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How to Use a Toilet Ring August 25, 2008

Posted by Sheila in Uncategorized.

I must report right away that after washing, the third section of the rug was about 4 inches shorter than the other two.  Dwelling on this during my commute this morning led me to conclude that I had options.  Reweaving any of the rug is not one of them.

However, I could easily remove picks from the first two sections if I were willing to remove the woven headers at the end.  This would mean that I would have to either tie a fringe at the ends or that I would have to sew on a fabric band to finish the end.  Or, I could try to come up with some method which both assures that the rag picks will not come unwoven and that is congruent with the whole.  I”m thinking about experimenting with a row or two of single crochet using two strands of warp thread together.  The benefit of this would be that I would not have to worry that the angled part of the rug was fringeless, nor would I have to worry that my headers have shrunk more in width than the body of the rug, which causes a slight deformity of puckeryness  (that’s a technical term, isn’t it?) at each end .  We shall see.

Wasting no time, I chose a draft from Handwoven’s Twill Thrills book to weave a table runner or three to test the Glimakra on finer thread.  The project as designed calls for 16/2 cotton warp (white) with 8/1 linen weft (natural).  16/2 is not an easily found size of cotton, at least not at the Weaving Works, so I am going with a 20/2.  Failing to figure out what size linen is the correct one, I settled on 40/2 linen.  Then the Dyer in me whispered “don’t you want to use some color?” and I admitted it was true.  So I ended up with a 20/2 cotton pastel blue warp, a natural linen weft for runner #1, a 20/2 unmercerized white cotton weft for #2, and a purple 20/2 mercerized cotton weft for #3.  I will sley 36 ends per inch, and experiment with treadling so that each of the runners is different.  With luck I’ll have one to keep and two to give as gifts.

My thinking is that this project will not only allow me to test the loom, but also will give me some insight into how the unmercerized vs mercerized cottons and the linen interplays.  And be slightly more colorful.

While I was in Montana I bought a warping reel, and I started winding my warp on this, using it for the first time.   It was not too bad, but the more I spun it the louder it shrieked, and the harder it got to turn.  A little bee buzzing by said “use the toilet ring!”. 

Now I’ll bet you’re wondering how a toilet ring can help a shrieking warping reel, eh?  Well, a little known secret is that the wax ring that seals the bottom of your toilet to the floor is a) very inexpensive and b) a great source for wax with which to lubricate wood on wood or wood on metal moving parts.  I learned this a few weeks ago when my yarn swift needed help.  I thought it was saying “oil can, oil can!” like the venerable tin man, but it turned out it was saying “toilet ring, toilet ring!”  I believe it knew that because of the tiling project going on in the bathroom we just happened to have one sitting around.

Sure enough, once a liberal coating of toilet ring was applied, the reel reeled happily along.  Luckily Senuhe the Egyption is still keeping me company, because at one thread at a time for a 9 yard warp, this will take a while.

You who are weavers will be asking, “why oh why are you winding the warp one thread at a time?  why not use more at once?” to which I reply, “because I don’t want to screw it up.”  If I had more than one cone of the yarn I would wind it two or four or six threads at a time, but since I only have one I think it is more time consuming to divide the supply into equal sub-supplies than to simply wind the warp one thread at a time.

And so it goes.

A complete non-sequitor:  this morning I was puzzled by an email whose subject line was “yarn sale last week”.  Of course after a second or two I understood that what was meant was “last week of yarn sale” but my goodness, don’t people think about these things?  It’s like the 1-day sale that is for Friday, Saturday and Sunday only….



1. Peg in South Carolina - August 26, 2008

A good read! I will be interested in what you do with the rug sections. As for efficiency, I think that it would take very little time to wind a second cone (I use the cheap little cone winder from Halcyon–though it is no longer really cheap……); winding two ends at a time with a paddle or using your fingers to separate the ends would cut your warp winding time almost in half. And at 36 epi, that’s fairly significant. Also, that much less stress on the shoulders…….(grin!)

2. Sheila - August 26, 2008

I think I’ve settled on a “Phillipine edge”, which I’ll describe in a future blog entry, but seems very promising.

Also, thanks for the tip about the cone winder… I don’t have such an animal in my arsenal, so I’ll have to check it out.

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