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Details on Winding a Warp of Many Colors by Robin Lynde

I always warp back to front no matter how many colors I want in the warp. This is especially important for chenille--if you wind front to back it's much more apt to tangle and be very difficult to wind on properly.

So how to wind many colors back to front? First there are some basic assumptions to make: 1. Start at the top peg of the warping frame, wind to the bottom and back to the top. That's 2 warp ends.

2. Use 2 crosses--top one is a thread-by-thread cross. The bottom one is a "raddle" cross--used to space the threads in the raddle when you wind back-to-front.

Say that I'm going to wind stripes: Wind your first color. When you are finished with that one wrap it around the top peg once or twice. Pick up the next color and tie it to the top peg. Wind the number of ends of that one. Wrap it around the top peg and go to the next color.

After you have used several colors you are going to have a lot of threads wrapped around the top peg and hanging down. The trick is to keep the cones from tangling. I place the "waiting" yarns strands behind the bottom edge of the warping frame and make sure that the "working" cone is on the floor in front with none of the "waiting" yarns in the way. As I go back to one of the cones that I have already used I make sure that I pull it free of all those others hanging there and that nothing tangles around it.

This is much more complicated to write than to do. I have wound warps successfully with 30 different yarns this way. It allows you to wind a truly random warp or one that is regularly striped. It doesn't matter that the yarns are of different lengths around the top peg (ie, some wrapped, some not) because those threads will be cut when you get to threading the loom. It is the loop at the bottom peg that you want to have the yarn all even. If you do want to use an odd # of threads (1,3,5,etc) then you would cut and tie on at the bottom so that there is a loop in the yarn. That's why I usually write patterns so that there are even #'s of colors.

I plan to do a short video of this method of winding warp. It's one of those things I haven't done yet, but I'll put it on the list for "soon". Please feel free to write or call for more info.

Robin Lynde,
Weaving designer & consultant for Cotton Clouds

You can reach Robin through her website Meridian Jacobs

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