The warp was on the beam for a week before I had the stamina to sit down and tackle threading and sleying. Still new at blogging, I forgot to take a pic of the warp behind the heddles. It was gloriously chaotic, those pesky ends from the knitted blank love to curl and tangle. I did manage to get a shot once the warp was threaded to give you a sense of the task.
Yes, I use the “threading via treadling” threading method ala Ingrid Boesel and I did have a one by one cross. As the threads hang on the lease sticks at the back, waiting for their turn to slip into the correct heddle, they rather like to “talk” to each other. Then once through the heddles, they can easily curl back, wind around the adjacent heddle or thread, all kinds of mischief. That means that sleying has to be done slowly and carefully, making sure the order is maintained. Peggy Osterkamp says “The only thread that cannot tangle is one under tension”. I am not sure if that is original to her, may have been a Jim Ahrens maxim, but I heard it from Peggy. I think of it every time I work with one of Nancy Roberts’ knitted blanks.
Slow and steady, eventually conquering the warp, feels empowering. (OK a bit of an exaggeration but not my much!)
Working with others is not common in our weaving world, usually a loom only wants one weaver. Producing a quality textile requires many skills though, the spinning of the yarn, the sewing of the garment, the dyeing of the yarn, you get the picture. I feel lucky if I can master one part of the process. I choose to weave. My friend, Nancy Roberts has chosen to dye.
Nancy lives just down the street but it took a guild meeting 15 miles away before we really connected. Nancy has done some weaving, knitting, spinning, but her real love is Machine Knitting and Dyeing, thus her web site www.machineknittingtodyefor.com
We have worked on a number of projects together. This one took a year in 2009 and a third collaborator, Loretta Warner ( www. lorettawarner.com ) .
We have since worked on a number of different projects, some good, some not so successful. The current project is based on a warp I did a number of years ago. With 4 cones I was able to go from black to a sort of periwinkle in the center. It took many changes of cones throughout the warping, lots of counting.
With Nancy’s expert dyeing of a very narrow knitted blank, I was able to wind this warp directly onto the beam, no switching out of cones of yarn, endless counting etc. It isn’t woven yet but just looking at the warp on the beam makes me happy.