Santa Fe Rag Rug Art & Marketplace 2014

Rag Rugs by Woven Hearth

Rag Rugs by Woven Hearth

The New Mexico Women’s Foundation hosted the 2014 Santa Fe Rag Rug Art & Marketplace at Museum Hill on August 8-10. The amazing Gerry Cerf and her staff of volunteers put on this show. Many, many thanks to Gerry and all the folks from NMWF!

I assisted my mom (Sandy Voss of Cabin Textiles) last year with her booth, as I had just begun down the path of being a weaver full time. This year, we each got a booth and we were set up side by side, allowing us to share the loom that my mom brought. This year, certain animal products (such as leather, bone, wool, feathers, etc.) were encouraged to set up outside in the big tent. More artists (selling things like jewelry, wall art, clothing, etc.) were inside the atrium of the Museum of International Folk Art.

This show exceeded all my expectations. My mom and I were busy the entire time, barely having time to snag a bite to eat (more like nibbling throughout the day). We quite enjoyed the crowd, talking about our rugs, the loom, my knitting, and my mom’s crocheted hats. Also, several friends stopped by to say hi. My feet were quite sore by the end of the Rag Rug Fest, but I was too pleased with the success of the show to fuss over them.

What follows is a list of the artists I chatted with (and their contact info) and lots and lots of pictures. Enjoy!

Ann Lumaghi, annlumaghi@cybermesa.com, PO Box 644, Abiquiu, NM 87510, 505-685-4503, http://www.abiquiustudiotour.org/galleries/ann_lumaghi_contact.html

Duka Subedi, duka_aarpan@yahoo.com, 8409 Gutierrez Rd. N.E., Albuquerque, NM 87111, 505-948-6638, http://www.jackrabbitmarketplace.com/collections/ds

Tanka Chapagai, contact her through her daughter Duka Subedi

Carol Mills, Rags to Rugs, 575-534-4020, Silver City, NM, http://www.jackrabbitmarketplace.com/collections/cm

Wendy Capek, wendycapek@gmail.com, PO Box 465, Mora, NM 87732, 505-617-6850

Kei Tsuzuki & Molly Luethi, Kei & Molly Textiles, kei@keiandmolly.com, 505-554-7062, molly@keiandmolly.com, 505-554-9337, 5321 Acoma Rd. S. E., Albuquerque, NM 87108, http://www.keiandmolly.com/

Lisanne Cole, Tribal Soul Maps, giasound@yahoo.com, Santa Fe, NM, 575-770-7777, www.tribalsoulmaps.com

Mujeres de Adelante Cooperative, iribe@sfps.info, 505-819-9966, www.adelantesantafe.org

Carol Eggers, caroleggers45@gmail.com, Las Cruces, NM

Renee Brainard Gentz, rbgentz@gmail.com, 505-242-5703, www.rbgentz.com

Susan Young-Tweet, The Santa Fe Sewing Studio, wrapahat@aol.com, 505-913-9650, 1807 Second St. Suite 45-1, Santa Fe, NM 87505

Carmen Sena-Todd, For the Brand Ranch, forthebrand8@gmail.com, 575-571-9941, 6790-14 Camino Encanto, La Mesa, NM 88044, www.forthebrand.etsy.com

SW Women’s Fiber Arts Collective, information@fiberartscollective.org, 575-538-5733, PO Box 636, Silver City, NM 88062, www.fiberartscollective.org

TDLT Fiber Artists, TDLT@GauchoBlue.com, PO Box 114, Penasco, NM 87553, 575-758-1730, www.gauchoblue.com/TDLT.html

Julie Anderson, Costume Salon, julie@costumesalon.com, 505-989-7125, 903 W. Alameda #109, Santa Fe, NM 87501, www.costumesalon.com

Sandy Voss, Cabin Textiles, sandyvoss@cybermesa.com, 505-753-6395, PO Box 10, Abiquiu, NM 87510, www.cabintextiles.com

Espanola Valley Fiber Arts Center (EVFAC), info@evfac.org, 505-747-3577, 325 Paseo de Onate, Espanola, NM 87532, www.evfac.org

Kathy Konecki, Necessary Little Luxuries, info@necessarylittleluxuries.com, 505-989-7015, www.necessarylittleluxuries.com

 

This is me trying out an Entrelac piece by Carol Eggers.

This is me trying out an Entrelac piece by Carol Eggers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hat bands by Wendy Capek.

Bead work belts by Wendy Capek.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rag rug by Carol Mills

Rag rug by Carol Mills

 

 

 

 

 

Rag rug by Carol Mills

Rag rug by Carol Mills

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

EVFAC clothing rack.

EVFAC clothing rack.

 

 

 

 

 

EVFAC goodies!

EVFAC goodies!

 

 

 

 

 

 

EVFAC woven shawls.

EVFAC woven shawls.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Knitted gloves by Kathy Konecki.

Knitted gloves by Kathy Konecki.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kathy Konecki with her knitted decorative scarves

Kathy Konecki with her knitted decorative scarves

 

 

 

 

 

 

Decorated burlap bags by Mujeres de Adelante Cooperative.

Decorated burlap bags by Mujeres de Adelante Cooperative.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hand-made soaps by Mujeres de Adelante Cooperative.

Hand-made soaps by Mujeres de Adelante Cooperative.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weavings by Tanka Chapagai.

Weavings by Tanka Chapagai.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tote bags by Duka Subedi.

Tote bags by Duka Subedi.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blue jeans weavings by TDLT.

Blue jeans weavings by TDLT.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hand towels by Kei & Molly Textiles.

Hand towels by Kei & Molly Textiles.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Greeting cards by SW Women's Fiber Arts Collective.

Greeting cards by SW Women’s Fiber Arts Collective.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Quilted notebook cover by SW Women's Fiber Arts Collective.

Quilted notebook cover by SW Women’s Fiber Arts Collective.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Little wallets by SW Women's Fiber Arts Collective.

Little wallets by SW Women’s Fiber Arts Collective.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Amethyst necklace by Carmen Sena-Todd.

Amethyst necklace by Carmen Sena-Todd.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bracelets by Carmen Sena-Todd.

Bracelets by Carmen Sena-Todd.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fleece clothing by Susan Young-Tweet.

Fleece clothing by Susan Young-Tweet.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Towel rugs by Ann Lumaghi.

Towel rugs by Ann Lumaghi.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Skeins by Ann Lumaghi.

Skeins by Ann Lumaghi.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Birds, masks, cat pillow by Costume Salon.

Birds, masks, cat pillow by Costume Salon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wicked Witch feet by Costume Salon.

Wicked Witch feet by Costume Salon.

 

 

 

 

 

Julie of Costume Salon modeling her crazy cool hat.

Julie of Costume Salon modeling her crazy cool hat.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Decorative art by Lisanne Cole.

Decorative art by Lisanne Cole.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Decorative art by Lisanne Cole.

Decorative art by Lisanne Cole.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hats crocheted from cotton selvedge, by Cabin Textiles.

Hats crocheted from cotton selvedge, by Cabin Textiles.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weavings and knitted items by Cabin Textils & Woven Hearth.

Weavings and knitted items by Cabin Textils & Woven Hearth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rag Rugs by Cabin Textiles & Woven Hearth.

Rag Rugs by Cabin Textiles & Woven Hearth.

 

 

 

 

 

Sandy Voss teaching weaving.

Sandy Voss teaching weaving.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Knitted hats by Carol Eggers.

Knitted hats by Carol Eggers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rainbow shawl by Carol Eggers.

Rainbow shawl by Carol Eggers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Woven items by TDLT.

Woven items by Carol Eggers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Knitted bag by TDLT.

Knitted bag by Carol Eggers.

 

 

 

 

 

Quilted wall art by Renee Brainard Gentz.

Quilted wall art by Renee Brainard Gentz.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Santas by Renee Brainard Gentz.

Santas by Renee Brainard Gentz.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Keep your yarn balls in order with these bowls from TDLT.

Keep your yarn balls in order with these bowls from TDLT.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is the personal artist book for Wendy Capek. I really liked the snakeskin cover.

This is the personal artist book for Wendy Capek. I really liked the snakeskin cover.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sandy Voss teaching kids how to weave.

Sandy Voss teaching kids how to weave.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Las Golondrinas Fiber Arts Festival

The booth we shared.

The booth we shared.

A few weekends back (Memorial Day weekend), Cabin Textiles and Woven Hearth teemed up to participate in the Santa Fe Fiber Arts Festival held at the beautiful El Rancho de Las Golondrinas. It was a wonderful weekend, even with the rain (or in my little opinion, especially because of the rain).  There were plenty of vendors, demonstrations, and archery! Yes, archery. Which was particularly thrilling for those standing next to me when I took my try at the range. Plus, all visitors and vendors had access to various exhibitions and museum and walking trails available at Las Golondrinas.

Cotton shag Happy Rug by Cabin Textiles.

Cotton shag Happy Rug by Cabin Textiles.

This was my first time at this venue, and I got lost. Yes, I did check a map before heading off. No, I did not trust my map – instead I followed the signage. Haha! So, the scenic route for me. Turns out there are two ways to approach Las Golondrinas. The one I discovered took me through La Cienega and past their trash transfer station. The second route is much more direct, utilizing the frontage road.

Rugs by Woven Hearth.

Rugs by Woven Hearth.

Anyway, it is an exceptionally beautiful location and I look forward to visiting Las Golondrinas again. And they had wifi so I could use my little credit card swiper gizmo. Hooray! We had a corner booth that worked out quite well for displaying one of my mom’s (Sandy Voss’s) large rugs on the wall. Our booth neighbors (TDLT Fiber Artists) were a cheery group of ladies who shared food and drinks back and forth with us throughout the weekend. (Barbara Anne – thank you for the humus!).

There were also lots of demonstrations – both the regular ones provided by Las Golondrinas volunteers and some of the vendors. Sheep, bunnies, spinning, felt work, paper making, weaving, etc. And I met Inger Seitz, whose work I have seen through the Las Tejedoras Newsletter. Chatting with her about rag rug weaving in Finland was great!

What follows are lots and lots of pictures. enjoy!

Contact Info for artists who I had the joy of photographing:

Sacred Heart Cafe, Patty Mara, Box 5D, Pilar Route HC69, Embudo, NM 87531, pmgourley@gmail.com, www.pattymara.etsy.com

The Natural Twist, Ruth Baldwin, 877-TNT-WOOL, 505-453-2277, ruth@TheNaturalTwist.com, TheNaturalTwist.com

Felt Free, Jo Thompson, jo@feltfree.com, feltfree.com, feltfree-itswhatifelt.blogspot.com

TDLT Fiber Artists, PO Box 114, Penasco, NM 87553, 575-758-1730, TDLT@GauchoBlue.com, www.gauchoblue.com/TDLT.html

Rio Fernando Farm, Shelley Loveless, #3 Sunset Drive, Taos, NM 87571, 575-758-0019, riofernandofarm@gmail.com

Hairball Yarns, A. Smith-Nelson, Lot15/15 North Mesa Stables, Los Alamos, NM 87544

Lisa Joyce Designs, Lisa Joyce de Burlo, PO Box 1716, Taos, NM 87571, lisajoydb@gmail.com, www.lisajoycedesigns.com

Cabin Textiles, Sandy Voss, PO Box 10, Abiquiu, NM 87510, sandyvoss@cybermesa.com, www.cabintextiles.com

Nicole Blais – feltmaker and Las Golondrinas volunteer, & unfortunately I can’t find contact info for her.

Beautiful roving by The Natural Twist.

Beautiful roving by The Natural Twist.

 

 

 

 

Dolls by the TDLT Fiber Artists.

Dolls by the TDLT Fiber Artists.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Woven wraps by TDLT Fiber Artists.

Woven wraps by TDLT Fiber Artists.

 

 

 

The de-fuzzing of an angora rabbit by Rio Fernando Farm.

The de-fuzzing of an angora rabbit by Rio Fernando Farm.

 

 

 

 

 

 

More skeins by Hairball Yarns.

More skeins by Hairball Yarns.

 

 

 

 

 

More felt art by Las Golondrinas volunteer Nicole Blais.

More felt art by Las Golondrinas volunteer Nicole Blais.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is a medieval spindle with cast bronze whorl & oak shaft from The Natural Twist.

Here is a medieval spindle with cast bronze whorl & oak shaft from The Natural Twist.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rag rugs by the TDLT Fiber Artists.

Rag rugs by the TDLT Fiber Artists.

 

 

 

 

Table loom demo by TDLT Fiber Artists.

Table loom demo by TDLT Fiber Artists.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Felt pins by Lisa Joyce Designs.

Felt pins by Lisa Joyce Designs.

 

 

 

 

Happy hat by Felt Free.

Happy hat by Felt Free.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rag rug made from faux fur by Woven Hearth.

Rag rug made from faux fur by Woven Hearth.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Natural dyes by The Natural Twist.

Natural dyes by The Natural Twist.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Locally spun, hand-dyed wool by TDLT Fiber Artists.

Locally spun, hand-dyed wool by TDLT Fiber Artists.

 

 

 

 

Wall felt art by Sacred Heart.

Wall felt art by Sacred Heart.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Spun tidbits by Lisa Joyce Designs.

Spun tidbits by Lisa Joyce Designs.

 

 

 

 

Felt hat by Felt Free - I see a dragon or Sky Eel!

Felt hat by Felt Free – I see a dragon or Sky Eel!

 

 

 

 

 

Rag rugs by Woven Hearth (left - bedsheet material, right- blue jeans).

Rag rugs by Woven Hearth (left – bedsheet material, right- blue jeans).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Felt art by TDLT Fiber Artists.

Felt art by TDLT Fiber Artists.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hanging chakra by Sacred Heart.

Hanging chakra by Sacred Heart.

 

 

 

 

 

Hand-spun skeins by Lisa Joyce Designs.

Hand-spun skeins by Lisa Joyce Designs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table sheep from Felt Free.

Table sheep from Felt Free.

 

 

 

 

Purses & potholders by TDLT Fiber Artists.

Purses & potholders by TDLT Fiber Artists.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Faerie play sets by Sacred Heart.

Faerie play sets by Sacred Heart.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Skeins, hats, and purses by Lisa Joyce Designs.

Skeins, hats, and purses by Lisa Joyce Designs.

 

 

 

 

 

A felt purse by Felt Free.

A felt purse by Felt Free.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Table runners by TDLT Fiber Artists.

Table runners by TDLT Fiber Artists.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Felted soaps in various scents by Rio Fernando Farm.

Felted soaps in various scents by Rio Fernando Farm.

 

 

 

 

 

Spinning demo by Lisa Joyce.

Spinning demo by Lisa Joyce.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Little sheep at Las Golondrinas 2014.

Little sheep at Las Golondrinas 2014.

 

 

 

 

 

Placemats by TDLT Fiber Artists.

Placemats by TDLT Fiber Artists.

 

 

 

Skeins by Rio Fernando Farm.

Skeins by Rio Fernando Farm.

 

 

 

 

Skeins by Hairball Yarns.

Skeins by Hairball Yarns.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Felt work by Las Golondrinas volunteer Nicole Blais.

Felt work by Las Golondrinas volunteer Nicole Blais.

 

 

 

 

 

Paper making frame is pulled through a tub of water that contains pulp.

Paper making frame is pulled through a tub of water that contains pulp.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pulp is collected on the screen with one pull through the tub of water.

Pulp is collected on the screen with one pull through the tub of water.

 

 

 

 

 

 

The top half of the frame is removed & paper laid face down on another board to dry.

The top half of the frame is removed & paper laid face down on another board to dry.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here was have paper made at the paper demo.

Here was have paper made at the paper demo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To Sew The Ends Or Not?

If you don't sew the ends, you need to overlay perhaps 3 inches or more.

If you don’t sew the ends, you need to overlay perhaps 3 inches or more.

Recently, I made my first cotton rugs. For all three of them, I mixed each, having two distinct colors twining through each rug. On the first one I had this lovely deep golden selvedge edge material that would be remarkably boring all on it’s own. But then I also had this softer, pastel yellow in strips (that would also be remarkably boring by itself). I decided that they should be smushed together into one beautiful rug.

Here you can see an end that escaped the warp.

Here you can see an end that escaped the warp.

I also made the snap decision to not sew the pastel yellow strips together into long lengths suitable for filling a shuttle. My mom, Sandy Voss of Cabin Textiles, has does this before too and prefers sewing the ends for several reasons. She strongly recommended that if I wasn’t going to sew the ends, then I needed to give them a lengthy overlap of at least 3 inches. This is done to help ensure that the ends won’t wriggle free over time (think the type of usage such a rug might see) and create a hole in the weft. Additionally, unsewn ends are more prone to sticking up through the warp and will require a little trimming before the rug could be considered ready for sale and/or use.

From my personal experience of making this rug, I found it a pain in the backside to lay each pale yellow strip in and fuss with the overlapping ends. I think it doubled the amount of time it took me to weave this rug. I also had a very direct comparison to the selvedge edge I was twining with it – it being one unending streamer of deep gold. This selvedge edge laid in swiftly with minimal fussing.

Here is a simple blue & white cotton rug.

Here is a simple blue & white cotton rug.

The next two cotton rugs I made, I sewed the ends of the blue bedspread strips. Yes, it took me a little while to sew all those little ends, but it saved me time and hassle on the weaving side. Plus, I feel that it makes a more durable product in the end. Those sewn ends are not likely to worm their way out over time, even with many, many washings, and create a hole in the weft. Also, I found there were way fewer little ends that stuck up upon vacuuming that needed a trimming.

Art Through The Loom Show: Setting Up at Ghost Ranch

Wall hanging by Caroline Rackley.

Wall hanging by Caroline Rackley.

As some of you know, the Art Through the Loom guild show at Ghost Ranch near Abiquiu, NM is the first show that I have my rugs in. This show runs from mid-July through mid-September. On July 16th, several of us made the trek to Ghost Ranch to set up the show. The reception for the show was held the following Saturday, July 20th. Unfortunately, I did not make it to the reception because we had a lovely summer flash flood the day before and I was still tending to the after math – both in cleaning and in recovering physically from my Friday exertions of shoveling and bailing water.

However, I did take lots of pictures the day we did set up, so I can share with you all some of the great art work that was displayed in this show. I am new to the guild, so I am still learning who all the other artists are; any mistakes in labeling the pictures or spelling folks’ names are my own.

Necktie rug by Elaine Anaya.

Necktie rug by Elaine Anaya.

In a previous post, I expressed concern that I would forget to bring something important to the set up of the show, like business cards, water bottle, or even my rugs. So, I packed the truck the night before with everything but the water bottle. I even brought extra hanging tags just in case I needed to correct something or replace one on one of my rugs. I managed to have 15 rugs ready for the show. I hadn’t been out to Ghost Ranch in perhaps 7-10 years and I wasn’t sure which building we would be in. So, I planned to be 15 minutes late so that I would (hopefully) see several other vehicles, including my mom’s, in front of the correct building. It worked, though the sign on the building said it was closed. That was easily fixed by turning the sign around and lugging my rugs in.

Practical weather forecasters by Gloria Padilla.

Practical weather forecasters by Gloria Padilla.

The ladies at ghost ranch who allow us to invade the space and help set up are awesome: Lorraine, Cheryl, and Judy – Thank you!

I also wish to thank John Curran for doing so much ladder work. Much of the wall pieces must be hung from the ceiling instead of attached to the walls. If John had not volunteered, I am sure I would have been sent up and down the ladder repeatedly as I was the youngest there. It’s a wee secret of mine that I have a ladder phobia, which I didn’t particularly want to share with the other guild members in full on color vision. I don’t know what the clinical term for this fear is, though climacophobia is close. If the ladder is anchored into a wall, etc., I have no problem. But a free standing ladder is extremely difficult for me to use. So, a big, big thanks to John and later, Cheryl for doing the ladder work.

A mix of things: hotpads by Nancy Woodworth, towels by Michelle Rudy, more hotpads by Caroline Rackley.

A mix of things: hotpads by Nancy Woodworth, towels by Michelle Rudy, more hotpads by Caroline Rackley.

I learned the check in process for items. Several folks brought not only their own work, but the work of others. So we had plenty to check in, make sure all the items match the paperwork, and stick on the scannable barcodes. I do like sticky barcodes – makes things simple for whoever is doing checkout and makes me as an artist feel like we are in the 21st century.

I spent most of my time harassing three ladies: Michelle Rudy, Caroline Rackley, and Nora Curran. Michelle got me started on checking in my mom’s (Sandy Voss’s) hats. This was a good thing to learn on because it was hard to mess up. Next, I artistically mussed up the kitchen weavings table, which included items by Michelle, Caroline, and Nancy Woodworth, so that someone with a more critical eye could come along later and make it look nice. Then I had fun placing little baskets holding Hues by Heather skeins of yarn. Hues by Heather is created by Erika Schwender. These baskets were later consolidated and placed in other strategically located places.

The Hues by Heather skiens are by Erika Schwender. The pillows are Judy Lucero.

The Hues by Heather skiens are by Erika Schwender. The pillows are Judy Lucero.

Caroline and I spent some quality time comparing pocket knives, checking in Debra Dubois’s items, hanging Pamela Colton’s dolls, and joking around. She makes the mullet look cool and I look forward to seeing her at future functions. So as not to pester Caroline the entire time, I then spent time with Nora tying knots, arguing with dowel rods, discussing pickles, untying knots, and fussing with clamps. We eventually got one, yes a single, item ready for hanging.

Eventually, we had a little lunch break in the partially covered center patio area. John & Nora’s sheep dog was out there in the shade. I shared an apple with her and gave her a back massage. She was very sweet. We watched the mud swallow chicks being fed by their parents. After lunch, we had a few more things to see to, cleaning up, making sure the Ghost Ranch staff had all the paperwork they needed from us, etc. After that, we peeled off here and there. I had planned to take pictures of us all dressed at the reception and capture a few pictures of the scenic landscape of the area when I came back for the reception. Alas, who expected flash flooding encroaching on my livingroom?

Wall hanging by John Curran.

Wall hanging by John Curran.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wall hanging by Linda Bentley.

Wall hanging by Linda Bentley.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dolls by Pamela Colton.

Dolls by Pamela Colton.

 

 

 

 

 

Shawl by Sally Rupert.

Shawl by Sally Rupert.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thumb rings by Caroline Rackley.

Thumb rings by Caroline Rackley.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wall hanging by Alex Sullivan.

Wall hanging by Alex Sullivan.

 

 

 

 

Wall hanging by Bettye Sullivan.

Wall hanging by Bettye Sullivan.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wall hanging by Gloria Padilla.

Wall hanging by Gloria Padilla.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On our lunch break watching swallow chicks.

On our lunch break watching swallow chicks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nora & John's dog on a water break.

Nora & John’s dog on a water break.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My rugs mixed with other artists's rugs.

My rugs mixed with other artists’s rugs.

 

 

 

 

Crazy hats by Sandy Voss.

Crazy hats by Sandy Voss.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A shag rug (reds) and a sock rug made by me.

A shag rug (reds) and a sock rug made by me.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tying on the Warp: Mistakes & All

Each thread must be tied onto the correct thread from the previous warp.

Each thread must be tied onto the correct thread from the previous warp.

Once you have warped your loom, there is the next chore of tying on. If you read Warping the Loom, then you know we have a Union floor loom for rag rugs. This loom came to us with about 10 rugs worth of black warp on it, set at 32 inches wide. The new warp is much brighter and set at 28 inches wide. Here in this post I will reveal to you all the mistakes we made; experienced weavers may snort laugh a little. That’s fine; we do. First off, the threads should be tied on in the same pattern you had them on the spool rack. It’s best to keep this pattern for each section, though a few mistakes won’t kill your warp.

Each individual thread from the new warp needs to be tied onto the correct one from the old warp. We had left the old warp threaded through the two harnesses and the reed. In retrospect, I wish I had not cut them as short as I did as leaving the old warp about 16 inches long caused for a lot of pulling and inadvertently pulling the warp completely out in a few places. The alternative is to pull the old warp out completely and just re-thread everything. If you have a sley hook (aka threading, heddle, or reed hook), this might not be too bad. I do not have a sley hook. This is also what you would do if you have warped your loom for the first time and don’t have old warp to tie on to.

Our loom is a 2 harness loom. So, the threads must alternate. It doesn’t matter if you start with the back harness or the front harness; just keep the threads alternating. You do not want two threads side by side in the same harness as this can lead to a visible line the length of your rug. Typically, you just follow the pattern set by the previous warp, correcting any mistakes as you go, trying not to introduce new ones…..like some blogger you may know ;). In tying on, use an overhand knot, not a square knot. Square knots come undone under tension and you will be cussing mightily as one after another pops loose. The overhand knot will only get tighter under tension. This is really more important for when repairing a broken thread. The knots you tie here for tying on the new warp will most likely not be under any tension, but I try to get myself in the habit of using the overhand knot instead of the square knot.

At 20 threads per section, 14 sections, that's a lot of knots!

At 20 threads per section, 14 sections, that’s a lot of knots!

So, I was going from a wider warp than the new one I had just put on. This meant that I had to drop a section of the old warp on either side. The problem was that the old warp was mostly black and I could not tell where the section ended with ease. In retrospect, I could have simply counted off 20 threads, as I know that is what is in each section. Alas, I had left the wee tiny OCD bit of my brain locked in the canned vegetable cupboard to do some organizing. I really should have invited it to the tying on party. So, that was mistake number one. I was off by a number of threads and this became noticeable towards the end. Thankfully, with this model loom, there was an easy fix that my mom clued me in to: the reed has a little bit of wiggle room and simply by loosing the bolts on the reed bar and sliding the reed down ~8 threads, this problem was solved.

My second mistake was really a beginner’s mistake. In fact, I was a bit embarrassed over this one and didn’t even tell my mom. Now, she hasn’t discovered this little website of mine yet, not being particularly computer savvy. I’m sure I can trust you all to keep it on the hush-hush, right? OK, I tied on 3 sections, 60 threads, straight to the old warp without taking the threads over the back beam. Yes, round of applause. Did I grow up with a weaver for a mom or not? I was quite exasperated with myself when I figured it out. True, I was paying attention to an audiobook, but …..Yeah, invite that OCD part of yourself to the tying on party. Now, there was an easy fix to this one too. Yes, it involved a wrench. Bill simply unbolted one corner of the back beam and swung it in enough to wrap the warp around it as it should be, then rebolted the beam. Took like 2 minutes.

Here, we have puled the new warp through. My dog Tanuki is supervising.

Here, we have puled the new warp through. My dog Tanuki is supervising.

While tying on to the old warp, I found a few mistakes that had to be corrected. The first one was that two threads were going through the same harness eyelet. Oops! Mistakes get introduced to a warp through the course of weaving. Typically, a thread breaks for one reason or another, and it can pop all the way to the back beam if under tight enough tension. So, mistakes happen while re-threading that broken string back through when you tie it back in. I’m sure I will be introducing mistakes to my current warp and when I re-warp in a few weeks, I will be finding and fixing those mistakes too. For this double threaded eyelet mistake, I continued to just tie on and when I finished tying on the entirety of the new warp, that was when I fixed it. There may be more mistakes exactly like this. To fix it, keep tract of how many doubles you have, then simply move your warp thread by thread out towards the edge that many number of eyelets and dents. (Dents are the spaces in the reed that the threads go through. Yeah, I didn’t know that either until I was doing this tie on by myself and calling my mom every 2 hours with questions.) In my case, I had only 1 double, and it was located in the first section I tied on, so I only had to move a few threads over 1. When you do this, you need to make sure you keep the threads alternating front and back harness. If you have a 4 harness loom, same principle, you just need to pay extra attention.

The next mistake I found was that three eyelets were completely empty. Ooops. This was all me. I must have accidentally pulled the old warp out. So, I had to take the appropriate 3 threads of the new warp and unwind those three from the back beam enough to make it all the way through eyelets and dents. Once I got those three all the through, I went ahead and tied them together in front of the reed so they wouldn’t be tempted to pop back through to be with their friends.

Success! Ready to cut off the remaining old warp & tie on new warp.

Success! Ready to cut off the remaining old warp & tie on new warp.

The next was an odd one: I found a thread going through a back harness eyelet, an empty front harness eyelet, and then the next thread going through a back harness eyelet. Yet, there was not a blank space in the dents. If there had been an empty space in the dents, I would have done the same thing as in the previous mistake, just with a single thread. In this case, I pulled one of the back harness threads (old warp) out of it’s eyelet and put it through the front harness eyelet, making sure to preserve my alternating. Then I continued to tie on the new warp as I had been doing. Yes, this left an empty eyelet in the middle of the warp, but it won’t cause a fuss.

Now that I had my warp tied on (14 sections at 20 threads a piece), all 280 threads, I was ready to pull the new warp through. The front of the loom still shows the old warp (black threads), so I grabbed those in perhaps 40-60 thread bundles and gently pulled. To get all those knots through the eyelets and dents, some wiggling, jostling, and even cajoling of the threads must be done. You don’t want to break any of them; you just spent how many hours hunched over the back beam, squinting and counting and redoing your work? So, go with the cajoling, even a few epithets if you feel strongly about it, but do not break your threads at this point. There will be plenty of time for that later.

The new warp is tied onto the apron, ready for weaving.

The new warp is tied onto the apron, ready for weaving.

Once the new warp was pulled through, I pulled a few extra inches through the give myself some thread to work with. I cut off the old warp and all my knots. Yes, hours spent putting those knots in only to cut them off later. Perhaps I can find some arts & crafts class that can use such silly bits of thread? Anyway, now I had my new warp ready the be tied on. For the apron on my loom, I have tie on slots for each section on the back beam. So, I grabbed the first 20 threads (first section) at one end and tied it on. Then I went to the opposite end and did the same thing. I bounce back and forth while tying on and once all sections are tied on, I tighten down each section by hand. Once satisfied that my tension is even, I usually tighten it up a bit with ratchet. Now I am ready to start weaving.

There's some minor wear & tear to this apron.

There’s some minor wear & tear to this apron.

I took a picture of one edge of the apron to show how it is wearing. My mom made this apron for this loom and when she makes an apron, she gives it enough material to wrap around the front beam 3-4 times. This means that once I have too much wear on that edge (like it is messing up the tension on one side of the warp), I can simply cut off the damaged section, sew a new loop for the rebar, and put in new slots for each section to tie on to. If you have a factory or store bought apron, you may not have enough excess material to do this and will have to replace the whole thing. If you can sew straight lines on your sewing machine, you can make yourself an apron out of heavy canvas material and save yourself some trouble down the line.

This is the new warp as seen on the back beam when under tension.

This is the new warp as seen on the back beam when under tension.