Friday, March 25, 2011

The Warping Disaster

The problem, the length of the warp and the weight of the beads.

I used Nymo for the other smaller projects but Nymo stretches.  I could pull alot of the stretch out of it for the other smaller projects, and it warped great, but these next peices are long and heavy.  It was suggested I use fishing line for warp and I ordered alot of it, roughly $80.00 worth, and that probably wasn't going to be enough.   I got it quickly, kudos to a certain awesome guildmate (hugs), but when I tried to warp the looms is when the problems started.  Maybe I didn't order the right line but it kept snapping at the screws. And the knots kept slipping when it didn't break.  I think the problem was the length of each warp. 

So I decided to just go for the best and ordered a 1,600 yard spool of Kevlar thread.  It's not going to get any better than that.  It comes in several thicknesses, twists, and bonds.  I talked to the owner of the company, explained to him why I needed it, and he is sending me what  he says should work the best for what I am doing with it.  He says it wont snap and the knots wont slip.  It has less than 2% stretch under 32 pounds.  Awesome.  And is thinner than Nymo D.  A little pricey, yes.  But at least the tapestry will be bulletproof, lol.

He sent it Priority Mail today so it should be here Wednesday.  I'll let you know how it warps......

Big Loom Pictures

Here it is everyone.  Finally finished.  Sanded, oiled and put together. 

The bottom warping bar is adjustable and sits on a recessed track.

A sandbag helps to hold down in the back and keeps it from sliding.  I made the sandbad by filling an old pillowcase with play sand and then made a canvas cover for the sandbag.  The rear legs are removable for tranport.  

So....I got thinking.....what can I do with the smaller loom to make it easier to work on since it wont exaactly fit on my lap anymore?  Well, I had an old drafting table that had become more or less a place to throw junk  on.  I deconstructed it, refinished the top, and bolted my smaller loom to it.

The top of it tilts. The base has adjustable legs so I can raise and lower it as necessary. 

(Yes, I know the pic is sideways......turn your eyes)

It has two hooks on the bottom of the table top that supports the loom frame.  The loom frame hangs on a rod that runs through the upper part of the frame of the loom and the rod runs through 2 eye bolts I put through the table. 

The loom has a series of holes in the frame so as my work moves up the loom I can drop the entire loom down by putting the rod through the next hole in the frame.  This drops the entire loom down on the table itself.  Neat  :-)

(OK, ingore my knee and look at the holes ^^^^^)  

 So now its time to warp the hundreds and hundreds of warps. 

Well......there we have a problem........

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Both Looms Finished

Awaiting the Fireline to be delivered so I can start warping.  I was advised to use fishing line due to the weight of the beads by one of my guildmembers.  Regular nylon thread can stretch under weight.  With almost a quarter million 11/0 Delica beads (over 2 kg.) on the next project with the large loom I can't afford for it to stretch. 

We adapted and enlarged the loom I got at Pennisc from Blue Flag Looms.   

It is now 3' by 2'.

His looms are similar to the looms used by master beader John G. Lotter (1902-1994) of Chicago, who was instrumental in reviving heddle loom beading in the 1950s and was one of the founders of Mascoutin Society of Chicagoland. 

I find using the double warp with a rigid heddle easier than the single warp method. My father-in-law, a master woodworker, and I redesigned my Pennsic loom and also made a large one measuring 5' by 3' for larger pieces.

We made two rigid heddles for the looms.  One 30" (222 reeds) and one 18" (131 reeds).  All the reeds were hand cut, hand sanded, hand drilled and glued into place in a rigid heddle frames we constructed from pine.  Both heddles have handles (not pictured) to ease in advancing the warp.

The large loom is constructed from pine and oak, sanded with ultra fine paper and oiled.  We also added an adjustable warping bar so various sized pieces can be warped in the future. We added removable adjustable legs so it can be worked at any angle.  Once it is warped we will be adding a 'wefting bar'.  It took several sessions over a period of 6 weeks to redesign and complete both looms and heddles. 

Special  thanks goes out to my father-in-law, Kenneth Wolf,  for taking time out of his busy schedule to guide me in re-designing and creating these looms.  His expertise as a woodworker is phenomenal and his patience is greatly appreciated.

Thanks Dad.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Second Project - Running Wolves

This is called Running Dogs.  It is a combination of two different patterns also beaded in 11/0 seed beads.  It is 19" by 4.5" and took several weeks to complete.

The dog symbolizes loyalty and the strong bond of companionship between humans and animals.  It is often considered to be good luck, wards off illness, rejection and lonliness.  The symbol of the dog was commonly found in Celtic art.  You would rarely see a Celtic hunter without a hound nearby.

Dogs were always held in high esteem by the Celts, as a friend and as protection.  The fearsome battle hound is featured in many Celtic myths.  In general, hounds were representative of tracking skills, the ability to scent a trail, and of companionship.

The White Hound was a title of honor for Celtic chieftains.  Many Celtic myths involve dogs or dog familiars which belonged to heroic figures or deities and wars were often fought for and over them.

Cuchulainn, the hound of Ulster, was a great Irish warrior of myth and legend.  His greatest deed was when he held the army of Connaught at bay by himself.  As most great warriors did, Cuchulainn died on the battlefield in combat in a fight between himself and his friend, a rival champion from Connaught.

The hound was used in battle as well as a symbol of Ireland's royalty.

My First Project

I made this for my husband who is a SCA combat swordsman.  It is a 'favor' he can tie to his belt when he fights.

It has a split end that can be used for a tie.  It is 18" long by 1" wide and took about a week to make once I figured out what I was doing, lol.