Sunday, March 25, 2012

Winding Off Excess Thread Is Done

Well, it is taking longer than I expected, but it's working. Yesterday was a whole day of struggling with unforeseen problems.

The biggest problem is that I warp my threads in pairs. There are 20 slots in the tension box reeds and 39 threads per section. This means that all but one thread are doubled up, allowing them to twist around themselves. It's not usually a problem because they're not really twisted. I guess that for the first half of the beam they're twisting in one direction and going the other direction for the rest of the beam or something. When I'm weaving a beam, the action of opening sheds keeps the twisted threads for tangling and by the time I reach the end of the beam they're not twisted any more.

Well, with this operation, there are not sheds to prevent tangles. And so I transferred 20-30 yards of thread yesterday, 6-12 inches at a time. I wind a little, stop and untangle twists, and wind a little more. This continued late into the night and started up again early this morning. No time for tea today. I've got to have this operation done today because the studio, including all 3 looms, gets broken down and packed starting tomorrow.

But here's the final result: acceptably even amounts of yarn on the beam with the extra yarn saved on the spare loom.


Alice said...

Congratulations on pulling this one off! I wondered if you would, and I admire the creative thinking and persistence that resulted in a save. Good luck with the move.

Tien Chiu said...

Just out of you think the cost of the yarn you saved was enough to warrant the work of saving it? It sounds like it was a pretty fussy process.

Blossom Merz said...

Thanks for the feedback, y'all!

Alice, thanks. I wasn't sure I'd pull it off either, but I WAS sure that I'd learn something in the process... And boy, oh, boy, have I done that!

Tien, it's much more complicated than just the cost of the yarn. I was also considering the value of my design skill and time as captured in that complex color gradient. If it was just the thread value, I'd have cut it all off and thrown it away immediately. Instead, I'll use the spare loom to create saleable merchandise from the "scrap". I am sure that the additional income will pay me for two full days' time and pay an apprentice to weave it off. And, all things being equal, it would take longer than two days to have designed and wound even a 16-section, 20-yard beam with such a complex gradient.

eldri said...

It *IS* very nice color!

machine wants me to try again

Krazycrafter said...

I was wondering, why you did not wait until you starting having empty sections before transferring to the other loom.

Blossom Merz said...

Thanks, Eldri! By the way, your cloak is woven. It's at the seamstress right now and will ship out to you right after the move.

Krazycrafter, thanks for asking. Weaving depends on even tension as much as possible. Having some sections much fatter than others means that those sections will go slack really quickly. (remember that the beam turns at an even rate, unspooling however much thread is wrapped around each section...) The fix is to rig up a separate mechanism for each section to take up the slack and keep all of the threads under even tension. Every few yards I'd have to stop and remove the excess thread from 16 separate sections, wasting that thread and wasting lots of time. Soooo, even if I hadn't saved the thread, I needed to get it off the beam to make weaving easier (or even possible.)