Big warp, little pick up

I needed to warp up something in order to be able to demonstarte Andean Pebble Weave at Convergence. I learned from my last trip to the US where I demonstrated that using a warp with a lot of pick up was just plain boring for onlookers. It also made it quite difficult to weave and chat to folks as there was so much counting to do. The little blue shuttle bags I had woven had been well received so I decided to warp up for a couple more of those and this turned out to be the ideal demonstration warp.

"Wow, you have the design memorized!" was a common comment but little did they know that I had woven 26 keyfobs with this design in a marathon before leaving Bolivia and that I could tehrefore just about weave this with my eyes shut! 

Weaving a wider piece and making something useful does not have to involve a lot of pick up. I love making these pieces now with big bold colors and narrow bands of brightly colored pick-up designs. I could finish a piece like this, if I really wanted to, in a couple of days and make two bags from it. The two original bags got sold on this trip so now I can replace them. All the solid color area is warped as for the thick borders that I describe in my monogram. It makes a nice sturdy fabric for a bag and really neat edges.



Hi Laverne!

Those bags are so nice! Wish I'd been at Convergence; I'd definitely have bid up the price just to get one! Guess I'll have to just keep at it and make one.

I've been slowly weaving what will probably be a strap for a bag. The edges do come out nicely with the thicker threading. I posted a picture on my projects page (haven't figured out how to upload a pic here yet).

I didn't do much math before starting, but with the 5/2 I am getting a sett of about 80 EPI. So if I want to make a bag 8" wide I'll need 640 ends (on the loom). Looks like a project for the big loom! I think I'll need more depth between the heddles and the front beam to get the weaving properly drawn in. OR, I might attempt it on backstrap. A very big challenge!

I don't have long posts on my warping board, so I'll have to warp in sections. Do you get these wide warps together in one piece?


Hi Jeanne,

I warp these bags in one go on my warping board but I am really pushing it to the limit. This warp just fits on my posts. For wider things I do warp in sections and then just go placing each section on the loom bars and working the cross sticks through. Hope to see your strap soon.

I am at my friend Lisa's place and we hope to warp up her four shaft loom for coin purses tomorrow so nothing terribly wide. I hate the thought of the amount of waste and plan to try and get the last length of warp off and onto a backstrap loom somehow - no idea if this will work...


I'm sure you can do it, if there is enough warp left on the loom and it's worth using up. It would be easy to put heddle sticks and cross sticks on while the warp's still on the loom.  You could then chain a thread across the warp, separating the warps into small sections. Then untie the warp from the back apron rod (if it's really ratty from the knots, you could spritz it and comb it and trim it), and pull the warp through the loom heddles. Take each section and tie it with a single overhand knot near the end.

Next take a strong cord, run it through each warp section, and loosely lash it to the back warp rod so that the knots don't get squashed. You should then be able to even out the tension.

I guess this would make a strong case for warping front to back. If the front end of your warp were uncut and lashed to the front apron beam with a fine wire at the beginning, you could weave straight off and have very little warp waste! I am imagining a silk warp now!-- No, not really....

Good luck with it. I hope my ramble makes sense!


Thanks Jeanne! Our friend Maurice Blackburn is coming over to participate in this so I will run all this info by him although it all makes good sense to me what you say.


Nice to be back! I was working for a while in an office which was quite a commute for me. I've had practically no internet time at all for the last 7 months. The [temp] job is over now, so I hope to show my face around here more often and hopefully get some weaving time, too!


are you using in that photo? The color and sheen are just incredible! :)


It's an 8/2 mercerized crochet cotton that I buy in Bolivia made in Brazil. I find that Coat's Aunt Lydia crochet cotton number 10 is very similar - maybe it has even more sheen.