It’ll Work Out

I have heard it rumored that several branches of the Dilatory Institute of Glitchbania have been popping up around the globe, and it gladdens my heart.  I hope to hear more about the certificates these weavers are earning, and how.

The nice thing about my studies at the Dilatory Institute is that it is at my own pace.  Therefore I can wait until the muse whispers, and once I realize that the tickling in my ear is not a bit of wax, I can get to work.  Sometimes the muse has to yell.

Over the past few days I have managed to get the warp for my first sample rough-sleyed.  This earned me the Inattentive Warp Winder Certificate.  Here are the gory details, which may serve as a cautionary tale to others. (Whenever you hear yourself say “it’ll work out”, it probably won’t.)

I started my adventure by locating a warping board since my warp was to be only 1.5 yards long.  I propped it up on my winding station, on which I normally put my electric bobbin winder.  To keep the winder from slipping I have a piece of rug gripper, the kind that is rubbery and has holes like waffles (except that waffles don’t really have holes, but you know what I mean).  Of course I also located my 16/2 cotton in two colors.


The warping board also needed slippage prevention, so I put it on top of the gripper.  This was not a good idea, as it turned out, because those little holes acted as an optical obfuscatory device, playing with my eyesight like one of those grids where you see gray spots where there are none.  It was difficult to see my cross and to count threads.  It’ll work out, said the devil on my shoulder.

I realized after a few dozen ends were wound that I was building up a false cross.  I was warping 2 threads at a time.  It’ll work out.

After the main color was wound, I wound the 22 tripled ends of the lighter color, one end at a time, crossing them every third end.  A false cross was also appearing here, but I could not think how to do it differently, without three thread supplies.  If I had been closer to a working electrical outlet and not nearly so lazy, I would have wound two supplemental supplies off of the cone.  I was not, I was not, and I did not.  It’ll work out.

The next day, I set out to pre-sley the light color in a 6-dent reed.  As I took the light warp off the board, I realized that the loop at the end was not a loop because of the way I wound it– there was one actual loop around the peg for every two completely separate ones, so I decided to use the other end as the loop that goes around the beam stick.  After all, it was only a short warp, how hard would it be to shift the cross a bit?


It didn’t work out.  I cast about for a solution and one presented itself in the form of a 16/2 linen of a nice light blue.  It would actually look better than the light gray-green, and I would only have to use one thread instead of tripling the 16/2 cotton.  I quickly wound 22 ends and began to pre-sley.

Here we must pause and go back in time just a bit (that garbled sound is me rewinding time).  When I originally made my plan, I read that the epi was 56, and that is what I calculated for.  Then, in a moment of lucidity, I decided to double-check that, since it seemed like way too many ends unless you were doing rep, in which case it wasn’t enough.  What the book really said was that the 16/2 cotton is sett 2 ends per dent for a sett of 35 epi in an 18-dent reed (well, it was a metric reed and the closest thing to it is 18 dent and we are going to ignore the face that 18 x 2 = 36, not 35…), and the 16/2 contrast cotton is set 3 ends in one dent for a sett of 56 epi.  Oboy.  I recalculated before I began to wind the warp. (fast forward again).

When I finished pre-sleying the linen, it looked like this:


The ruler is about 12 inches long (nevermind that it is a metric ruler), and my warp was planned for 11.5 inches wide.  I went upstairs and had a nice glass of wine, hoping for better results the next day.

The problem, as it turned out, was that I had calculated one contrast end for each of 22 repeats.  But in fact, there are two.  Then I turned myself into a robo-calculator and somehow miraculously came up with the fact that I needed 46 contrast ends; that the effective sett of combining 35 epi with 56 epi was about 40 epi, and that I should pre-sley in a 10-dent reed to make it easier.  It worked out for the linen, and then it worked out for the cotton.



Following advice from Tien and Joanne on Ravelry’s Warped Weavers forum, I used two beam sticks, one for each warp.  Next I will wind the warp onto the beam, being very careful not to listen when that little guy says “It’ll work out”.

What I Learned from This Experience

Future Sheila:

  • when you wind a warp, try very hard not to have a false cross.
  • before you wind another warp with multiple threads, review Peggy Osterkamp’s book on winding a warp and pay attention to it.
  • before you calculate yardage for warp, be sure that you double-check the sett and take note of any multiple setts.
  • don’t overthink it
  • don’t underthink it

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