I made good progress yesterday in-between phone calls. I had a nice chat with a former co-worker, Lisetta, and "several" calls to my sister, Sandy. Seems as soon as we hung up, I remembered something else that I wanted to tell her, so back to the phone I went.
After spreading the warp, and then winding it onto the back beam, I was ready to thread the 492 warp threads through the heddles.
A view from the front. The warp spreader is used to separate the warp into groups of 24 threads......1 group per inch. Notice also, the heddles on each shaft are a different color, making it easier to thread the correct heddle, in the correct shaft, as needed.
I tried something a little different this time. I took each bundle of warp threads and tied them to the front rod, "prior" to threading them.
I found by having the bundles tied to the front rod before threading worked for me. I really can't say why, but it "felt good" for some reason. Maybe it was because I felt I had a firmer work surface or it seemed more organized? Don't know, don't care, but do know I will try this again to see if it feels like it is easier. Goodness knows, ANYTHING to make the set up of the loom less tedious is a GOOD thing. ;)
First half of the warp threaded and re-tied to the front rod and ready to begin the second half. Notice, too, how I used the warp spreader upside down with the lease sticks secured to it, bringing them closer to the shafts (and not having any drooping of the warp), so that I was able to see the "cross" of the warp. This made it easier to see which warp thread was next in the sequence.
After all ends/heddles were threaded, I laid 2- 1"x3" boards between the front and back beams so that I could lay my reed flat on it, giving me a firm surface for threading the warp threads through the reed, prior to securing it in the beater. Not only does this give me a good view of the reed slots so that I do not miss a space, but it is much easier to thread the reed while it is lying flat compared to it being vertical in the beater. By the way, I'm using a 12 dent reed, which means I am threading 2 warp threads through each dent because of the 24 warp threads per inch. One final note.....I left the groups of warp tied to the front rod, untying them as I needed to thread them. This made it easy to see where I was and kept them organized.
Another view of the threading process........
Reed threaded and secured in the beater with the warp groupings tied once. This morning, I will finish re-tying the warp to the front rod (it has to be done a few times to get a nice, even, tight warp), secure it with a knot, and begin weaving.
I add this photo so that you could compare it to the first photo, as it shows how the warp has spread out and become parallel after threading heddles/reed and front tie up.
Weaving photos to follow.......