Dummy (pseudo) warp

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  5. Dummy (pseudo) warp

I feel rather stupid asking this but… I have made a 4-yard pseudo warp in the normal way and now I am ready to put it on the loom.  Do you put the cross through the lease stick as usual?  Do you cut the back and front part so you have individual strands and then pull them from the cross and tie both ends on each strand of yarn?  Would you put them through the heddles right away since you would no longer have the cross to guide you if you left them all hanging or do you just count on that since they are tied onto the apron rod,  you can figure it out without the yarn crossing over each other? I can see this will take more work than a normal warp but I decided to make four blankets so I thought it would be worth it.  Or maybe for four blankets it really isn’t worth it? Arghhh, I can almost see you shaking your head!

I use a dummy warp (pseudo warp) when I want to use expensive yarn and I don’t want any loom loss.  I don’t do it for everything,  just expensive things like mohair.  As you know I warp Back to Front for 99.9% of all weaving that I do except for my mohair blankets. Brushed mohair can be one of the most difficult warps to put so I warp it differently. (Not back to front) and not quite front to back.

I tie on at the front of the loom to a warp that is already threaded to the draft I want and sleyed through a reed at the proper epi. After I tie all the new warp ends to the ends that are coming out of the reed I remove the lease sticks.  This is very very important for this method of warping.  You can then make a plain weave shed and you wind your warp onto the back beam through the reed and heddles basically in 2 layers.  Your mohair doesn’t stick this way…..wind, wind, wind and it is on the loom. Oh and one more thing.  If you are using that dummy warp, just wind it on the way you normally do.  It is plenty long enough to not have to worry about pulling one warp end and having the other get shorter when you tie to the individual ends.  This can be a problem if your dummy warp is too short, ie you have leftover warp on your loom and it doesn’t have a full wrap around the back beam to secure it.  You can always use a little duck tape at the back to secure things….I have done that a million times.

When I make a purpose made dummy warp, I make them with 1/2 the number of ends but I make them extra long.  Then I take each individual end and fold them in half and half hitch them to my back rod.  By folding them in half you now the right number of warp ends but it also means they will be secure, secure, secure ….forever.  As the dummy warp gets shorter and shorter and shorter each time I tie on to it, the threads never move because they were half-hitched to the back rod. If you look at the entire blurb in The Knowledge Base, you will have every step with more detailed instructions.  Tying on a New Warp to an Old Warp

So now I have to ask you, are you making a mohair blanket or is this the Harrisville Shetland that you are working with?  If it is, I would just wind on the way you always do, Back to Front….Harrisville goes on quite easily this way.  Another way to reduce stickiness when winding on Back to Front through lease sticks is to make your warp with 2 ends together going through your cross.  This reduces the congestion at the lease sticks.  You have 2 ends working together rather than 1 and 1.  Hope this makes sense.

Additional clarification on creating a (dummy) pseudo warp:

I’m not clear on … taking each individual and fold them in half and do a half hitch?.. we have to cut the loop so that we have the loose ends?  I guess the problem I am having is we made the warp with the cross on one end and loop at the other.  I have been trying to visualize this…

In a nutshell, you have to have something to tie your new warp on to.  If you don’t have a warp already on the loom to tie-on to you have to make one and have it on the loom already threaded through the heddles and reed and you tie on to it in the front.

That little excerpt was about getting a loom ready to tie on many many times.  Imagine you have a normal warp on and it comes up over the back beam and then you cut your project off and think you will tie onto it…all those ends shift on the back rod…some can become long and the other end will get short….that situation is really hard to tie on to.  If you have a warp that is half hitched to the back rod then those 2 ends will never shift when you tie on to them.  I hope this helps you see the logic in the half hitch method.

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