Sunday, October 11, 2009

Weaving Question: Designing in the Reed

I have a question for the weavers among you.

I have this mixture of yarns that I purchased on my first trip to WEBS over 2 years ago. I really want to make a scarf out of them. There are unequal amounts of the yarns.

I'd like to somehow wind the warp and then when I'm threading the loom decide which yarn goes where. Is that even possible? If so, how???

I'm trying out this answer box in case you want to link to an answer rather than just trying to answer in comments. (I'm thinking maybe/hopefully some one has already blogged about this subject.....or that pictures might make it easier to explain rather than just trying to leave the answer in comments.)

But, I appreciate the help in whatever form it the comments, in email to the address in my profile, or in this fabulous MckLinky widget.

I really, really want to make this scarf (despite the problems that some of these yarns will undoubtedly give me).....but I can't figure out how to warp it!


Theresa said...

You might look into a supplemental warp for your "fancy" threads. Designing as you are threading might be something you can do easier warping front to back.
There is a good tutorial on supp. warping here:
With luck, either Susan Harvey (Thrums)or Cindie at eweniquely ewe will see this.
I do all my designing on the warping board so not much help, but I'll keep looking for info..

Life Looms Large said...

Thanks Theresa. I'll have to mull over the supplemental warp idea....I've never done one. Thanks for the link - that looks like a really good article at first glance!

I was thinking last night that I should do front to back warping and could warp each color individually so that I can space out my funky yarns and surround them by yarns that will behave well.

But I'm secretly hoping that some one has pictures of doing something like this before. I'm very attached to the idea of this project, even though I don't quite know how to do it!!

Thanks for your ideas!


Delighted Hands said...

So do it just the way you are envisioning it and blog about the experience! I would put the skeins into balls and then set them in the front of the loom and decide the width of the scarf and begin to fill in the reed! Don't be encumbered by rules you don't even know exist. As you do it you will find what works and what doesn't!!! A lesson you will remember for a longer time, certainly!

Leigh said...

I've done this on a small scale. I sometimes wind two or three yarns together on the warping board, and then choose the color I want as I thread the heddles (I warp B2F). I found it to work pretty well, but it would probably be more challenging with more yarns and colors.

Hilary said...

I would use a paddle to wind the warp.
Other than that you might have a tangled mess.....hope you are patient.

weaver said...

It certainly can be done. You would wind a separate warp chain for each color and warp front to back, tying all the different chains together on the breast beam. Then, mark the width of the scarf in the reed and randomly sley the colors between the markers. I usually start with the most textured yarn, distributing it however I want in the reed, and progress through the colors and textures, ending with the plainest.

I don't agree that a paddle is the way to go. That would produce regular stripes, which can be lovely in its own right, but these colors call for something more random.

I'm trying to think if I have pictures, but I think they were lost in the great Hard Drive Crash of Doom a few years ago.

Dorothy said...

Have you tried the method of wrapping yarns around a narrow piece of card to see how they look and help decide the proportions of each?

Life Looms Large said...

Thanks for all of your ideas. I think I'm thinking along the lines of what "weaver" is suggesting....measure out my different yarns separately, and then combine it at the loom.

I did the warp for my blue and yellow star towels that way (I think it was 4 threads blue, 4 threads yellow, over and I wound two chains separately.) So I know I can get that to work.

And that way I don't have to do the math of figuring out how much of each yarn I have. My plan is to dress the loom for 3 scarves, so I will use up all of the funky knitting yarn and some of the yarn on cones.

I have done a small sample of these yarns together - in my texture sampler last winter. I just wasn't (and still am not totally) sure of how to really set up this warp.

Plenty more time to think.....I still need to get a reed for this project too. I need something with probably 6 dents per inch and the least I have is 10. So I have to investigate options there too.

I would still appreciate other people's comments and ideas....I know I'm risking a big tangled up mess....but somehow I just feel drawn in that direction instead of my usual plotting and planning beforehand.

Thanks for all of your help & if more people add comments, that's a big help too!!!