21 February, 2009

Sleying the Reed

Four Harness Loom

This little workhorse four harness loom was made by Dundas Loom Company of Missoula, Montana. It is residing with me for eight weeks while I take a beginning weaving class at Weaving Works. I've finished four weeks of the class, and this is my second warping of the loom but the first time without assistance.

This warp is for a sample project 5 inches wide and about 12 inches long. I'm using shetland wool yarn with 24 wraps per inch, which should yield 12 ends (threads) per inch (EPI). 5 inches times 12 EPI means I need 60 warp threads. I wound the warp threads in class last week, using a warping board to create a loop of 30 threads, with a cross in the loop to help keep the threads in order. When the loop is flattened out, it becomes a 60 thread warp.

Sleying the reed

The first step in warping the loom (I'm warping front to back) is to tie one end of the warp to the front (breast) beam, and feed each thread through the reed. This is called sleying the reed. The reed is the comblike part of the beater that keeps the warp spaced evenly, and that allows the beater to pack the weft. On this loom, the reed is made of metal. Each thread gets fed through a reed dent, using a tool called a sley hook.

Reed Hook

Close-up of the sley hook (or reed hook). Sleying is done left to right, one thread at a time. The hook fits between the reeds, front to back, and catches the thread to pull it through the reed. Every inch (12 threads) I tied the sleyed threads into a slip knot at the back of the beater, to secure the warp. It took me about an hour to sley 60 threads.

Sleying the reed

This view is from the left side of the loom. Here you see the sleyed warp hanging through the reed at the back of the beater. To the left are the heddles hanging from the four harnesses of the loom. The next step in warping is to put each of the 60 threads through a heddle on one of the harnesses. Only then can I tie the warp to the cloth beam (front) and warp beam (back) and start to weave.

15 February, 2009


valentine roses

This rose is one of a vase full of beautiful pale orange roses, purple mums and pink lilies, which was a gift from my sentimental northern friend.

Also, a finished object of which I knitted about one eighth:

boathouse baby blankie

This blankie was presented to the new owner, age 4 weeks, yesterday. She slept through the whole event so I can't say whether she likes the color. Her mom was happy with it, anyway, especially since it's washable. The blanket is made from Dream in Color Classy (worsted weight) color Go Go Grassy. It was a collaborative effort, knit by 8 different rower-knitters. Mom is our sculling coach.