2 warp sections at once on the warping wheel


A couple of weeks ago, someone asked on a weaving list about advantages of 1″ versus 2″ sections on the sectional beam, and how this would affect winding her warps on the warping wheel. I replied to her privately, telling her that my plan (when I actually got my warping wheel), being as I have 1″ sections, was to wind two 1″ sections at the same time, leaving a space in the raddle (it looks like a metal comb in the following pics) between each section, then wind them onto the sectional beam at the same time. I was actually a little proud of coming up with this idea all on my own. A couple hours later, someone replied to the list that she did what I was planning. I was glad to see that email because it meant that I wasn’t being stupid with my plan.

A couple of days later, another weaver wound two sections and documented it on her blog. However, she wound off each section from the warping wheel one at a time. I was afraid I had misunderstood and maybe my idea wasn’t so grand after all. Turns out it’s just different strokes for different folks.

I finally got my warping wheel (and if you make it to the end of this post, more about that) and got some time to try it out myself. The first time, I left too much space in the raddle. This caused some problems winding on to the sectional beam. As you can see, when one section lines up, the other doesn’t.

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I changed it to have only one slot in the raddle between the two sections. Both sections fit right in the sections on the beam.

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This brought to light another issue. The pin that holds the raddle to the wheel causes a split. In the picture above, you can see the space in the section on the right. (You can probably also see that the 2nd section from the right is going to have some tension issues. I’ve thought about taking it off and rewinding it but this is a sampler warp and I’m prepared to hang some weights off any loose threads when needed.)

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I solved this problem by putting the pin in from the other side, and keeping the end even with the wood instead of the end coming all the way out.

Another problem I ran into was the warp winding evenly onto the wheel.  The first yarns wound on the wheel somehow loosened up so the warp wasn’t tensioned the same.  I think what was happening was the first yarn wound on, I wasn’t getting it all the way up in the catch, and as more yarns were wound and put into the catch, they were pushing the first yarns farther up, causing the tension to become looser on those yarns.  The last 2 sections I wound at the same time went well with the adjustments I learned to make as I went along.

Now, not to be a Negative Nellie, but I do see a few flaws with the warping wheel, or at least things I think could be improved on.  The biggest one is the raddle and the raddle holder.  I’m not sure why the raddle holder is smaller than the raddle itself. It’s a small thing, I know, but it really bugs me that the yarns travel over the wood for part of the raddle but not all of it.  The other thing that bugs me is that pin.  It’s in the way.  When winding on, I’ve changed to having the ring goes to the side instead of hanging down but still…. I’m not sure there’s a better way to attach the raddle, I just know that pin sticking out bugs the crap out of me. I’m not going to go into the customer support, or lack thereof, from AVL when I was having another issue.  Disappointing.

Ending on a positive note, the warping wheel is much faster than using a warping board, at least for me.  And now that I have some of the little kinks worked out, winding it on the sectional beam seems to go faster too.  I don’t have to do the snap and tug every few turns, I just wind it on and there it is!

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