “2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, …” Even the hairs on our head are numbered by the Grand Weaver who planned our existence. Our days are numbered, as well. And when our heart is listening, we can hear the quiet whisper of the Lord Jesus, “Are you weary and burdened? Come to me, and I will give you rest.”

May you listen for the softest whisper.

Gently,
Karen

9 Comments

  • Beth Mullins says:

    Beautiful colors! I’m looking forward to seeing the warp spread across the reed. Best to you and yours!

  • Nannette says:

    The promise of the future beauty. The beginning of a process that completes at the plans and skills of the weaver. Time will tell.

    I always gorge on your color choices.

    Thank you.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Nannette, There’s always an element of time that holds the promise. I’m glad you enjoy the color choices. Choosing colors one of the most exciting parts about weaving for me.

      All the best,
      Karen

  • LJ Arndt says:

    Beautiful colors, looking forward to seeing the towel sets when they are complete and put together as the sets.

    • Karen says:

      Hi LJ, Making towel sets for our bathroom is something I’ve thought about doing for a long time. It’s nice to see it coming to pass. Thanks for your encouragement.

      Happy weaving,
      Karen

  • Ruth says:

    Karen,
    Thank you for your thoughts about listening to the whispers in our lives. Your words are always a breath of fresh air and I appreciate your reminders to look closely into my life and know that God is working his miracles in the smallest things. Looking forward to seeing your bath towels – wrapping up in a handwoven bath towel is such a luxury!
    Blessings to you and yours.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Ruth, I like your words that God is working his miracles in the smallest things. So true!

      I suppose that handwoven bath towels are a luxury. It’s nice to be surrounded by handwoven articles, simple luxuries.

      Blessings to you,
      Karen

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