Ha! I saw that puzzled look... *grin* I'm trying to do an even-weave project on a backstrap loom using natural wood materials, and there ain't no such thing as a truly straight, sturdy branch, I'm finding....so I used the most-straight I could find (mulberry has some lovely ones). Lashing on a machined dowel isn't really helping much as it slips around the peeled branch (bark is removed from the aged wood by peeling, then by scraping to a silky smooth surface). I got the warp on and the heddles built, but...it's a longer warp and I need to be able to wind it up on the end stick evenly--and it just isn't cooperating! Ideas are VERY welcome--I'm frustrated here....! Thanks!


bolivian warmi

If I know where you are planning to tie your end stick I might be able to help with a suggestion.

onafixedincome (not verified)

Due to space restrictions, I'm kind of limited to using my foot/feet to hold the far end--thus the need to wind up the extra warp. Short legs are turning out to be VERY inconvenient, especially when one's future backstrap is, well, longer... :) :) :)

Caroline (not verified)

How about using a square piece of wood instead of round? The backstrap kits that are sold have square end pieces instead of round, and once clamped together they will not unroll.

Do you have 2 kitchen chairs that you can place facing one another? There is a thread with a photo of Aunt Janet sitting on one and tied up to the back of the chair facing her, and I have tied up that way too. Its a better alternative than trying out your big toe! As someone with short legs, I can appreciate your problem, ;-)!!

whiteoakgrandmother (not verified)

If you still need help with this I can temporarily post some pictures for you on my project page. Browser incompatibility keeps me from posting them here.

onafixedincome (not verified)

Yes, please--that would be really helpful.  Franco had suggested laying stiff paper between the wraps of the warp, which has helped considerably, but boy! are the heddles and shed being a major pain!  The warp is, BTW, two-ply unmercerized cotton and it is shedding worse than my dog....

I'm close to just ditching the whole thing in disgust, really... :(

bolivian warmi

Try mercerized cotton for your first projects. Opening the shed smoothly and efficiently without dragging the heddles up and down the warps is something that takes some time to get under the control. Often, but not always, the shedding and pilling is more the fault of the weaver than the yarn. With practice you will learn to open your sheds with less stress on your yarn. I just about sawed right through my warps when I was learning. It wasn't the yarn, it was ME! but practice makes perfect!! Take a look at the WeaveZine videos if you need a refresher on shed opening.

Ruthie99us (not verified)

Wah! I had left my backstrap on the floor, never thinking for a moment that the dog might be interested in it. When I came back, the bone was across the room with the tip missing! This wonderful link was on "Handweaving Today" today, about a man in Peru spinning and weaving with trash! IT's really great: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NO5VBiM5W_I Laverne! It was so great to meet you in Albuquerque. Thank you so much for helping me with my warp... I've got to find a substiute now for my Llama bone, it really was working great. Ruth

bolivian warmi

Thanks for the link! I commented on you llama bone incident in the Backstrap Group.

onafixedincome (not verified)

Yep, the very first project was the mercerized perle cotton and it went really pretty well.  Guess it got me jumping too far ahead. :(

Been doing some reading--suspect that part of the problem is that my heddles are short? and thinking I may make a second heddle stick just to have better control of the shed....??

Becoming disenchanted....

bolivian warmi

If your heddles are very short, you will have problems opening the other shed as there won't be room for those raised warps to pass through the heddles. I am not sure what you mean by a second heddle stick. Can you post pictures of your warp? If you are doing an "even " weave piece as you say in your first post, raising the warps in the heddle shed should not be such a problem - certainly easier than when doing a warp-faced weave.

I am wondering if you have found a place to tie up your loom. You said that you were going to put the loom bar behind your feet. I urge you to find somewhere to put clamps so you can lodge your loom bar behind them.

francorios (not verified)

If I understand correctly your shed is not opening very wide.

If your string heddles are not about 3 fingers high or as wide as your sword/beater, it will limit the size of your shed, because the lower warp will pull the string heddles down between the strands of the upper warp. BTW, a loose warp string will not be able to pull down the string heddle in this step, so be sure all the strings are tight.

Use your beater stick/sword to hold the shed open. First turn your shed stick behind the heddle to open the shed. Then push the beater/sword into the shed in front of the string heddle. Then turn the sword/beater to hold the shed open for the shuttle.

At this point look closely at the warp to be sure you have not dropped a warp string. When satisfactory, push your shuttle through. Use the sword/beater to beat the weft.

I hope that helps.

Have a joyful day!