I bought some linen warp at the Southern California Handweavers' Show & Sale on Sunday. So I have been warping the Big Shannock for the last couple of days. I haven't used linen on this loom before and as I expected it was a bit difficult on the patience.
I have used a cotton seine twine previously but I needed more since this piece is so large. I tried to order it twice from a supplier but to no avail. She simply never sent it. So, I went with linen which was easily found and purchased.
I am using 8/2 linen rug warp with a sett of 6 epi. The piece is 42 inches across so you can see why it took awhile to warp. To warp the loom, I wound the linen between two C-clamps at the length I wanted. I put on an inch at a time. Since the linen couldn't be kept at tension the entire time, I figured putting on an inch at a time would reduce the chance of tangles since there would be fewer threads for each thread to twist around. This did help, but it still was amazing how much twist there was in the linen. Even, when I was winding the warp onto the upper beam just that movement made the linen twist and knot up even more. Not my favorite warp. Hopefully, it works well for weaving!
I get to use three sets of heddles and all the pedals which came with the loom on this piece. This is going to be real interesting to weave. I vacillated on whether to use two sets of heddles where each set would be almost completed full or use three sets with less. I went with three thinking this would achieve two things...it should be easier to get a shed with less threads on each heddle. In addition, it should discourage me from wanting to take a piece of weft all the way across the entire piece. It is difficult to do that already, since it requires moving the bench to go from one side to the other!
This last picture is the loom already to start the hem. I put slats between the sheds in the first twelve inches or so as it goes once around the lower beam. The instructions say to wrap it around once before apply the tension. The picture really doesn't portray how big this puppy is...once I get a bit of hem going and the cartoon attached it will make for a better picture.
Now, I need to create that first cartoon - one for about the first 18-24 inches of the piece. Of course, the first three inches actually wrap around the frame, so the fun stuff won't really happen for awhile.