I set out to tell you about warping a loom. My sister came to help, switching out new tubes of thread for empty tubes, so I could keep on turning the crank and not have to attend to that end of the business. A friend of hers called, and when Jan mentioned what was going on, she heard "Oh, can I come watch?" People sat that a lot. Jan sent her some pictures, so I'll use them.
When Jan arrived, I'd just finished weaving to the end of the warp. My arms and back were pretty tired. On my own I might have called it a day, at eleven in the morning. But, my little sister had given over part of her day to helping me, and it wasn't her fault I didn't go back after supper last night and finish the weaving. So, we ate lunch and started in.
There are maybe twenty half pound tubes of 8/2 cotton thread on the shelf. To start, some of them must go on the empty pegs on the rack to the right. There are 40 pegs, some of which you can't even see.
OK, all thread loaded and pulled to the tension box. Three full spools are visible here and probably will make it through the process. All the rest probably will be replaced. Birthday balloons in the background.
Here is all the thread, from the rack, through the tension box and being wound onto a bout. The threads go through two reeds, and over a peg in the tension box. The reeds control the threads to 2", the width of each bout. The peg adds tension to the thread. You also can see thread guides on the bout edges. These keep the threads from inadvertently slipping into the bout on either side.
Now for the real work. There is a crank that fits one end of the beam, and there is a weaver, turning the crank to turn the beam and draw the warp through the tension box and into the 2" bout. There are 125 turns of thread on each bout. I have calculated the yardage and the shrink and know my material costs. All that calculation is in a little notebook in the other room. Someday I may think about it and share the information.
Here are all 11 bouts wound on and ready to tie to the old warp. Everything is easy after the beam is loaded, and I'll probably take some sweet time getting to tying. On the arm of the chair is the medium grey I just took off, and under that some more cream, to finish the warp.
Done! Left on the shelf: seven tubes of warp. Had I needed even one more turn, six of those tubes would now be on the spool rack and only one tube left on the shelf.