I've got a little Depression-era loom that looks virtually identical to the one in the 'group photo' except that the gears on my cloth and warp bars are wooden.  I've had it for a while, but finally got my health enough in order to attempt to use it.

I made up a warp on a beam with pegs, so somewhat similar to using a warping board except that it was made quickly so it's just a 2x4x8 with pegs to make a 7' warp with a single cross.  Unfortunately, I'm finding that my tension is all over the map.  As a makeshift, I've stuck some lengths of dowel under the looser threads on the warp bar to pull them a bit tighter.  I'll make it through this project, but I'd like to avoid this happening in the future as it's really frustrating to be having to adjust the tension on individual warp threads to try to fix it.  I thought my warp was pretty even when I tied on, but obviously it wasn't.

So what'd I do wrong, and how do I avoid this in the future?



I meant to note what I've been weaving, but forgot to - it's just a tabby weave with the warp alternating color every other thread and the weft alternating color every other pick, which produces a kind of pinwheel pattern, like the one discussed in the comments on this post: https://www.weavolution.com/forum/weaving/houndstooth-pattern-2-shafts-18329.  The uneven tension is distributed pretty haphazardly; my edges seem to be the tightest, and then I've got areas of 8-10 threads across that are randomly looser than the others.

Hazel Fyrebird

It may be how you have it tied on. Sometimes individual sections of tie-on get loose. Check your knots, it may help.


sally orgren

Did you use some device to spread the warp out consistently across the back beam (Either a raddle, or threading through the reed) before beaming?


Did you use tension on the warp when beaming onto the back of loom?


Did you use packing sticks as the warp wound around the back beam?


Any of the above could be your problem points, along with your knotting and tensioning method, once the loom was threaded and tensioned.


Did this problem show up just as the knots at the front were going around the cloth beam, distorting the fell line? (In which case, the uneveness may be caused by the bulk of the knots. Cover them with packing sticks to even out the take up.)


Do you have a good warping how-to book or source? Peggy Osterkamp's books have lots of great illustrations, and are written in a style you can reference on the fly.


Finally, you mentioned this project was warped "quickly", in a manner "similiar" to using a warping board. If warping pegs aren't locked down solidly, if too much warp is wound in a single bout, and consistent tension was not applied when winding the warp (along with not using any kind of tension when beaming), all can certainly lead to the problems you describe well before you start weaving. Hanging weights on the warp when beaming helps moderate these issues of inconsistency that we might not realize are happening.


I hope project #2 goes smoother!




In addition to Sally's notes, you did not mention what kind of yarn package you created you warp from.  Cones work best, spools on a spool rack second (I think); if you're not using one of these packages to start, you may have tugs on the warp that change the tension.


I don't have a raddle, and I didn't think I'd need one for such a small loom, so that could have been the issue.

Because I was making such a short warp (only 7'), I just made a single 2x4 into a warping board.  I put in 3 pegs so I'd have a single cross to keep it all in order as I brought it from the warping board to the loom.  They were spaced so that there was 1' between peg 1 and peg 2, and 6' between peg 2 and peg 3, for a total of 7' from peg 1 to peg 3.  The pegs were quite solidly in there.

I wound 1/3 of my warp at a time, which meant 14 loops per section (so 28 warp threads each time).  I was working in a fairly heavy yarn, because the reed on my little loom is SO thick that I just can't see how to work finer yarns on it (thinking about trying to ease the reed out of the beater and replacing it with something finer so that I've got a bit more versatility in the loom - use the one it came with when I want to work in something comparable to knitting worsted yarn, and have a replacement reed that allows me to work with something finer if I want to).

I tried to keep the tension even when beaming the loom, but it's entirely possible that I just didn't do that well due to inexperience.

I didn't know I needed packing/lease sticks, so that may have added to issues.  Can I just use a piece of dowel for those?  My quick google search suggests that'd work.  If so, any idea how big a dowel I'd need?  Would the bits of 3/8" dowel I have lying around work?

I was working from a pair of center-pull balls.  I tried to keep the tension even as I wound it onto the warping board, but again, I could have not done a great job of that due to inexperience.

I've been positively cursing this project, though.  Between the warp tension issues and having it made VERY clear to me why it's not recommended to use knitting yarn for warp, it's been a frustrating thing to work on.  (The knitting yarn warp issue has just been that it catches on itself a bit - I've been using a plastic fork to gently separate the strands when they get stuck.)  It doesn't help matters that the reed on my loom is not finished as well as I'd like - it snags the yarn a bit, which is frustrating.  I don't know how much better it would do with a yarn actually intended for weaving, but I suspect it would still be a bit of a problem - I'll be taking some fine grit sandpaper to it when I get this piece finished and off the loom.


Oh, I realized I missed one question.

I don't have any kind of weaving books.  I'm going to buy some now with the money I've been given as Christmas presents.  I'd been going off of various blogs and youtube videos, but it has become rather painfully obvious that that method of acquiring techniques needed for weaving has been quite insufficient!  I feel like about the only thing I know I've done right on this piece is avoid drawing in while weaving.  It's rather humbling, because I thought I'd gotten a decent understanding of things, and could figure out anything I hadn't managed to learn.  The reality of doing all of this did not quite line up with how I imagined it going!