Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Horizontal Sleying

If you're not a weaver, this post definitely won't be interesting to you. (No promises that it will be interesting if you are a weaver though!)

Since I sometimes take months off between projects, I'm creating a checklist to remind me about my preferred warping techniques.

For the past few days, I've been sneaking up to my studio to pick up where I left off dressing my Baby Wolf for a doubleweave sampler.

On my checklist, I had a note to try sleying the reed horizontally. Usually I put the reed in the beater in weaving position, and sley the reed that way when warping the loom back to front.

Last spring at Ruby Leslie's workshop, she mentioned that she prefers to sley the reed horizontally. One of my local weaving friends also endorsed that method. Deanna from A Winding Thread is also a fan.

I tried it out, and now I'm a fan too!!!

Deanna attaches her reed to the beater using ribbons from champagne bottles. I am a bit duller than that....I use shoelaces. (We runners tend to have lots of shoe laces that last longer than our running shoes!)

This method is more comfortable than putting the reed in the beater for me mostly because I'm never in a position where I'm looking through the reed at the heddles. Plus it seems easier for my hands and arms to be in comfortable positions with the reed horizontal. Also, I can tell from looking at the photos that I rest my forearms on the loom, which makes it more comfortable too.

I'm trying to develop a typical way of warping so that it becomes automatic for me. But I'm still willing to try different techniques to see if it gets easier, faster, more comfortable, more fun or better in some other way.

Sleying horizontally is definitely worth a try sometime if you haven't tried it yet. I was pleasantly surprised!

Let me know if you've tried it and what you think! Any other tips and pointers to make me a happier warper are also welcome!


Leigh said...

This was introduced to me on my Glimakra set up tape. I agree, it's much more comfortable! And it's easier to see. For me though, that might be partly because of my eyesight and trying to find just the right "spot" in my progressive bifocals.

Theresa said...

I too use this way and like it. My Dad suggested it. I find it faster. Since my beater isn't on the loom when I'm doing it, I just run two warp sticks resting on the back and front beams and have them hold the reed.
I do prefer the larger end of the dual sley hook though.
I thread using my fingers. Looks like some fun colors going on the loom!

LA said...

That's very interesting! I'm threading a warp tonight, and I may try that when I'm ready to sley the reed.

Cindie Kitchin eweniquely ewe said...

I'm a really fast warper and have figured I've taken all the short-cuts to make it as quick as possible but I'm definitely going to try this mathod to see if it's more comfortable. Thanks for sharing.

Life Looms Large said...

I think it's easier on the eyes because you don't have to keep changing what you're focusing on.

I definitely like the skinny end of this particular sleying hook. Some yarn is cooperative enough that I can sley and thread with my fingers. For other yarns (and for this current warp) I use the hook. (But only this hook. I have others that I just don't like!)

LouAnn - Definitely give it a try!!! I predict that you'll be glad.

I should dig out those big sticks that can support the reed. For my Toika I'll definitely have to set it up that way.

Keep the tips coming!! Anything to make dressing the loom better!


Anonymous said...

I also like to sley this way. Much faster, more ergonomic and easier to see the dents better, avoiding errors. I, like Theresa, put two warp sticks across my loom from the breast beam to the back beam fastening them with rubber bands. This creates a "table" to lay the reed across at whatever distance from the breast beam is most comfortable. I lay my ends on TOP of the reed and pull them through to below with the sley hook facing the hook away from me. That way, you can line up your dent groups of threads at 90 degrees to the dents resting above and then when you have several lined up, just pull them through lickity split one after the next with the hook moving from one dent to the next. More efficient. This is a Becky Ashenden/ Vav Stuga trick.


Delighted Hands said...

What a valuable technique for me to try-I have a hard time lining up my vision involving any vertical slats, they just swim in front of my eyes, so this not only looks more comfortable, I think I could SEE better! Thanks so much for posting this!

Anonymous said...

I have never tried this - seems like there are lots of people that do, so I guess this is next on the to try list!

sheilabythebeach said...

I am so glad I stopped by to see what you are doing. I love this idea, I will try it too!!! I lack a community of weavers still so I do rely upon the Internet to connect with weavers, thanks for a super idea!

Marion B. said...

I did sley this way once but I knocked the two sticks restig on my back and front beams (like therea does) of of my loom everytime. So, I'm back to my old way of sleying.

Deanna said...

See if one of your weaving buddies has an autodenter you can try for sleying the reed. I had one I almost got rid of because it kept coming apart - but once I switched to sleying the reed horizontally, with the autodenter vertical, it worked like a charm! Many thanks to Kati Meek - I learned this from her. :-)

Sharon said...

That looks sane to me. I've never heard of it before and need to get that under my belt. Thanks for the post. I don't get it yet, but I will. Wow~

Annie said...

I'm a fan of sleying horizontally, too. Do you have buttonhole elastic? That's what I use for this. From castle to breast beam I have a circle of this on both sides and I put the reed between it at a height I think is right for me. Button at top and bottom of the reed on both sides. To prevent the reed falling out I attach the reed with a piece of string to the side of the loom on both sides. Does this make sense to you? I forgot to take pictures last time I did this - will try next time.

Charlotte said...

Hi Sue, just catching up on your blog - been absent lately! I've not seen this before but it looks great, I'm going to give it a try too after seeing your photos. I too am all for finding better and faster ways to dress the loom otherwise I can find it a barrier to actually doing anything! Thanks for sharing!

sheilabythebeach said...

I am finally giving this a try and decided to see your photo again. I thread my dent first so it's a little bit different but much easier. Thank you for this nifty tip!