I like the title of this post -- the Uneventful Warp. Doesn't it sound nice? Well, it has never happened for me. All my warps have been Major Events, Tangled Webs -- a sort of theater in the round. Could have been a TV show entitled, "The Three Stooges Warp the Loom."
I am a self taught weaver, plugging away at it now for about four years. First I bought Estee's old table loom, a real beauty. I packaged it up carefully to bring it back with me to Israel as one of my two allowable suitcases (remember those days?). At the El Al counter in New York, they ran it through the X-ray machine.
"What is this?" a nice clerk asked me.
My attempts to explain what it was all failed. It is for making fabric. It weaves threads. It is an old fashioned way to make clothes. It is how people did it before machines. We tried hand gestures, body language....
So they began opening the box, trying to peek at it. They peeked. More confusion. They opened it a bit more. More confusion. Opened more. More -- well they opened it all the way, never figured out what it was, decided it wasn't a weapon, and put it on the plane.
These guys are great in my opinion. I loved every minute of it. LOL. ROFL. You know.
So I read Debbie Chandler's book on the plane, even underlining important parts, and got home ready to weave. I didn't have a warping board. Ok. No problem. I'll make my own.
So I had LONG warps hanging off the back of the loom which I patiently untangled. And I untangled them as I wove also. Some warp just got cut off. I wove anyway, and made a tallit for my nephew, some weird towels, a couple of short (really short) scarves (hubby doggedly wears them) and put the loom away for the next year.
In the years that have followed, I still never got THE CROSS. But then I lucked onto a great find. A cherry wood 40" wide Norwood 8-shaft floor loom with a sectional beam. People in Israel don't really value this kind of equipment -- and have no one to sell it to. So I got $5,000 worth of stuff for $700. A-ma-zing!
I have the loom, a bobbin winder, a spool holder, tension box, sectional beam, extra reeds, every kind of shuttle, extra heddles, fancy tex-solve snap ins, bags and bags of unwanted yarn, a warping board (ALAS!! It was broken!!) -- the list goes on and on.
For several weeks, I just nervously sat in the living room and watched it.
Then Dina came over and with her reassuring presence, we poured through books on how to do it and we warped the beam (ok, she did most of it). Then she went home.
There were tension problems. Threads were tangled coming from the sections to get to the heddles. I called Dina. She suggested advancing the warp completely, then rewinding it. Good idea.
The next warp was handspun silk which was not spun firmly enough...as it turned out. And I have studied pictures and watched youtube videos and can't get the hang of that weavers' knot. Maybe because I'm left handed? I'd lose warp threads completely and try to figure how to add new threads. Everybody tells you to hang them using film cans with a few pennies in them for weight.
What's with the film cans?? Who has film cans anymore?? I certainly don't! I had nothing I could figure out to use for tensioning new warp threads. So I tied them on and sort of wound them around the pegs on the sectional beam. Well, everytime you advance a warp like that, you have to retie all of them...
But I did weave two more tallits -- and sold one of them! -- and then another!
I love weaving. I really do. And now I am even starting to have ideas of what I'd like to make. I'm spinning yarn just for weaving projects. But an UnEventful Warp?? Don't make me LOL. Don't make me ROFL. Don't even think about it!