For the last two days I have been struggling with learning curves on a few fronts. Yesterday I fired up my new warping wheel for my first attempt at sectional warping. It didn’t work. The threads on top tangled with the threads on bottom, I had to yank and then carefully untwine the ends from around each other, and of course by the time I got done with *that* the warp was hopeless, between the uneven tension and the tangled threads. I cut it off.
Fortunately, Laura, the weaver who sold me my new AVL, came to the rescue, and told me to be careful as I wound on to keep the threads in parallel order as they went on the wheel, and not to overlap each set of rounds. Hey presto! The warp came off smoothly and perfectly. So I started beaming it on.
The first thing I discovered is that 128 threads of 4900 ypp cotton, tied in an overhand knot, does NOT fit gracefully into the grooves on a sectional beam. So I couldn’t just tie it to the sectional cords. I finally tied it directly to the rod running through one of the grooves on the beam, and that seemed to work OK.
Then I started winding on, and promptly found out that when you tilt the raddle to reduce the size of the warp section to match the 2″ section on the beam, the tension goes screwy. One side gets tighter and the other side gets looser. I tried retying onto the beam after tilting the raddle, which seemed to be working for awhile, but then discovered that the raddle wasn’t quite tilted enough, so I changed the tilt of the raddle, which of course reintroduced the tension problem. I was also having trouble with the cords of the sectional beam creating bumps on the warp beam. Unwinding and rewinding the warp, I managed to get several threads caught on the dividers of the sectional beam.
I cut it off. So now I still have about six yards on the warping wheel (I had put on a nine yard warp) to experiment with. I am thinking, however, that I may hold off on warping until Penny (another super experienced weaver) can come by and help me. There are clearly a lot of variables here, possibly more than I can handle as a first-timer on my own.
Or maybe I won’t. I have nearly infinite patience for problem-solving but the patience of a gnat when it comes to waiting around to start something that really interests me. So I may just reread Peggy Osterkamp’s description of sectional warping and try again, although I’m not sure how much of it applies when using the warping wheel (as opposed to the usual spool rack and tension box).
I am also struggling with the learning curve on doubleweave. I have been reading through Bonnie’s article on doubleweave (from the Complex Weaver’s Journal) and also through the doubleweave chapter in her book. I think I’m starting to understand it, and would like to do some experiments to see if what I expect is the same as what actually happens, but am currently stymied by my inability to read doubleweave drafts in the interlacement mode of my weaving software. (Which I need to be able to do because some of the stuff I am getting into now has interlacements that are too complex to see in doubleweave view.)
WIthout being able to do that, I can create all the drafts I like, but I haven’t the foggiest idea how they will look when woven. So I’m effectively designing blind, which is not much more useful than doodling. So I am studying the interlacement drawdowns and switching between that view and doubleweave view in “pure” doubleweaves, trying to understand how they relate to each other, but it’s slow going. I’m not sure I’ll really understand it until I’ve woven some of it and so have some physical examples of “what happens if…”. Which is one of the reasons I’m so darned eager to get weaving on this!
Nonetheless I am pleased with the last couple of days. I’m making a lot of mistakes, but that’s what I expect as a beginner. What’s important is that I’m learning from, and resolving, those mistakes. So even though I don’t fully understand how to handle either, I’m getting closer.