Tag Archives: Weaving Equipment

Warping at Warp Speed

Any rigid heddle loom, table loom or floor loom requires warping, the purpose of which is to measure your warp threads and align them so that they do not get tangled and can be easily threaded on the loom. Newer weavers may still be intimidated with this process, but fear not! We are here to help you master the ins and outs of warping your loom – it’s as easy as 1-2-3!warpingFirst, let’s get to know your warping board a little bit better. It’s important to know the distance across the board and between pegs, as our resident weaving instructor Nancy Reid demonstrates in the video below; having this information will help you plan the best path for your warp. You’ll begin with a leader thread which is a different color from your warp – any smooth, sturdy yarn will do! The leader allows you to easily lay out your warp, and should you find you’re missing a warp end, leaving your leader on the board will ensure you can create more warp ends of the same length. You may notice that the above video mentions creating a “cross” when laying out the warp. This is a vital step which not only helps you avoid a tangled mess, it will help with tension issues, too! It’s important to note that you will be following the leader as you lay out your warp on the board, with the exception of when it’s time to create the cross. Since this can be a little tricky for beginners, we filmed a short video demonstrating how and where to create this cross: At last, it’s time to remove the warp! An important detail to keep in mind is that the cross will need to be secured before the warp is removed. In the video below, Nancy demonstrates an easy way to get your cross secured before removing the warp, along with her tried-and-true method for safely removing the warp by making a chain of loops similar to a crochet chain. This chain will keep your warp nice and tidy til it comes time to use it.  Keep in mind, you’ll want to make sure you have a block of time that will be free of interruptions, because you get started, it’s best to thread it completely through the reed before you take your next break. Before you know it, you’ll be warping at warp speed! All the best, Chris, Nancy, and the entire Woolery team


Speaking Loom

There are four types of learners: Auditory learners lean toward lecture-style formats; Visual learners like seeing a demonstration; Read/Write learners learn best by studying the written word; and Kinesthetic learners are hands-on learners. If you are teaching yourself to weave, knowing what kind of learner you are can help immensely. Equally important is to offer yourself more than one way to learn, as we rarely fall cleanly into one camp or another. Most important of all, be patient! Learning to ride a bike didn’t happen in a day and neither will learning to weave.

There are a number of go-to resources we at The Woolery turn to when we get that all-too-familiar call asking, “I want to learn to weave, but there is not shop, guild, teacher, or any other weavers in my area.  What should I do?”

To learn floor loom weaving, our first recommendation is to pick up a copy of Learning To Weave by Deborah Chandler or Weaving for Beginners by Peggy Ostercamp.  No matter what kind of learner you are, you will need a good reference book.

Books are particularly good for read/write learners, but if you are a flipper who jumps about and isn’t prone to sit down with a book and study, you may want to check out one of Madelyn van der Hoogt’s DVDs, Warping Your Loom or Weaving Well. These help those who like lectures and like to see hands-on demonstration.

You might think that Kinesthetic learners would have the hardest time, but since they learn by doing, mistakes are engaging rather than discouraging. Those folks do really well with our learning to weave kits since they have everything they need to get going.

If you are a rigid heddle weaver, consider Weaving Made Easy by Liz Gipson or Hands-On Rigid Heddle Weaving by Betty Davenport. If warping is a stumbling block, Liz also has a DVD Slots and Holes: 3 Ways To Warp a Rigid Heddle Loom. Crafty also have a course on rigid heddle weaving that owners of the Kromski will particularly find attractive because it goes into detail about how to use the built-in warping board and other features of that particular loom. If you are looking to strech your wings, check out Jane Patrick’s book The Weaver’s Idea Book or her DVD Weaving on a Rigid Heddle Loom.

Get weaving off your “someday” list and make it happen today.  All you need is the right teaching tool and you are off to the races!

Join Us for the 12 Fiber Toys of Christmas
It’s Toy Season! Every Friday beginning October 19 through January 4, 2013, we’ll be featuring a favorite fiber toy with a special deal and a chance to win that particular toy (tool) – click here for more details!

Chris, Nancy, and the entire Woolery team!

Wind ‘er Up! + Cherry and Abby Going, Going . . .

We have been a little shuttle crazy around here.  We love talking with you about your favorites and sharing ours. (We aren’t supposed to pick favorites though.) Now that you have a beautiful boat shuttle, it is time to wind that bobbin. What is the best way to do that?

The key to winding a bobbin is to bring the yarn on as tightly and evenly as possible.  Loosely-wound bobbins can cause the yarn to catch on itself causing the shuttle to jerk. This can wreck havoc on your selvages. Next to a loom and shuttle, the weaver’s third best friend is her or his bobbin winder.  There are three basic types, single-end manual, double-end manual, and electric.

Single-end bobbin winders can accommodate most popular bobbins, pirns, and spools. There are also thinner shaft styles available that can handle smaller paper quills.  They are the most affordable style of bobbin winder ergo the most popular.

A similar style winder is the double-end manual bobbin winder.  It puts tension on both ends of bobbin, pirn, or spool.  This gives you more control and keeps the bobbin (or pirn or spool) from slipping, which is very annoying when you are trying to wind a nice, even, tightly-wound bobbin.


Now we get to the mother of all bobbin winders—the electric. Electric winders are available in single or double end.  It is going to give you the fastest results and  also frees up a hand so you don’t feel like you are patting your head and rubbing your tummy.

Having the right tool for the job makes our crafting life, oh, so much better!

A Few Left

What better to go with a shuttle and bobbin winder than a new loom!  We have a few limited edition Cherry Baby Wolf and Pup LT left.  Get them before they are gone. Free shipping included in the price.

Likewise, Abby Franquemont’s classes in February are filling up.  Half-day class in spinning silk singles or self-striping yarns only $45 plus materials fee.

We Look forward to seeing you online or in the store!

Chris, Nancy, and the entire Woolery team

Travel Wheels and You + We’ve Moved

The best way to find the wheel of your dreams is to try a lot of wheels. We don't have all of our boxes unpacked, but that doesn't stop us from inviting you in for a spin in our new classroom space.

At The Woolery, we get asked all the time, “which travel wheel is the best?” The answer is the same whether you are buying a wheel that folds, travels, or will stay in your living room. The wheel that suits your needs, is the wheel for you. The best way to find your wheel among the many, is to come on in and give them a spin. We encourage you to try as many wheels as you can—seek out wheels at guilds and other local spinning groups. Heck, try Ravelry to see if someone nearby has a brand want to try.

To get you started, we have updated our handy chart for you to compare folding double treadle spinning wheels side by side. Here are also a few things to think about when selecting a folding wheel.

Comfort Counts! Being comfortable at the wheel should be your primary consideration. It doesn’t matter how cute or how many options a wheel has if you can’t spin at it comfortably then it is not the wheel for you.

How Compact Does the Wheel Need to Be? Really ask yourself how you plan to use this wheel vs. how you think you are going to use it. (I’m going to go to the Bahamas and spin on the beach vs. I take my wheel to my local spin-in.) For some, being able to carry a wheel on a plane is the number one consideration when looking for a travel wheel. For others that have physical limitations, weight is primary consideration.  Generally speaking, to gain one thing you have to lose another, e.g. light vs stable.

Will the treadles fit my feet comfortably? This is where trying out a wheel will make a difference. It is sort of like trying on a pair of shoes. They may look cute, but are they comfy?  Make sure that the treadle configuration  allows you enough room to sit at your wheel comfortably. Torquing your feet too much can be bad for your body.

Spinning happens in your hands not at the orifice!

Does the Orifice Height Matter? Many authorities will tell you no. Your hands is where the action is happening not near the orifice. (Check out this video from Tim, one of the founders of The Woolery. This bit is about four minutes in.) That said some folks have personal preferences or ergonomic needs that make a perfectly valid reason to want your orifice at a certain height. Remember where we started. Comfort counts!

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to post or give us a call (800) 441-9665.  Better yet, if you are ever in the area, stop by and check out our new location. We have more space, more classrooms, and more fluff and stuff for you to buy!

Chris, Nancy and the entire Woolery team