Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Dish Cloths

Here in Australia the cloths available in the supermarkets are flimsy things that diintegrate after a few uses. I am now set up for life with these cloths that I wove using a mixture of 4 ply cottons.

I used a straight threading on 12 shafts and the weave structures are a mixture of basket weaves and huck. Started the project in April last year but it wasn't until January this year that I finished them off. Two of them are now in regular use.


Thursday, November 15, 2018

Selling my Glimakra/Toika Loom

After many happy years together I am sadly selling my main loom. 


The loom is a hybrid consisting of;
  • Frame, beater assembly, front and back warp, cloth and knee beams. GLIMAKRA STANDARD (120cm weaving width)
  • Shedding mechanism and harnesses; TOIKA EW24 CONTROL UNIT  (Dobby) with 24 SHAFTS

The photo below shows the loom. It is a Glimakra Standard with a Toika Control unit which can be seen on the top of the loom. The control unit manages each of the 24 shafts via weaving software which is installed on the laptop. The whole mechanism is activated by the pedal which can be seen on the floor.


I bought the 10 shaft 120 cm Glimakra Standard Countermarch loom (2nd hand) in mid-2011 and later in the year I imported and installed the Toika EW24 Control unit. The installation involved removing the countermarch mechanism and shafts and replacing them with the Toika Control Unit and 24 shafts. My blog posts show what  was involved in this upgrade.
Since then this has been my main loom. I have found it the most versatile and easy to use set-up. I have enjoyed all the benefits of a big "European Style" loom combined with effortless operation and shaft configuration. Most of the posts in this blog after 2011 relate to work that I have done on this loom.

Toika EW24 Control Unit

The photos below show various views of the control unit. 

It has three connections;
  • Power
  • Computer
  • Pedal
The computer is loaded with Weavepoint  which provides the software element of the shaft control. The shafts are effortlessly raised and lowered by use of the pedal, The explanation of the operation is clearly explained on the Toika web site

Double Warp Beam

The loom is equipped with two warp beams. The picture on the left shows the double warp beam set-up whilst that on the right shows the operation with just a single beam. Note that this is a sectional beam.
I used two warp beams when I was weaving scarves with supplementary warps.

Glimakra Standard

For details about the Glimakra Standard Counter-march loom have a look at the Glimakra web site. I have kept all the counter-march components  (see photo below) so the loom can be reverted to its original state.

Original Specification Summary:
  • 10 shafts
  • 120cm weaving width
  • Dimensions 1.75m H x 1.60m D x 1.50m W
  • 48 warp sticks
  • 2 lease sticks
  • 10 lamms
  • 10 treadles
  • 1 fabric protection board
  • 4 rubber feet
  • 2 tie bars
  • 2 shaft holders

Accessories and Extras

The photos below show the accessories that are included with the loom.

  • 60 Warping sticks (46")
  • 4 Lease sticks (46")
  • 1 Raddle (takes 39" warp)
  • 8 Reeds (see picture below for condition)
48" 5 D
48" 12 D
48" 15 D
47" 18 D
40" 12D
40" 16 D
32" 10 D
30" 15 D

The manuals are shown below;

Also included is an elderly Dell Laptop (Windows XP) loaded with Weavepoint software and with the software disc.


To summarise, what is on offer is;

  • 120cm weaving width 24 shaft loom (Glimakra Standard) with automated control unit (Toika EW24)
  • Double warp beams
  • Accessories and reeds
  • Manuals
  • Computer and Weaving Software

What next

All I have to do now is decide on a fair and reasonable asking price and determine how to advertise it. And don't change my mind!

Wednesday, September 26, 2018


I have been looking at my looms for over a year now; I think  that the time has come to give it away.
Now this Sprang looks quite interesting with a nice small footprint.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Rotary Temple fitted to AVL Workshop Dobby Loom

I bought a Rotary Temple from Fireside Looms some years ago and fitted it to a Leclerc Artisat. I subsequently sold the loom and the temple has been carefully packed away for about ten years.

I have an AVL WDL which I haven't used for about 6 years - I recently took it out of its packaging, gave it a good clean and got it ready to weave again. So that I could move it about I built a wooden dolly which the loom sits on very nicely.

Once the loom was on the dolly it occurred to me that the dolly might make a firm base for a framework to hold the rotary temple.  I  adopted a "suck it and see" approach to the design, clamping various bits of wood into place until I something that would hold the mounting brackets in the correct position. I screwed and glued it all together, put on the brackets and track and it works. I am still using clips to secure the framework in place until I think of something slightly more elegant.

Initial mockup with uprights clamped to the loom frame and sitting on the dolly

A slightly diferent set up

Bracket clamped in place

The arrangement had to be different on each side to allow for the ratchet handle

Final design - uprights on the left
Uprights on the right

Upright, bracket, track and temple
In use

Ms & Os

Ms & Os Sample

These samples were based on a draft for a turned Ms & Os scarf using 10/2 cotton and 8/2 Rayon. I used 11.8/2 nm wool and a plain weave sett of 14 epi. Next time;
  • Tighter sett
  • Wider plain weave panel adjacent to the selvedges and tension separately
  • Carefull thought about the colours
  • Long twisted fringes
  • Photoshop how this structure would look as a shawl

Weave structure
Turned Ms & Os
16" Ashford 8 Shaft table loom; 12 dent reed; Leclerc boat shuttle
Warp & weft: Bendigo 2 ply (11.8/2 nm)
Yarn Sources
Bendigo Woollen Mills PTY Ltd.
4 Lansell St, East Bendigo VIC 3550, Australia

78 ends, 2 yards long
Warp:14 epi, Weft: 14 ppi
Tension & Selvedge
Double dent last two threads on each side
Handwoven  Nov Dec 2004, Turned Ms and Os Scarf, Emile Pritchard
Wash in hand warm water, dry flat, hot iron whilst slightly damp.
Sample 1
Length  off loom 15"
Length after finishing 14"
Sample 2
Length  off loom 24"
Length after finishing 22 1/2 "
Width on loom 5 1/4 "
Width off loom 5"

Width after finishing 4 7/8 "

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Mandvi Dish Cloths

Five years ago my wife and I spent three months in India - she did yoga and I did textiles; perfect. We spent a week in Mandvi, Gujarat, staying at the Rukamavati  Guest House. I was fossicking around in their linen cupboard when I came across a cotton towel; this is a close up picture of it.

 From the photograph I derived this draft;

 and I have just recently woven two samples from it in Patons regal 4 ply cotton. I set one at 10 epi and one at 12 epi. The tighter set seemed to work the best.

I haven't been weaving for the last five months and this was a lovely little table loom project to get me going again.

They are not the most elegant things that I have woven but I use them as dish cloths on a daily basis and I am so pleased with them that I shall weave some more.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Hat Band

I wove this band nearly a year ago and I have only just put it onto my hat.

A group of us went away for a "weaving retreat" and I was taught how to do this by my friend Anne. The idea is that we get together and weave, dye and exchange ideas and skills.



We are off on another retreat next week. For some reason I didn't post anything on the blog last year; I shall this time.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Friday, September 23, 2016

Brocade Scarf - Weaving has started

I have had a brief bout of flu which put me back a bit but everything is now back on track. I have woven the sample and the first 500 picks so the scarf should be finished over the weekend.

Some observations;

  • I really need to do a photography course. I can only get a realistic colours if I take pictures in day light. The picture montage below give a slightly better idea of the colours.
  • The 28/2 Alpaca Silk for the ground and 18/2 Wool Silk work very well together. I was slightly apprehensive that they might be too sticky to work at the close setts involved when using supplementary warps but the sheds are separating very nicely.
  • I was having a problem with the warp from my end feed shuttle catching at random intervals with a nasty effect on the selvedge. After a lot of stuffing around I discovered that it was being caused by a fairly compact wad of felted fluff deep in the Honex mechanism of the shuttle. If I only I ever have to clean them every 8 years I can't complain.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Brocade Scarf

I am not sure if Brocade and Supplementary Warp are synonymous but I am going to call my next project "Brocade Scarf" as I am intending to achieve a subtle ribbon effect. We shall see.

The picture to the left shows the pattern; the colours are overstated. Some of the colours that I am using are quite close but I need a clear distinction in my weaving software so that I don't mess up the warp winding or threading.

The actual yarns, 28/2 Alpaca Silk for the ground and 18/2 Wool Silk for the pattern warp (I hope that the sheds clear!), are shown below.

When I was putting the ground warp onto the bottom beam I discovered that the sectional warp beam above it (where I shall be putting the pattern warp) serves very nicely as an additional raddle.

I am putting on a 4 yard warp for one scarf: a sizable sample and some left over for tying on the next warp which a has got to be the way to go. In the past I have tied on behind the shafts but with two warp beams in position I shall have to do it in front of the shafts. 

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Cotton Scarf with a Supplementary Warp

All done!

If you are interested in some technical details please read on.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Supplementary Warp Scarf is off the loom

All the weaving is done. I ended up with a much bigger sample than planned because I over estimated draw-in and shrinkage in the length. Its cotton, not wool! Also the PPI off the loom seemed to relax to 20, not my target 24. I washed and ironed the sample yesterday.

Today the weather has been atrocious - I have been at the kitchen table twisting the fringe and winding some wool for my next project. Tomorrow I shall finish the scarf (the second one can wait) and start on warping up for my next project which will be some more supplementary warp bit in wool this time.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Weaving to sound

The software that I use, Weavepoint, has the facility to play a sound when the weft colour changes. On my draft the weft colour changes every 24 picks so that the computer goes "ping" to remind me to advance the temple and the beater. I listen to music whilst I am weaving and the "ping" was too faint. I now have a couple of speakers sitting on the front cross member of the loom.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Supplementary Warp - Weaving Progress

Well, I am up and running and the weaving progresses. It took a little while to get the tensions of the various warp elements correct but I think that I have it now. The last piece I wove was 10 ppi; this one is 24 (well 22.5 actually, but hey) so I am not going to rattle it off in a day.

This is a view of the cloth beam; note the generous use of sticks. At the moment they are covering up the tie-on knots but they will continue to prevent uneven tension because of the different thicknesses of the weaving.