Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Appeasing the Warp Gremlins

A good dark beer can distract Warp Gremlins from their usual mischief.

Anyone who has been weaving for some time can tell you that warp is an opinionated beast.  Sometimes it goes along with you and winds on smooth and even and other times it just becomes an unfathomable tangle of snarls and weird tangles.  If you follow me on Twitter, you'll know that just last week I had to abandon an entire towel warp to the bin of doom (a.k.a. waste basket in my workshop).
Here's my warp, draped and ready to be wound on the back beam.

I soon realized my error: I had failed to appease the Warp Gremlins.  These are the little guys who encourage your warp to twist and tangle and do some really odd things with the lease sticks—No matter how careful you are some chunk of warp has a way of not being in the lease stick.  How can that happen when the sticks are tied at the ends?

I considered the mischievous character of my Warp Gremlin population and decided the best way to appease them was with a decent bottle of porter.  I poured it out and took a sip (this is to shows the gremlins it is safe to drink) and left it on the other side of the room on my carder before I began winding on the warp.  I did this casual like, knowing that the tasty beer would catch their attention and keep them occupied.  It worked for a bit but they have short attention spans, especially after a little beer.  Snarls, twisting strands and a bit of warp that escaped the lease sticks began to plague me.
A good swig of the beer helps make the gremlins behave.  Providing a snack is a nice touch too.


I then sighed loudly saying, “I'll never get this warp on, I'll just go drink that beer.”  I had a pretty good swig of it, before turning back to the warp. This scares the Warp Gremlins into thinking you're going to drink all the beer so they run back across the room and stop jumping around on your warp.  And so I had a yard more of winding peace until they started up again. Fortunately, my husband came in with a plate of cheese and crackers for a snack. I put a morsel out for the gremlins, and with his help, I was able to wind on more warp.
Here you can see the mischief my gremlins were up to.
Eventually it did get finished but it wasn't easy. You can see in the photo in the one bit of warp that jumped out of the lease sticks (my friend Beth made these from dowels and I've been working with them.  They are pretty slick.) But the warp is on and now I can start threading the loom.  And the beer was nice too.  Baxter, my personal assistant, scarfed up the cheese and cracker morsel.  He doesn't mind the gremlin nibbles, he's a dog after all.
At the top of the picture you can find a bit of warp that managed to escape the lease sticks.
And so goes my story and I'm sticking to it. A good beer makes winding on warp so much easier, with the added benefit of distracting the Warp Gremlins. 

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