This has been an unusually hot, dry summer here in what we playfully refer to as “The Pacific Northwet”. Dry, dry, dry it has been. Last night a smattering of rain ended our record-breaking streak of 55 consecutive rainless days. We are not used to this. My garden is sighing with relief and so am I. Autumn is my favorite season. It’s coming.
|My overloaded warping reel puts up with a lot of abuse.|
In the background hangs a Summer & Winter sampler.
On the right is the "Hippie Bag" from my junior high school days.
Getting back to the studio, here is a bit of what I was doing last May. To prepare to lead a Mini-Workshop for my guild I wound this Rep rug warp. First off, I admit to overworking my warping reel. But, embarrassment aside, this is honestly how I operate.
Most often I wind my warps twice as long and half as wide as the planned project. Beginning at the selvedge edge, I wind warps in to the center of the draft. Since my warping reel has only one cross bar I place a chopstick in the previous vertical support to the lower turning post. Between the chopstick and the end-post I create a second cross.
With two ends (one dark and one light) in each pass I splice in new colors at either top or bottom turning peg at will, cutting the old color and knotting in the new each time and designing as I go. Watching the colors build along the warping reel it is easy to see how they will look woven.
|Rep Rug color changes|
The rug detail photo gives an idea of how often the colors change and how much work warping double length saves. In addition, I do not have to keep track of where each color should fall for the mirror side of the warp. The more time and trouble (and chance for errors) saved, the better.
|Rug weaving in process|
My Glimåkra Standard countermarch loom has center cords on the top and bottom of the heddle bars. So it makes sense to me to do all sleying and threading from the center outward. I bring both crosses from the top and bottom of the warping reel together and place them side-by-side in the lease sticks then continue dressing the loom as usual.
During the workshop I described and demonstrated these techniques. Nine experienced weavers attended and kindly watched and listened attentively. Maybe they gained something new to take home and incorporate into their weaving. As I always stress, if some new idea or improvement comes to my attention I put it to use. Just as much as the seasons change, so do I. Over time I learn and adjust. This can be just as refreshing as rainfall after a drought.
Warp On/Weave Off,
|Two of the finished rugs showing front and reverse side colors|