After cutting the fabric from the loom I threw it outside for pictures.
Made a close up of the two different wefts inside, ribbed and twill. Colours look different between the outside and inside pi
I have been warping today. That is I am creating the warp that will be beamed on the loom.
To be able to weave one needs an amount of threads that are stretched side by side. The least you need is 3 threads, perhaps 2.
I warped 375 threads, that are 12 m long. you see from the images that instead of laying the 12 m threads side by side on the ground I use a warping mill that turns around an axis in the middle. This way I can stand in the same spot and warp instead of walking back and forth 275 times.
I have then assembled a bunch of people next weekend to help me with the beaming on the loom. Actually the only instance where I need labor force. I could do it on my own but by receiving help the threads are more evenly stretched on the beam and it is easier. After toiling there are cake and coffee.
I finished slaying the reed, threading the heddles, tying the warp and tying up the foot treadles to the harnesses. I have been beating the weft into the warp. It was a bit hard first as I haven't woven fine woolen cloth like this for some years but it all came back to me and soon the cloth is ready. This is totally different work from my usual rag rug weaving. This is more craft like while making the rag rugs feels more as creating art and takes different angles of making. Totally different pondering physically and psychologically. As you can see from the pictures this is not at all like the rag rugs. I have thoroughly enjoyed this procedure and am glad I got the opportunity to make it. The cloth is custom made for a client.
I spent a day sleying. I am learning new English words and sleying is a new word for me but the process i have known for long. I know the weaving terms best in Swedish.
Sleying means to draw threads through the reed with a reed hook ( see post 26/10/2012) . The threads that I was sleying are together forming the warp that is in the loom at present. Dark blue as you can see from the images.
The reed sits in the batten and is used to keep the threads in their position a certain number of threads per width and also is used to beat the weft into the warp. Also you can see the heddles on the pictures. The warp is also threaded through heddles.
I am going to weave woolen cloth that will be turned into cushions, you can also see the balls of wool that will be used for this project. Not a rag rug this time. I very seldom weave anything else but rag rugs. This is one of the rare other pieces.
Words for the Icelanders: Sleying = draga í skeið. Reed = skeið. Warp = uppistaða. Heddles = haföld.
The process of preparing a the warp takes time, is slow and fun (I think). A friend was photographing me while I was threading the heddles. If I am lucky I can show you some of those images here. I am listening to an audio book by the Swedish author Jan Guillout "Brobyggarna" = Bridge builders, with all this work and having a splendid time. A book, an adventure, that takes place in early 20th century.
Being a weaver doesn't sound all that exciting nor does it seem to be an occupation full of action. But it can be overly exciting like the other day.
I was preparing to dye the warp in my cauldron.
In order to make the dye I fill a pot with leaves and cover them with water and boil for a while.
What I did this day is unforgivable: I left for my paying job and ...forgot the pot on the stove on full blaze.
But this I didn't realize before I had opened the front door 5 hours later.
When I arrived back home I stood for a while outside to admire the starry sky and hear a smoke detector in the distance at somebodies house. Thought that somebody should be alarmed.
I opened the front door and realized the howling was coming out of my apartment and that it was full of smoke.
I immediately realized what had happened. Memory all of a sudden was alert. Still wearing my thick woolen mittens from the bike ride I went straight into the kitchen where the smoking cauldron was. Unbelievably cool in the head I turned off the red blazing hotplate lifted the cauldron off the stove and took it outside the house. Returned inside and opened all windows and doors and got a refreshing gale in through the house for about 3 hours. As the draft was really strong I had to release the walls of various items that hung there as they were fluttering, banging and hitting the walls. When I finally settled down in a cold but fairly freshly aired apartment the shock came.
It could have been worse, the whole place could had been on fire!
I calmed myself down thinking, but it wasn't on fire. So?
Lucky in spite of all.
It has been a week now and this unwanted huge incense is still influencing the place but the smell/ fragrance is getting fainter every day. So it is not too bad. Tomorrow I will have a gang of warp holders at the studio helping me to warp the next piece.
I have received a lovely Stollen from Dresden that will be served to the warp holders with coffee and I have to bake something for them too.
Warping can also be very, very exciting;) procedure. But I hope it will not set the house on fire.
Anna María Lind, MA Textile Art Winchester School of Art.