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WAL photos & progress

Caroline's picture

How is everyone doing? I have managed my first 6 rows of the doubleweave and want to start trying to pick-up the pattern today:

Not the best photo, but I'm getting there!

Virag's picture
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thats great:>.  I hope to be

thats great:>.  I hope to be there tonight as well if I can get some concentration time:>.

Caroline's picture
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Managed  to do a bit more on

Managed  to do a bit more on the pick-up. I've been having a few problems with the selvedges  but hopefully they are improving! Once I'd done a couple of rows of the pick-up I found I didn't have to rely on the pattern so much to show me the next row, so it actually works out much easier to do than I thought it would, and Lavernes' instructions are definitely much easier to understand than the same project in the Bolivian Highland Weaving book, as thats written for 4 shafts and becomes unnecessarily complicated. This goes quite fast once you get the hang of it - well, fast is relative, lol!

I've nearly finished the second motif, and changing colour background is a breeze:

Its not perfect, but I turned it over and the back looks much better than the front, so the next time I'll scan that off instead.!

 

bolivian warmi's picture
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Your selvedges ARE improving

Your selvedges ARE improving and your piece is settling into its ideal width now. Things will be less bumpy from now on.

i was wondering how you are liking using that kind of heddle string-you know that I HATE using nylon, right? Are you having problems with pilling-it doesn't look like it.

You are catching me up-I'd better go weave some!!

well done Caroline!!

Caroline's picture
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I am having a bit of a

I am having a bit of a problem with pilling. The white I'm using is the only one I could find of the right size and its softer than the other threads, so I have a sneaky suspicion its not mercerised cotton, and of course this is the one that pills - its not drastic, and I keep an eye on it as I go so it doesn't catch. I've tried nylon, and the knots keep slipping so its too much hassle, and I have problems using dowel on such a narrow band because it slides around, grrrr!

In fact thats the biggest problem I've had - keeping everything balanced.

I understand now why many of the Asian backstrap looms are set into a sort of frame, well 2 uprights. Its to hold the whole thing straight so the weaver has less to worry about when weaving a fine warp with little weight to balance it. Francos "cure" for the leans is nifty, I shall have to see what I can come up with!

bolivian warmi's picture
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Which dowel is moving

Which dowel is moving around?

If you are using a dowel as a shed rod, you could try a shed loop instead-I love shed loops!--Franco...does not! Otherwise a pencil will do and my trick for keeping that balanced is here......this Flikr link has the explanation for the photo below.

www.flickr.com/photos/39560980@N05/3660374572/in/set-72157620546271830/

Here I am using a HUGE shed stick and security rod but you could do the same with two pencils for your narrow warp.

If it's your far loom bar that is dancing about, then try lashing it at at both ends to something horizontal-don't have it floating about on the end of a rope. You need to make your set up as comfortable as possible. A few extra moments to get things just right will save you a lot of anguish.

 

Caroline's picture
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I'm lazy, hehe! I like to sit

I'm lazy, hehe! I like to sit on the sofa and do my weaving in comfort, and just haven't found the right immovable object to lash onto yet.

Virag's picture
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Well, I've finally got the

Well, I've finally got the warp on the loom and after lunch I'm going to put the heddles on and hopefully get started weaving before my prek son gets home.  He likes to "help" with the weaving so I'm going to pull out his easy weaver loom so we can weave together:>. 

Put the warp on my Spanish Peacock warping board.  I Love that warping board.  It does six yards and is very compact.

 

 

So now I'm ready to put the heddles on:>:>:>.  I was surprised how quickly the big, chunky cotton warps up.  I'm used to crochet cotton for inkle and tablet woven projects:>.

bolivian warmi's picture
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Beautiful pictures Lisa.

Beautiful pictures Lisa. Can't wait to see how the design turns out with these colors.

Virag's picture
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Well here is as far as I have

Well here is as far as I have gotten.  The child is back and needs a nap (I do too:>).  More to follow.  Btw, I think if you look at the previous picture that I have the bottom sticks wrong somehow.  What do you think?

bolivian warmi's picture
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Have you made a straight warp

Have you made a straight warp or a circular one? I am not sure why you are using two dowels at the bottom. Just one through the end loops is enough with your backstrap straight onto that.

that's a good morning's work!

Laverne

dteaj's picture
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Joined: 06/08/2009
  <!--Session data-->   Hi

 

 

Hi All, I'm working away at this wal. Laverne has encouraged me to post here, despite having no pictures. I've done a little backstrap weaving before, but am not even close to being fluent at simple patterns. 

I've done 3 repeats of the pattern so far. I started just doing solid color with selvages way too tight. The first repeat was way elongated because I didn't beat in enough and a little loose with underlying threads poking through a little bit.  The second was better with selvages starting to even out. The third is getting there. I've been switching back and forth between the s's pointing right and left, but haven't reversed the colors yet.

I made a mistake early on so the weft threads are weaving in opposite directions from each other. It doesn't matter with this pattern, but maybe it will be a problem with more complex problems?

I've had issues with the stick shed slipping off. Perhaps a few more half hitches would prevent this, but I just made the safety string shorter and added a second safety loop around the other shed. I'm really interested in trying all these ideas you folks have had with more sticks to stabilize the warp.

I've also had some issues with twisted threads, but thanks to Laverne, those are gone now.

Right now I'm concentrating on memorizing the pattern and gaining speed.

Any ideas about how to think about the pattern to keep it in your mind? I've been thinking of the edge zigzag to determine which way a given diagonal should go and memorize how long it should progress for before changing direction.

 

 
bolivian warmi's picture
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When you say ''I've had

When you say ''I've had issues with the stick shed slipping off'' do you mean the heddle stick-did you wind your heddles around a stick? or do you mean the shed stick-are you using a shed stick instead of a loop?

i know all these names for sticks are confusing and annoying!!!

IDEA!! We should start a page with a good labeled photo of all the parts so we don't have to talk about the stick thinggy or whatever!! Every book probably has its own names but at least we can decide here what names WE want to use.

As for memorizing the pattern, I just try to read it off the last one I wove. Some parts are easy to memorize and others trickier, like when to start the head of the ''s''. It's a good thing to leave the paper pattern behind as soon as possible and learn to read the patterns that have already been woven.

 

 

 

Virag's picture
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Ok, I'm happy.  I understand

Ok, I'm happy.  I understand it.  Thank you so much Laverne for putting up this weavealong!  I have a mistake or 3 in here but now I understand what I've done and can fix it in the future.  I'm going to make a copy of the chart out of the book and chart this design.  I won't use the Peaches n cream yarn again but if I finish this strap it'll be perfect for going around me as part of my backstrap loom:>:>:>.

Caroline's picture
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Joined: 06/09/2009
Morning everyone! Its so nice

Morning everyone! Its so nice to log on and see how others are doing! And don't worry about mistakes - if we can spot them it proves we are learning something, and thats why we are doing this isn't it? One thing I have learnt is that if I'm tired, its very easy to miscount black threads, lol! They don't show up even against white.

I started with 4 ply knitting/crochet cotton so my belt is narrower than yours, Virag, but thats what I had to hand. I don't think we'd want to start with anything finer until our fingers have learned to pick up and discard the warp threads easily, and accurately.

I've ditched my shed stick and am using my old stand-by, a cotton shoe-lace, through the shed. It does help with the balance of the whole thing and its less likely to tip over at a critical moment.

I only wove 2 rows last night, I was very tired, and promptly made a mistake, so I shall unweave and do it again this evening. But for now we have very wild storms here, and I have a short window of opportunity to get out and do some shopping before it comes in again. I also need to find out if the things that went bump and bang on the roof last night have left any lasting damage.

dteaj's picture
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I meant the shed stick. The

I meant the shed stick. The thread securing it was just too wide and a little loose.

I'm adding the security stick you mention behind the shed stick today to help stabilize it all.

Great idea to create a photo dictionary.

Thanks for the hints on memorization.

 

Tiia's picture
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Joined: 06/11/2009
 Hi, as I´m not fluent with

 Hi,

as I´m not fluent with all the english weaving terms it would help me a lot to have such a picture. I am slooooooowly getting something done for the WAL. The warp is up, just need some time for weaving. I´ll post pictures as soon I´ve woven something. I ended up using quite a thick cotton, similar to Catania  from Schachenmayr nomotta. It is around 125 m/ 137 yards for 50 g/1,76 ounces.

Tiia

 

Tiia's picture
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Joined: 06/11/2009
 First pictures: Thank you

 First pictures:

Thank you Laverne to post the instruction and keep pushing me to start the weaving. Tried your way to make the heddles with the extra notch, thats a fantastic way to do it. 

Tiia

Caroline's picture
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hi Tiia, that looks good!

hi Tiia, that looks good! Great colours!

bolivian warmi's picture
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I'll be putting a glossary of

I'll be putting a glossary of terms with photos in the next day or so. These will be ''our'' terms for reference so we can easily communicate our problems, tips etc...........

Laverne

Virag's picture
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 My goal is to find or spin

 My goal is to find or spin something in wool 20 epi to match the pieces I've looked at from Central Asia that use these techniques.  I'm heartened by the fact that so many of these pieces have little mistakes in them!  Isn't that silly?

Virag's picture
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That looks wonderful:>.

That looks wonderful:>.

Virag's picture
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Well, I'm on my second set of

Well, I'm on my second set of patterns here and obviously had a whoopsie.  I can't tell you how tempting it was to pull out the white out pen on one side and a burgundy magic marker on the other once I noticed my mistake!  I'm having a lot of fun with this although I don't think I'll be able to finish the project.  The cotton warp stinks and is fuzzing and unraveling very, very quickly.  I have purchased some wool to respin and hope to try again with it although it just occured to me that I have some rug wool somewhere that might work.

I'm having trouble with ergonomics and my loom.  I tore the tendon/muscle that goes over your shoulderblade down to the waist a few years ago and it's only recently been healing.  I'm finding that if I have to look down it reactivates that problem.  Yesterday I wove with the loom mostly horizontal to my waist.  I think today I'm going to try angling it severly to see if that helps.  Does anyone have any ideas?  I may break down and warp this on the frame of a rigid heddle loom and try that too but I SOOOO want to learn the backstrap loom.

bolivian warmi's picture
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OH!! LOVELY  colors and

OH!! LOVELY  colors and straight edges. Using that color weft gives you a  nice solid background color in the pattern area and it looks neat on the edges too.

bolivian warmi's picture
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My ex-boyfriend always used

My ex-boyfriend always used to urge me to leave my mistakes in. He said it gave things a real ''hand-made'' look. I love looking at mistakes in old weavings and trying to imagine what was going on with the weaver at that moment-maybe her kid was climbing all over her or swinging off her braids!!

Caroline's picture
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Most of the Central Asian

Most of the Central Asian pieces you have seen are made by Muslim weavers, and they believe that only God can make something that's perfect and it would be disrespectful to not have a little mistake. I think there are other groups of traditional weavers who have a similar belief, that there must be some error so that the piece is not sacreligious. In this day and age its also proof that something really is handmade, and not mass-produced.

I've had the same problem as you with the cotton I was using - its a knitting/crochet yarn and NOT nice to work with as its not tightly spun enough. It would be fine on a balanced weave on a rigid heddle loom, but it doesn't take the abuse from what we have been doing. Its been pilling on the heddles, and as I get to the end of each motif, I find the background warp yarn no longer covers the weft, no matter how gently I treat it. I think this is in the nature of the yarn and not something we are doing, as Crochet cotton does not behave quite like this as its much tighter spun.

I want to try another motif and will change the type of cotton yarn I use and see how much of a difference it makes.

Caroline's picture
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Have you thought of raising

Have you thought of raising the belt around your back so its higher above the waist a bit? I have my loom fastened so it slopes up away from me, so I do not have to bend over when I check what I'm doing and its much easier - until I drop something, lol! Also you could try lengthening the strap so the front beam is further away from you. Just a couple of inches makes quite a difference.

In some of the photos from South America, some weavers have their looms at quite a steep angle, so it seems like what suits you best. With a RH loom you still have to bend over if its on a stand unless you can secure it at an angle - its why I don't like using my 4 shaft table loom - it might be ergonomically correct, but the bending kills me!

I hope this helps you to weave in more comfort.

Caroline's picture
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Just as a PS on the problems

Just as a PS on the problems with using cotton yarn. I've been browsing Peruvian double weave, and noticed that many of the modern double weave textiles in the galleries are wool, not cotton. I would have thought that a wool yarn spun worsted style, that is with the fibres parallel, would be a good yarn for this style of weaving as its less likely to pill, and can be spun to make a hard high twist thread. Rachel Brown recommends re-spinning commercial wool yarn to make warp for a navajo loom. This would surely be ideal for our backstrap looms with their string heddles and close setts.

Virag's picture
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Thank you:>.  I'm def. going

Thank you:>.  I'm def. going to try changing the angle this afternoon.  I weave on my porch using the iron railings so as soon as the sun shifts to the other side of the house I'll be out to try it:>

Virag's picture
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Well, I'm making a lot of

Well, I'm making a lot of progress though it's slow and I found that arching the loom up at a 45 degree angle lets me work for longer periods of time.  However, now I'm having the issue of the pairs spiraling around themselves.  I had planned on weaving till the halfway point then turning it around but now I'm thinking that won't work.  Is this spiraling normal?  Here's a picture...

On the good side I have finished one light section and one dark section total, have established a work flow, have helped the shoulder issues, have sped up in my weaving, and am finally clearing the shed almost like the ladies in the youtube vidios:>  I want to thank Laverne for putting this up here for us!

bolivian warmi's picture
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Debbie asked about this

Debbie asked about this earlier on but I think it was in a PM-i should have posted the reply here.

A certain amount of spiraling is normal but it shouldn't be excessive-not so bad that it stops you from reaching the end of your warp. However, if you are planning on a 4 selvedge piece, then yes, it will be a problem. In that case you should use 4 sheds. Have your burgundies and whites for the upper layer in two heddles, the burgundies for the lower layer in another and the whites for the lower layer held by a shed stick. That will ensure that the colors always stay in order.

The 4 sheds will slow things down. You open one color shed and slide your middle finger inside (hand held with palm upwards) and then open the other and slide your forefinger in-they call this a picking cross. Then you go picking the warps. Then you have to open the other two sheds to form the lower layer shed. Well, like anything- the more you do it the faster you get.

When you are only using two sheds, what you need to do from the start is decide that you are always going to pick your white on the right side of its burgundy partner or vice versa.. Keep looking down at the weaving line to make sure they are not twisting there but also keep an eye on what is happening up beyond the heddles and shed stick. Sometimes you can untwist the warps and just force them around each other at the weaving line. For example, if you are picking a white, pull it up really hard at the weaving line and force the burgundy around to the other side.

I was lucky when I learned this in Potosi that my warps just didn't twist! I was, in fact, able to make my piece a 4-selvedge one.

Glad to hear that you have found some way to not aggravate your shoulder problem quite so much. Take it easy ok?

.

Virag's picture
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I was sitting there today

I was sitting there today wondering if you could do that with a four shaft loom as well.  I tried figured doubleweave once about a year ago and came close to throwing the loom thru a window (at least I felt like it at the time):>.

When I am picking the white warp and it goes to the right---then the next row if the color changes am I picking the other color to the right instead or am I dropping the white first and then bringing the other color out from the left?  Or am I bringing whichever color I need to the right?  I think that's causing the spiraling.  V

Caroline's picture
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When I was doing mine, I

When I was doing mine, I tried to keep the white first and the black second - if they swapped that was when I was liable to get  tangled up. I found if I tried to keep the warp as spread out as possible at the cross and the heddles, it was less likely to happen, and the threads would fall into line in the right order.

bolivian warmi's picture
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Always keep them in the same

Always keep them in the same order no matter what-if you decide that whites will be on the right of their burgundy partners that's how it will stay no matter which color gets picked first or if you change your background color.

if you need to pick a white, drop the burgundy to its left. If you need to pick a burgundy, first drop its white partner to the right and pick up the burgundy on the left.

yes i think we may have your problem pinned down now! Hooray!  Caroline expresses it well below too.

 

I am glad that we have  folks here who are into problem solving and not wanting to thrown the whole thing in when things don't quite go right. This is all a lot of fun. You must have mellowed a bit since your first double weave attempt and loom throwing urge!

 

Virag's picture
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Opps.  I'm going to take it

Opps.  I'm going to take it as a sign and stop with this test warp now.  I just broke the back rod that the warp was attached too.  Sigh.  

bolivian warmi's picture
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Oh that's too bad! Actually I

Oh that's too bad! Actually I was going to ask you when you first posted a photo with your warp why you were using such a thin dowel. Also it looked kind of short-like it would pop out from behind the rail with any kind of movement. Hope you have another dowel-a thicker, longer one handy.

anyway this is the test for your respun wool right? How is that going? Did you mange to weave up enough to decide if it is right? What are you using for heddle string with the wool? I usually use really thin cotton.

 

Virag's picture
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Actually its my doubleweave. 

Actually its my doubleweave.  I came inside and rested for a while then put a new dowel rod in at the top and wove one more pattern repeat.  The cotton is now breaking strand by strand  as I pound down the weft!  ARGH!  I'm having so much fun regardless, esp. with all these learning opportunities.    The dowels are working ok so far and are wider then the railing so that's worked out well:>. 

I'm trying to decide for the weekend between the respun pattern and some hair yarn I have for rugweaving right now.

Virag's picture
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Well, the warp had some other

Well, the warp had some other ideas and broke so here's my first piece.  This has been an awesome learning opportunity!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

bolivian warmi's picture
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Wow! you can really see the

Wow! you can really see the learning process here. Now to thinner, tighter yarns!! Well done, Lisa. Someone commented on one of my projects on the projects page that she admired my tenacity in learning to weave on a backstrap loom. Yes, I think we are a tenacious lot!!

Virag's picture
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We must be!  Actually I'm

We must be!  Actually I'm finding this to be a very mediatative process.  Going back and looking at youtube videos of weavers has helped me with developing a workflow and it's starting to come much more easily.  I actually Love beating down the weft too.  So crazy that I warped another project as soon as this one was done:> 

esmecat's picture
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as a spinner, i can

as a spinner, i can absolutely confirm that YES it is in the nature of how it is spun.

tighter spun = more friction working within the yarn structure = more strength but less elasticity and softness

Caroline's picture
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I've just done a trial run

I've just done a trial run with some perle cotton, and what a difference! I just have to get used to working with something that fine, but it does have a lovely sheen and texture to it. Its working out at about 50 ends per inch in warp faced weave (its about 30 - 35 wpi). I used a contrast coloured weft to check I was covering it, and it also makes sure I take care with my selvedges, lol! now i can properly plan what i'm going to do, and since in metric it works out at 20 ends per cm, its not going to require much maths, hehe!

The thought of having to re-spin some cotton was not filling me with joy.

bolivian warmi's picture
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I warped up last night using

I warped up last night using my fine crochet cotton and decided to put a couple more pairs in the pattern area. So, instead of 13 I wound 17 to leave two plain warps on either side of the 13 warp pattern. I like the way it looks because any wobbly bits where the double meets up wit the single layer don't interfere with the pattern.

How cute is this with the finer yarn! Now I am having a go at some letters. I have Linda Hendrickson's calligraphy book with charts for card weaving which I want to transfer to this double weave but I don't have enough warps in this band for any of her letters so I made up some to weave here.

So, who can guess what this word is going to be?

The next letter is coming tomorrow!

 

 

esmecat's picture
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hey guys, i just posted on

hey guys, i just posted on my blog all (it's a long post) about my progress on the WAL! go check it out....

bolivian warmi's picture
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KNEW you woud come up with

KNEW you woud come up with something spectacular!!

Welcome to TEAM TENACIOUS!!

jeannine's picture
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Joined: 06/10/2009
this looks good. I read all

this looks good. I read all about it on your blog.you chose nice colors .

bolivian warmi's picture
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Hi Jen, After reading your

Hi Jen,

After reading your very entertaining blog, I wanted to ask about some of the problems. Did you perhaps tie your start and end warps tightly to the rulers? I always tie my warps on to the stakes but, LOOSELY with a big loop so that they slip off the stakes and slide easily on to the loom bars.

If I clamp stakes for warping I clamp them on REALLY firmly. I use an old table top so that I can really screw those clamps into the stakes and not worry about damaging the table.-a ruler may be a bit delicate for that. I have had that problem with the stakes moving inward as I warp so I know what to expect now and how to avoid it....... and now so do you!!! Even the slightest amount of movement messes things up.

i have added a note on the weave-along stripes page about this potential problem

I had so many ''oh no!'' moments reading your blog but it all came out so very well in the end!!

 

 

 

esmecat's picture
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i did tie them loose enough

i did tie them loose enough so that they slipped off the pegs easily enough... but not loose enough to slide the loom bar in before removing them from the pegs.

i tried to clamp my rulers down tight... but i was padding my clamps with spare post it pads to protect my desk, and the pads slid with the pressure of the warps.

i really need to find a better warping solution. i may have to break down and make a warping board.

bolivian warmi's picture
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I am just moving this up to

I am just moving this up to the top of the forum topic list so Jeannine can post her progress here...............

jeannine's picture
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this is what i have for the

this is what i have for the moment:

Caroline's picture
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Love the colours!  They are

Love the colours!  They are very pretty, and a nice modern design as well.  Are you doing this free form, or do you have a chart?