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 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.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Selvedge Rollers

I wrote a post 10 months ago about some Selvedge Rollers that my brother Gregory had made for me. This followed on from a previous post where I wrote about a rather Heath Robinson arrangement that I had concocted.

Well, now I have the rollers in place and functioning. They are mounted on a steel rod which is held in place by metal brackets on an extra beam which I have clamped onto the back of the loom. A webbing strap runs from the bottom of the beam up over the brake drum part of the rollers and down to some weights which can be adjusted to control the tension on the selvedge thread. The second photograph shows the selvedge thread coming of the roller and extending forward to the heddles.  All good stuff and I am very happy. I can have no excuse now for knurley selvedges.


Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Supplementary Warp - tying on

Tying on

During this whole warping process I have made great use of  PeggyOsterkamp's weaving tips and Pattern Techniques for Handweavers by Doramay Keasbey.

This picture shows the two sleyed warps ready for tying onto the front apron rod. Although it is not immediately apparent from the picture the ground and pattern warps are tied up with slip knots into separate bouts.

The two pictures above show the pattern warp lifted up out of the way and kept up by weighted cords hung over the top of the beater.  Some literature suggested tying on the warps together, some said to separate them; I decided on the latter approach. Lifting the pattern warp out of the way made it easier to tie on the ground warp

I laced on the ground warp. I use a constrictor Knot to attach the cord to the apron rod and a netting shuttle to hold the cord whilst I am putting the lacing in place. I am using 2mm nylon Venetian Blind Cord.

The lacing on is complete. It is my preferred method for getting an even tension. (

With ground warp in place and the pattern warp out of the way I wove a few picks of header.

Here the pattern warps have been tied onto the apron rod. I used a length of cord (green) to tie on each bout.  I have advanced the warp so that he apron rod is just clearing the breast beam

This is the initial weaving. It is all a bit sloppy at this stage before I have properly adjusted the warp tension and got the correct tension on my shuttle.

There is an errant tan thread right in the middle of the weaving which I had to correct. Fortunately it was a just a case of colour transposition and heddles out of order rather than a missing heddle.

 A bit more weaving after the mistake has been corrected. The tension is about right. I am only getting 18 ppi rather than the target 24 so I will need to weave another 6" to get the feel for that before I start weaving proper. This is the exciting bit!