• Leon

Weaving Troubles

In life there will be troubles. The human is beginning to think Tuesdays are not her day. I insist it was only the past two Tuesdays, and two days do not make a pattern.


It began on Monday, when the human decided to take the warp she had ready to put on her little loom. The human weaves picnic sets and blankets as well as the harness/leash sets. We are going to be selling things for cat travelers and their humans in a couple weeks.


My lovely wool blanket

You can see one of the wool blankets the human made before we met each other. This was one of my sleepy blankets in Korea.


I think she does a very good job of weaving blankets - she made some for friends, and she made some for me, and she made some for her family. All are quite comfy and pretty.


It's September in New York, and the weather is changing. I get cold so I might be a little focused on blankets at the moment.


Most of the blankets are small and not very heavy (which I prefer). She is working on making larger, heavier blankets, but her grandmother left her two looms that don't like my human.


Anyway, we were going to dress her loom (that means putting yarn on it in order to weave), but she got the yarn all twisted up when she started so it was too much work for her to untwist all the yarn (something like 300 strands of yarn).


Then, we decided to start another warp and see if we could do this better. Before the human went to Korea (and while in Korea), the human would set her loom in one spot, and a post in another spot then run her yarn back and forth between the two. She says this is called a direct warp because she is warping directly to her loom.


Easy enough, right? I mean, think of all the string I could play with?! The human also thought of that, and her parents' home is oddly laid out, so the direct warp would not work in NY. Thankfully, human grandma left her warping board for the human to use.


Warping


The warping board is a frame with pegs on it so weavers can measure out the warp before putting it onto the loom. This process is called an indirect warp because the warp is measured elsewhere.

A loom and a warping board

Here is a photo of the human's little loom and the warping board with the first problematic warp still on it.


It was such a lovely color.


In order to weave, all that yarn has to be wound up on the back half of the loom. It is close to 4 yards (3.5 meters). It also has to go through all those little holes and slots on the heddles (the two upright things near the bottom of the photo. They have wood tops and white plastic centers).


Rigid heddles (like we use) are measured with dents per inch (dpi). This is how many holes are in an inch. Metric uses dents per 10 cm, but I think the dpi is standard. For this particular rigid heddle the dpi is 12.5, and the loom is 12 inches across. (12.5 x 12 = 150 strings of yarn). Now, the human wants it to be tighter, so she is doubling her heddles with the same amount of yarn so that becomes 300 strings!


So much string. I try to help the human organize it, but she was unimpressed with my yarn catching skills. I need more practice, apparently.


I have a photo of me helping so you all don't think I don't help my human make things. I am primarily the model of course (Je suis très beau, non?) Sometimes, I help her choose colors too, but she doesn't have a lot of yarn at the moment.


Helping the human warp a loom

See? I do help her with her work. I am a very good muse for my human. She was not happy with my location because I was sitting in the middle of the warping board.


After we resettled, the human got to work preparing the loom. It took most of the day because her back acts up. The warping board hangs on the wall at a spot comfortable for her, but her loom stand is a little short (it is measured to be sat at, not warped).


Some of you know she has back issues which I help with. I made certain she had plenty of walks yesterday so her back did not hurt too much.


Once we had the warp done, the human papa helped wind the yarn onto the loom, and the human sent the yarn through all the holes and slots.


She even started weaving ... then disaster struck.


Reevaluation


One important thing to remember with weaving is tension. The yarn has to be taunt, but not tight. The human warped too much yarn for her little loom, so the tension was all messed up. Every time she tried to make it better, it only got worse. Finally, the human decided she had to unwind her warp a little.


Big mistake.


All the tensioning things she had done earlier had twisted the warp up so much that the warp got stuck, and then she couldn't loosen it without cutting the warp, which she did. Then, when she attempted to pull the warp back through, it got knotted on the back side of the loom.


She was about ready to break down and cry. It was time for me to step in, so I cuddled up and reminded her that we could still selvage the warp. All we needed was a little patience and some sleep.


The Next Day


Well, morning came, and the human looked at her loom. She decided it had worked out for the best. A yard of material lost wasn't going to be a lot, and it was good experiment in how much she could put on the loom. (Her bigger looms can hold more yarn; the little one can't).


So, now, I can help her do the heddles again and this time, she will be able to weave. This is going to be another picnic set (picnic tablecloth and napkins).


Also, stay tuned to the website. We will be announcing a store where you can buy beautiful cat harness and leashes as well as picnic sets for your travels and other items cat travelers and their humans need.


We will also have items for other animal siblings that cat travelers might have, but not as many since we are cat travelers.

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