A place to come to see what's new at Heritage Spinning & Weaving – Lake Orion, MI

A Built-In Warping Trapeze

I recently reviewed Kati Meek’s new book, Warp With a Trapeze and Dance with Your Loom using Live-Weight-Tensioned Warps, for Spin-Off magazine (for the spring 2007 issue, I believe). It inspired me. I put a warp on the loom over the weekend and gave the trapeze a try. Lucky for me, I didn’t have to build a trapeze because one of my home looms resides on an interior balcony. It was quite simple to do. Unlike Kati’s recommendation that you wind on through the lease sticks, I only used a raddle (because I shifted methods in the middle of warping). Here are the basics with a few photos. Once the warp is attached to the loom, I squared the loom to the balcony half-wall and tossed the warp “tail” over the wall. Then I went downstairs, added 5 pounds of weights to the end of the warp and started to wind on. Following Kati’s instructions, I “spanked” the warp to remove tangles, found I needed no choke ties because I was able to put the entire warp under weight. It was more twisted than it should have been, I probably could have split the warp into two separately weighted bundles, but it still worked just fine. Here’s what it looked like from downstairs (when it was nearly wound on):


and the web from the top side as I was winding on:


and the back beam when I was nearly done weaving. It still looked great and I had no tension problems.


The bottom line: I’d do it again. It was fun. It was fast (max 10 minutes). It worked!

For the curious, this project was for lace placemats and a table runner for my parents for Christmas. When I told Mariah it was a Christmas present, she asked, “For 2008?” No. “For 2007.” No, for 2006. “Mooooom.” Then, “That figures. You haven’t finished my blanket yet.” She’s right. Her blanket has been on the Cranbrook for two years. Ouch. It’s a double-weave, queen-sized blanket that I’m making from two fleeces from a ewe she adopted while in a farm program at Mt. Bruce Station (when she was in 2nd grade and now she’s in high school!). Guess I’d better get busy. At least it is FINALLY ready to weave.

The placemats are off the loom and I’ve begun finishing them. I see why having auto advance and tensioning is such a help on a loom. The placemats are several different sizes. They are close, but not identical. If I hadn’t been so impatient, I would have been able to reduce the variance by doing a better job of counting threads at each end and hand finishing them at that point. But, no, I was on a deadline (going to visit the folks this weekend) and, as always, was anxious to see what would happen to the fabric when it was finished. Lace is easy to weave, but it looks SO much different after it is finished that a bit of faith is required when weaving it. I’ll post a photo of the finished items when they are done.

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