I followed Sallie's instructions to a "T" or so I thought. My first warp had terribly twisted warp threads and it was a real struggle to weave off. So, I tried another and had the same result. I went back to the video and listened to Sallie say several times that the hand position is very important when transferring the cross from your hand to the warping board. I didn't understand what I was doing wrong but guessed that there was something in the video that wasn't easy to see (at least I couldn't see it) so I started more experimentations.
I finally solved the answer to the hand position conundrum and am here to share my experiences with you.
There are several ways to set up your yarns so that you can warp with a stationary paddle. A very common method would be to have the yarn wound off onto bobbins and placed on a spool rack. Frequently, I choose that method. But for the demonstration I recently did for my local weaving guild, my husband and I put together a Rube Goldberg warping station.
The pvc cone holder helped to keep the lighter weight cones from falling over. The yarn from each cone was threaded through a 6 dent reed and I deliberately kept the reds and the oranges alternating with the other colors so I could see the colors in the cross more easily and make sure what I was doing wasn't twisting the warp threads.
The next step was to thread these same yarns through the stationary paddle, which is nothing more than a piece of plastic rigid heddle with a handle, mounted on a pole. Again, the pole is piece of pipe flattened on the top and the paddle is clamped to it.
You thread the rigid heddle piece - slot, hole, slot, hole - etc. For my demo warp I used 6 threads. You could easily warp 20 warp ends at once if you had bobbins and a spool rack. To get a color sequence that I could follow on the warping board and would show up my errors., I put all the red/orange threads in the slots and the others in the holes. When you are practicing and learning the technique, I would recommend using three similar colors and then three that can be anything else. Once you look at the cross photos you will see why.
After you have threaded your rigid heddle paddle, you tie them all to the first peg of your warping board. Sallie's video goes into planning a route for the warp, winding a raddle cross, etc. Since those details are easily picked up from other sources, I'm not going to discuss them here..
Before we get down the to nitty gritty, I need to make another comment. I have plastic hooks mounted on the top of each end of my warping board. These are plastic picture hanging hooks and when I'm picking up my cross, I keep the yarns from slipping off the warping board by anchoring them in the hooks while I'm manipulating the cross. The second from the last photo shows one on the left top corner of the loom. Enlarge the photo to see it better.
Next step - pick up the cross at the stationary paddle. 1. Holding the threads with your right hand, raise them (see photo above) and put your left index finger in the space created. 2. lower the threads (see photo below) and put your thumb in the space created. You have created your threading cross. In these photos you will see that the orange colored threads are all in one half of the cross and the other colors are in other half.
Then, keeping tension on the warp with your right hand, slide your left hand towards the warping board. Once you are close, wrap all the threads clockwise around the end peg.
I recommend the Sallie Guy video highly. There is nothing like being able to watch the process over several times before you attempt it.
Now, let's go on to the question - why in the world would you want to do this? Well, if you have delved into the book by Marian Stubenitsky, Weaving with Echo and Iris, you will want to warp four or eight colors at once. This technique is a great solution because you will pick off your color sequence one by one at the cross making everything very straight forward. You can warp four threads at once - yes, but I like this method better.
You may have lots of odds and ends that you want to use up. Instead of constantly cutting and tying on new ends you just warp along with multiple colors. Want a draft for this kind of warp? See Alice Schlein's garbage warp draft. (I use the provocative word garbage - you may wish to call it a mixed warp)! Maybe you have an interesting stripe sequence that requires frequent color changes, this can easily be achieved by warping the stripes all in one pass.
Remember to calculate your sett and take that into consideration when you are making your raddle sections if you warp back to front. If I am warping at 24 epi, I might use 6 threads per pass. Then, I know that in one inch I will be making 2 downward and 2 upward passes. If you warp from the front, and don't have a raddle cross, just keep track of the number of threads you have warped.
This post must naturally be a work in progress. I suspect that there are details I have left out and may need to add later. If so, I'll just update it.