I attended a workshop in halv-flossa in July at Vesterheim, in beautiful Decorah, Iowa, taught by Ingebjorg Monsen from Bergen, Norway. This post about day one could be subtitled, “Changing my casual warping ways.”
The tone of the first day was set early on when Ingebjorg stated, “I am an engineer, and parallel lines are the best ones.” This was her warning that there would be NO crossed threads as you put the warp on your loom. In practical terms, this will require you, at many different times, to smooth out lengths of two threads so that no thread will be sitting on top of another, risking tension issues. I think Americans may be a BIT more relaxed on this point. I know I thought a few threads on top of one another now and then wouldn’t harm anything. As the process continued Ingebjorg stalked the students’ looms with a measuring tape and exacting eye, finding the middle of the reed, making sure the warp was perfectly in the middle of the back beam, accurately through the middle of the reed, and tied on the front to create perfect parallel lines.
Ingebjorg stayed with me for a couple of days after she arrived in the U.S. In the middle of the painstakingly accurate warping session, I found myself wondering – had Ingebjorg stood at the back of my loom and noticed any crossed threads on my warp? I was relieved to recall that she merely looked at the front of the loom from some distance.
My headers often pull in, despite my best efforts. This wasn’t going to be happening on Ingebjorg’s watch! As we began to weave the first inches of linen she walked behind the looms, noticing even the slightest bowing in. She taught us to leave lax threads in the first shots, knowing they will be pulled taut. (See a visual demonstration at this Picasa album.)
In the end, the care in warping and preparation paid off, and she’s convinced me to change my casual warping ways! Even though we were using fairly flimsy smaller looms, the weaving experience was great.