Cyber Weaving Class
How to know how much yarn you will need for a project
How to figure your number of ends in warp:
You need to know how many ends per inch you are going to have. Take the yarn you want to use, wind it around a ruler, have the yarn strands touching each other but not crowded. Count how many wraps there are to an inch, divide that figure by 2, that is your Ends Per Inch (EPI)
Lets say that you come out with 10 EPI, that means that you will need 10 ends of yarn for inch of width. If you want to make a scarf 10 inches wide you will need 100 Ends.
EPI (10) x width of project (10) = 100 (total warp ends)
How to figure the length of your warp:
You need to know how long you want your scarf to be, I like a scarf that is about 72" not counting the fringe. So for that length you would figure 80".
Then you need to allow for loom allowance, this is the amount of warp that is needed to reach from the back beam to the front that isn't woven but is wasted. Allow 18" for a table loom and 36" for a floor loom. If you aren't sure of your sett or pattern, it is a good idea to allow a little more length of waste for sampling.
Length of project, include fringes, + loom allowance = length of each warp thread
Figuring how many yards of warp are needed:
You need your total warp ends x the total length of each warp end = total inches needed for your warp. Divide by 36 to get the yards.
For this scarf project the figures are as follows:
100 total warp ends x 98" for a table loom or 116" for a floor loom = 9800" (tableloom) or 11600 inches for a floor loom. Divide your total by 36 to get the yards. 273 yds for a tableloom or 323 yds for a floor loom.
Now we will figure what we need for the weft:
First you take the width in the reed + 10% for take up allowance = one weft thread (1 Pick)
We have a scarf that is 10" in the reed, plus 10% = 11"
You will need to know how densely you are going to weave your scarf, sampling gives you the best method of deciding how closely you want to weave your weft but you can estimate what you think you will be needing. If your sett is 10 DPI, start with weaving 10 weft picks per inch (PPI). That means that you will need 110 inches of weft yarn to weave one inch, if you make your scarf 72" without the fringe you will need 7920 inches of yarn, divide by 36 to know your yards=220yds.
If you don't have a 10 dent reed you can still make a scarf by using the reed you have on hand. If you have a 12 dent reed, you will need 120 ends to make a 10" scarf. If you have a 8 dent reed you will need to be a little more creative, often a yarn that is suitable for a 10 dent will work with a 12 dent also. If you do use a 12 dent and the scarf seems to be weaving up a little more dense than you like you can just weave it looser, fewer picks per inch.
Using an 8 dent is a little trickier. I would take a yarn that is about 1200yd/lb and wind a warp of 100 ends, thread your 8 dent reed like this:
first dent - 1 end, second dent - 1 end, third dent - 1 end, fourth dent - 2 ends, fifth dent 1 end, sixth dent - 1 end, seventh dent - 1 end, eighth dent - 2 ends.
I think we are ready to get on with the class, I have sent out scarf kits and weaving supplies. I have a good supply on hand in case anyone else still needs some supplies. We will go through the yarn amounts and calculations:
The picture is of a warping board that is in the process of having a warp wound on it, the other picture is a closeup view of a the threading cross. You will notice that they are putting a cross at each end of the warp, that is not neccessary, just put one cross in the warp. The method is:
when you get to these end 3 pegs, go to the right of the first peg, around to the left of the second peg, up and around the third and then come back to the right of the second peg and then around the left of the first peg, then go all the way back to the beginning peg at the other end of the warping board. You have just completed your first warp wrap.
Next step in making your warp:
The info below tells you how to figure how many epi you will need for your project. You can see that when you are winding your warp on a warping board or reel that each complete trip around the pegs gives you 2 warp ends, so that means that you need to make a complete wrap only half as many times as the ends you need. If you are using a 10 dent reed, you will need 100 ends for a 10" scarf, but you only wind 50 complete wraps on the warping board. As you are winding the warp you need to count but that can be tricky to remember just how many you have so here is a tip to keep the count accurate. On one side of the last peg on the end of the warping board where your cross is you will put a tie of contrasting yarn on the warp every 10 threads, when you have 5 ties of 10 each on one side of the cross you have reached your goal of 100 ends. Now it is time to romove the warp and you have to be Very careful when you do this so that you don't Lose your threading cross, that is a disaster! To insure that the cross is safe use heavy yarn ties in a contrasting color, tie the end loop and then tie around the cross itself. the arrows show where the all important threading cross is, put the tie cord under the cross by the peg on the right, put the other end of the cord down and under the cross and come up at the arrow at the center peg. Now tie the cord over the cross, tie it securely since it has to remain in place till the warp is in position on the loom. Next tie the warp with a contrasting yarn tie along its length about every 12" or so, that will help control your warp and prevent undue tangling. Now it is time to remove the warp from the warping board. I like to make a warping chain, go to the first peg on the warping board at the opposite end from the end with the threading cross. tie this end off securely and then cut the ends off of the board. Then make a large loose crocheted chain, using your hands like you would a crochet hook. Work the chain back up the board to the threading cross. With the last loop of the chain on your wrist, take the threading cross off the board with your left hand, keeping the two ends of the cross separated with your fingers.
Now we take the chain to the loom to put it on the Lease sticks, these are two sticks that will have a hole on each end. Take a strong yarn or string and tie the sticks together on one end. Then insert the other ends of the two sticks into your warp, one end of a lease stick on one side of the threading cross and one stick through the other side of the threading cross. Now thread a string through the two holes on the ends of the lease sticks and tie together. Your threading cross is now secure on the lease sticks. The loop that is on the end of the threading cross will go onto the back beam. Looms have different set ups at the back beam but I will give the directions for the most common set up and if yours isdifferent contact me and I will help you with your loom. I prefer using wooden lease sticks and wooden warp sticks but metal one are being used often in new looms but you can always replace these metal ones by going to a hardware store and requesting long sticks and then drilling a hole on each end. Below is a picture of your lease sticks, you can see how the ends are tied to make sure your threading cross is secure. You can also see the true worth of the threading cross, each thread is either up or down on the sticks, that keeps them in perfect order.
You are going to "dress" the loom now, which means you are going to put the warp on the back beam. I do this by placing the loop over the warp stick that is on the back beam, it will be attached either to an apron or by long cords to your back beam. Here is an excellent picture of what we are doing:
Click onto the picture to see a larger view. This picture is from the excellent weaving book "Warp to Weave" which comes free with a Lelcerc loom or can be bought separately. The picture shows the warp on the lease sticks, tie the lease sticks to the loom in some way to steady them while you are warping. The arrow in the picture shows how the loop of the warp is over the warp stick and is then lashed to the apron or rods that are attached to the back beam. Now we will wind the warp onto the back beam. The warp should be evenly distributed along the warp sticks to the width of the project you will be weaving, since we are making a scarf 10" wide, the warp will be spread out over the middle 10" off of the warp beam.
Now we will start winding on the warp. I use sticks for inserting in the layers of warp threads, paper seems to be more of a hassle than using sticks. Use what ever you have on hand, if you can't come up with sticks then paper will do. One very handy thing to have on hand is a bundle of blinds from an old ventian blind, the slats are just right to use for warp separators and you can cut the slats to size. The reason we need to have something inserted in the warp is so that the threads wind on to the back beam evenly, if your beam takes on a slope to the sides of the warp then you will have problems with your tension once you start to weave.
I wind my warp all by myself, once you get the knack of it the process goes quite quickly. I make sure the warp is spread out on the warp stick, push your lease sticks forward towards the front of the loom, be careful not to push too heavily as you will break a warp thread if you feel a snag but continue to push the lease sticks anyway. When you do feel a snag, go to the lease sticks and "strum" your threads, don't comb your fingers through the warp, just think of strumming a guitar, that is the motion you want to use to untangle your warp threads. Once you have pushed the lease sticks as far forward as you have room for, go to the back beam and wind on the warp. Then back to the lease sticks to even out and untangle, push forward and then back to wind on again. Repeat these steps, about every half turn of your back beam you need to insert paper or sticks in your warp to make them wind on evenly. Also make sure the warp threads are evenly spread out on the lease sticks to the 10" width. We aren't using a raddle since I don't find one neccessary for such a narrow warp. Continue to wind on the warp to the back beam till you have all of the warp wound on except or enough length to thread through the heddles and on through the reed and still have enough length to spare to tie a knot.
Now I thread the heddles, I start with the first heddle on the #1 harness, then thread a heddle on #2 H, then thread a heddle on #3 H, then #4 H, then a heddle on #3, then a heddle on #2, then #1, then #2 and so on. The threading draft is below, read it from right to left across all of the threads. I sley my reed at the same time as I thread my heddle, I draw the thread through the heddle and then through the first slot in my reed that is exactly 5" right of the center of the reed.
1-----1 Threading Draft
If you are using a rigid heddle loom you do the threading by measuring off 5" to the right of center, thread your first thread in a hole, the next in a slot, so on, till you have threaded all of your warp threads. When ever you have to leave your loom while in the process of warping, be sure to tie your threads in bundles of about 25 threads. If the threads are hanging on the lease sticks and you have to leave the loom, tie those threads in bundles also. A child or a pet can cause havoc with these loose ends in a very short time and the minute it takes you to secure the ends will be worth hours! I always make sure I have enough spare length to tie my ends in bundles after I have drawn them through the heddles and the reed.
After you have all of your heddles threaded we can tie the warp to the front beam. I like to use a triple twist knot, only make one tie, don't make a knot yet. Here is a good picture of how you tie your warp to the front beam: Click onto the picture to see a larger view. Once you have all of the warp ends tied, you will remove the lease sticks that were holding your threading cross, remove them carefully. After you have tied all the warp ends, go back and pull them all tighter, making the knot secure. You want an evenly tightened warp, not tight enough to twang though!
Now you are ready to Weave! You can either use a boat shuttle or a stick shuttle for the weaving. If you are using a stick shuttle then be sure not to put too much on the stick, if it gets too bulky it will rub on your warp and make it hard to insert through the "shed". On a rigid heddle you will have two "sheds", one will be when you have the rigid heddle reed in the upper position and one where you will have it in the lower position. If you are using a table or floor loom, your "shed" will be when you depress a pedal or flip a lever, to raise the harnesses. The open area is the "shed", this is where you will insert your "weft" yarn that you have put on either a stick or a boat shuttle. Generally I start weaving from the right, insert your shuttle, draw it out with your left hand, leave the weft yarn in a relaxed curve but have your right hand hold the weft yarn at the right edge. Now you beat in the weft, beat is not a very good word to use. Think "place" your weft, don't use force to place the weft, just push your beater towards yourself and push the weft in. Change your shed by using your next treadle or placing the rigid heddle in the lower position. This is your next shed, insert the shuttle from the left to the right, use your left hand to hold the left edge. The first few "picks" (rows) of weaving should be done with a waste yarn, you will remove this when you are done weaving, it will get the warp spread out properly and after an inch or so you can start using the yarn of choice for your scarf. The scarf kits I sell are made to be woven at 10 PPI, that means that you will need to make 10 passes with the shuttle to every 1 inch of weaving. If you think your scarf is getting too stiff then decrease your PPI. You can do this by making sure you are not beating in the weft too firmly so that you are getting too many rows for every inch. I like a scarf to be woven openly so that it drapes on the shoulder so I much prefer to error on the side of too open as opposed to too close. I weave my scarves to 72", when you have woven to this length, do a few picks of the waste yarn again. Cut the scarf off the loom, being careful to leave enough of the warp on the end for a fringe. Remove the waste yarn from one end of the scarf, then take 4 warp ends and make an overhand knot, bringing the knot up close to the scarf. Continue across the edge of the scarf then do the fringe on the other end of the scarf. When you are all done with the fringe knots, lay your scarf out on a table and cut the fringe to the length you want. I ususally make my fringe about 2" long. You now have a scarf that you made yourself, try making a scarf with different yarns, try different EPI and different PPI, you will find there is a wide variance in the type of scarf by making only a few changes.
I have tried to make this as short and as clear as I could, please feel free to contact me for more in-depth help with any questions you may have.
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