The Weaving Process, Winding Warp

warping board


Once my brain wraps around the decision about what I'm going to make, I get started on creating.

I pick the colors from my limited stash. I do the required math to decide how many strings of yarn I will need to make what I want. The next step is to get all the strings on the loom. My last project needed 494 strings. I made each string 10 yards long so I could weave a few towels plus some extra for experimentation.                    

To do this without making a huge mess, weavers use what is known as a warping board or warping reel. As the name indicates, one is a board and one spins like a reel. In my previous spacious home I had a reel. There is no room for a reel in my small apartment so I went back to using my warping board. 

This task is arduous without space. I hang my warping board on a piece of furniture and sit on the floor. It takes forever because this hurts my back and arm. I make it more enjoyable by watching The Office or Parks and Recreation. These shows make the time pass quickly, or more quickly it seems. I'm sure time passes no matter what but the television makes it seem faster...

Around and around my arm takes each single piece of yarn. If I were to really think about what I was doing, I might stop. I could just buy a towel at Target and save all the trouble. That's what my EX husband used to say... 

But for me, the winding is meditative and relaxing. I get into a rhythm and I love the feel of the yarn in my hand. I look forward to winding my warp as it creates a stillness my high energy level requires to keep me calm.

Once I learned to relax into the process without rushing to get to the end, the process became part of the journey, understanding the journey is the destination.

Each yarn has to be wound in a certain way. A cross has to be made to keep track of the order. This will come in handy in one of the next steps. 

Once all the yarns are wound, they are tied tightly. As any weaver knows, a yarn under tension doesn't get caught up in a mess, or something like that. I usually forget this half way through and end up with a rats tail on my loom!

When the warp is tied off, I remove it in a chain fashion. I like doing this as I often leave it sit around for awhile and it's less likely to get knotted. 

I then remove the warp chain from my warping board, admire it and hang it somewhere to be forgotten until I get around to the next step. Dressing the loom. 

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