Monday, 20 April 2009


before i start . .

i've got internet at home! yay!

i finally bit the bullet and paid BT £122 to connect my line.

anyway, back to the point

this is related to the 100-scarf a week project.

yes! that's right! i have not given up! i am just slow as all funk!

so, yeaah. here's the thing. say each scarf is 1.25 metres long. then if i want to weave 100 scarves at 2 wide i need to make a warp, say 70 metres long. a little bit more maybe to be on the safe side.

as you can see, if i weave at 2 wide, then i can't really reasonably expect to make 100 scarves in a week. cos weaving the count of yarn i like to use at 1 metre an hour is reaonably hard work. and 70 hours reasonably hard work in a week quickly becomes extremely hard hard work.

so i need to weave 3 wide, which would leave me at about 40 metres or so. i need to do more sums. but that's about right. and that's doable. i reckon. but i don't have enough heddles. yet

anyway, that's another story.

the main thrust of this post is how i intend to make a long warp. this is how:


there's no other way really. my house is too little to sectionally warp in, and there's no way i'm spending any more money on warping equipment. so i have to do it outside. the great problem with doing this outside is that it's windy as anything up here and doing anything remotely delicate is a near impossiblity unless you have shelter, of which there is little as trees this far north are the exclusive preserve of toffs and plantation-farmers.

anyway, i live by the sea. which is nice, cos i like to swim. and i was walking on the beach, which is made of rocks, the other week, thinking away about how i was gonna warp outside using the natural environment as my warping frame, when i ran across an unusually shaped hunk of wood. having been so far bereft of inspiration i arbitrarily decided that this was a Sign (despite having been a confirmed Atheist since the age of 14, i am unable to rid myself of superstition) that i should sit about on the rocks and have a think.

And there i saw it: a sea barrier!

see, up here there's sea barriers in bits along the coast, which are basically wire boxes filled with rocks, which are all slabs up here, thing being the way they are. and these ones were arranged in three steps, each almost the height of a man. so i decided to have a look at these, and it occured to me that if i were to jame sticks in between the rocks, they'd stick out at 90 degrees and make a warping frame. and blow me down, there right on a rock right there was a small collection of sticks, of the kind they use to seperate planks at the builder's yard. you know, the kind that's really easy to break and nice and rectangular.

so i jammed them in, and lo and behold, a warping frame! made out of sticks shoved into a storm barrier.

so, just so you know and for my own self-motivation, i'm going to make a 30 metre warp (for experiment sake) 2 scarves wide (that's 900 ends) anbd weave it up and see how it comes out.

if i haven't posted the results within two weeks i whole-heartedly encourage you to pull me up about it, with the aid of capital letters, which as we all know is the internet equivalent of SHOUTING!

thanks for listening



Susan said...

GOOD! Something makes me wonder if you aren't just sitting in a soft sofa making this up...the wind, the sea barrier, the rocks, the long warp. I really don't mind if you are, because it's a good story, and I'm hooked.

Anonymous said...

LOL! That's that wildest warping yarn (oof, sorry) I've ever heard. Pray, continue : )


Anonymous said...

Oh, good, you're back at the 100-scarf project. I was so worried you'd given up on it. And quite the idea you've got for winding the warp. Possibly the first time in history such a thing was done on a sea barrier? I've often thought it would be nice to arrange a loom with its back at a patio door so I could just open the door and have lots of room to work at it.

humblebumble said...

yeah, that would be nice. one day i hope to rent a field to work in and set up an open-ended marquee or some such thing. i really hate being cooped up all winter in such a tiny wee space

Dorothy said...

I came back to this post because of your comment about not have room to do sectional warping. What about using a horizontal warping wheel, you wind enough for one section of the warp beam onto the wheel and then off the wheel onto the loom? So there's no tension box, no rack full of 60 reels that you've wound specially - just the sectional beam and the warping wheel. Might give it a go myself one day, but it's not top of my spending priorities (yet).

humblebumble said...

not a bad idea. really i just need to build a better warping frame. it's impossible to make a warp wider than 100 ends without the pegs pulling in on mine. which is crap and means i always have a tension differential that i have to sort out when i'm beaming the warp.

i'm going to use pegs hammered into the ground next time. sometimes the primitive solution is the best.

it's like winemaking, people think you need all these demijohns and air-valves and all this shit, when all you need is sugar, yeast, a bunch of rotting fruit and a big plastic bucket