Friday, January 6, 2012

Weaving again

Finally I have started weaving again. I am weaving a simple alpaca scarf with a forgiving draft. The design is derived from a 3/3 six shaft twill that I used as a profile draft and then substituted in broken twill (or are they satin?) blocks.

There is a nice 2" shed, the pedal operates the shafts, the monitor shows progress and position and I can focus on the weaving. Bliss.

Monitor Positioning and Lighting

Whist threading the loom I put a threading draft onto the computer and used this to "treadle the threading".  This was easy as I could put the pedal on the stool  next to me and operate it by hand. I had the control unit in slow mode where one press of the pedal opens the shed and another press closes the shed. In the past I have found it difficult to treadle the threading on other looms because the low height of the stool that I use for threading meant that I coudn't operate the treadles.

I slight problem was finding a suitable location for the laptop computer. I had it to one side on a small table but this was not ideal. I finally came up with the arrangement shown in the photos below. 

A shelf of a light fibre board is put on top of the top rails that hold the control unit. The laptop computer sits on top of the shelf. It can be seen in the photograph below to the left of and behind the penguin.

The rails from old jack assembly to suspend a computer monitor behind and above the shafts. The rails are held firmly in place with pegs and a bit of texsolve - any slippage would be disastrous! The arrangement is a bit industrial but it works,


 Drafting is done on another computer and transferred on a memory stick using the USB port in the side of the monitor.

The computer is operated by a wireless mouse which sits on the weaving bench. It is not connected to the internet, there is no need to use the keyboard (which I can at a pinch standing on tip toes)

Another add on is a small neon light that I have attached to the back of the beater using texsolve. I have positioned it low enough so that it shines forward through the reed and lights up the fell. I used to have a plethora of clip on lights but this single light does the job much better.

Toika Control Unit onto a Glimakra Standard - Levelling the shafts

Where was I? Christmas and New Year and the lead up were a whirlwind and whilst I was able to snatch bits of weaving time there was no time left to blog.

When I last wrote I was feeling very pleased with myself having successfully put everything together and demonstrating that I had a working loom.

The next task was aligning and straightening the shafts. The photo on the left  shows a red cord that I ran between the front and back beams; this was aligned with the bottom of the heddle eyes on the front and back shafts.

I used a small spirit level to ensure that the shafts were level  and then I ran two  cords across the tops of the shafts on each side (yellow cord in the photo below) and used these to aligned the rest of the shafts to the front and back shafts.

Once this was done the loom was ready to thread but I didn't get back to this until after Christmas.