The Heart of the Matter


Well, I had a different title and everything for this post back on Monday morning; but just as I was publishing the last entry, I got a phone call from my mother. Now, my mother never calls me unless something is up. She, in particular, doesn’t call me in the morning just to chat. It turns out that they had taken my father to the hospital for chest pains the night before, and in their always protective way even though I am a 40-year-old man, waited until Monday morning to tell me. Oy.

So, Monday was spent at the hospital, keeping my mother company and trying to make sense of what was going on with my father. He was released from the hospital yesterday after a battery of tests, and they still don’t know what the problem is. The most likely candidate seems to be a muscle pull, according to the doctors. Hopefully, they are right. Unfortunately, as much science as there is in medicine, there is still a lot of art to it, which makes it so frustrating. In any case, my father is home and seems to be doing fine. Fingers crossed.

Of course, the first planned photo for this post made me think of my father:

Handspun singles warp on warping board

The warping board that you see here is one that my father made for me to my specifications. My father enjoys working with wood, and I barely had to ask him to make a warping board for me before he was selecting the type of wood to be used and how he was going to make the pegs removeable. The board is made from maple, and all of the pegs can be removed, making it easier for me to wind a warp by only have the pegs in that I need and being able to take the warp off of the board by removing a peg. It is unusual for me to use this board now, because I have a warping mill; and it is faster for me to wind most warps on the mill. But with how things are situated in the house at the moment, it was easier for me to get out the board instead of the mill.

To wind this warp, I had spun one (mostly full) bobbin on my Lendrum Saxony, put the bobbin on the lazy kate, and wound the single directly from bobbin to board, as you see above. I didn’t bother tensioning the lazy kate, and it didn’t seem to matter here, as the resistance of the bobbin against the base of the lazy kate seemed to be enough for winding the warp.

As for the length of the warp, it is about four yards long. I wanted the warp to be long enough for a decent size scarf and some sampling. With the path that I took on the board, I got 98 ends. I figured this yarn to be between 14 and 15 epi; so for a 2×2 twill, I decided that I was going to sley the reed at 10 epi. This gives me a scarf that is almost 10 inches wide in the reed, with a finished size somewhere around 8 inches once it is off the loom and washed.

After tying all of the choke ties on the warp, I chained it and took it off of the board.

Warp chain from handspun singles, unblocked

This is where I got to worry a bit about the project because of this:

Warp chain from handspun singles, unblocked, close-up

That’s the cross in the warp chain, used to keep the threads in order when warping the loom. Once the yarn was no longer under tension, it did its thing and plied onto itself.

Fortunately, it really didn’t pose a problem. This is probably do to a couple things. One is that when sleying the reed, I cut the warp threads one at a time so that I wouldn’t lose the cross and have a big old tangled mess. (I have had that happen before. Trust me, it is no fun.) The other one is that I warped the loom from front to back (meaning that I sley the reed, then thread the heddles, tie the warp onto the back beam, beam the warp, and tie and tension the warp onto the front beam.) I think the action of the warp going through the reed and the heddles helped give an even tension when beaming the warp, with the reed and heddles acted as baffles.

So, with all of that the loom now looks like this:

Handspun singles warp on loom

And with weaving in some yarn to help spread the warp and to check my threading:

Handspun warp for scarf on loom

All systems are go for the weft, which I believe I have mostly spun up. Hopefully, things are calm again so I can work on this.


10 responses to “The Heart of the Matter”

  1. *fingers crossed*

    Hope Dad continues to do well!

  2. I hope your dad is on the mend. As someone who’s has a heart attack, let’s hope for the muscle pull.
    I LOVE YOUR LOOM! Is it cherry wood? What make/model is it? I’ve been looking at the Mountain Loom line, but yours is a beauty. I’ve got all this handspun yarn, and no desire to knit with it. I think it’d be better suited to weaving, and I’ve been without a loom for over 20 years.

  3. I hope your Dad continues to be well.

    This weaving with handspun is great! I have so much handspun and fiber to spin. Are those singles that you are using for the warp? I think my singles might be too softly spun to use for warp but they would do for weft.

  4. I do hope your dad continues to do well and that it truly is only a muscle pull. I really do understand how medicine is often more art then science. I won’t go into the details, but I went through several artists before I found that out!

  5. I hope your dad is feeling better and that you receive some good news very soon. Your lovely weaving project will give you some comfort, I’m sure, it is an incredible way to use your handspun.

  6. Karen Frisa Avatar
    Karen Frisa

    I’m glad to hear that your dad is home, and hope that he continues to be fine. Scary stuff.

    Very nice location for your loom! Much better than the basement. Were you concerned about losing the twist in your singles while you were warping? I suppose it’s a long enough warp that only the ends would have been affected. The colors are really beautiful, BTW. So is the spinning (which I was going to say in a comment to a previous post: just looking at it on the bobbin makes me tingly; I’d love to spin singles like that).

  7. Lyn Avatar

    I hope your father is well.

    Your loom is lovely! I wish I’d seen your post before going to Panera’s – I would have made an effort to break in to your table! As it was, I saw you, but didn’t get a chance to say hi. Maybe next week – I have some Guild questions…

  8. Sending good thoughts your father’s way!

  9. I’m glad to hear that it wasn’t too serious with your Dad. Things like that can be scary though. I love that yarn on your loom. The way the cross looked at first, I thought you might have a nightmare on your hands. But alls well that ends well. Should make a lovely scarf and be fun to sample with.

  10. sending best wishes for your father! Hope he’s feeling better soon.