Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Warp Swap

Having got the CB loom polished, assembled, beamed, entered and gated I settled down to weave but after awhile I started to have subversive thoughts. The gist of the thoughts were that it was silly to be weaving a twill scarf on this (CB) loom when I had a perfectly good semi automated loom (Glimakra 24S with Toika loom controller) that would do the job more efficiently. I debated with myself  on this for a while but was reluctant to logically follow an argument that would render this CB loom redundant and eBay fodder.  Then I remembered my lurking project that would probably be better on a completely manual loom - Overshot. I'll go through my reasoning in another post but my first priority was to clear the CB loom.

The objective as to move the warp from the CB loom to the Glimakra.

I cut out the weaving I had done and rewound the warp back on to the warp beam. I took the warp beam off the CB loom and suspended it over the warp beam of the Glimakra.

This picture shows the warp with its lease sticks in place and tied onto the apron rod of the Glimakra.

To get a bit of tension I slung a couple of weight over the CB warp beam.

The picture below shows the situation half way through the process. The warp is being wound from the CB warp beam onto the Glimakra warp beam. The CB warp beam is suspended from the Glimakra frame directly above the Glimakra warp beam. Lease sticks are in place to maintain the cross and tension is supplied by some weights.

It was not plain sailing all the way. At some time during the initial beaming of this warp I managed to cross over some of the bouts which meant that when winding from one beam to another there were threads that crossed over each other and were reluctant to move smoothly through the lease sticks and pilled together. The next time I beam a warp I shall pay particular attention to see if I can work out where my mistake lies.

It is all done now so on to the next stages. I have had a touch of flu over the past few days and have used my lucid moments to study overshot drafts and change my mind a hundred times as to which pattern shall be the first cab of the rank.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Temples - Weaving

When I was asked if I saw any interesting temples on my trip to India I said "yes". I think that virtually every weaver I saw in India was using one. Some were very basic but they all did the job.

When I was getting ready to weave on my CB loom I found that I didn't have a temple for the width of my warp. This is what I came up with and it does very well!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Gating the Loom

Luther Hooper got it right. He didn't mention that when one is doing it for the first time and has no "ideas as to the best way of adjusting the various parts for the work" one has to do the job several times before the ideas begin to materialise. I used instructions from the web (Glimakra and LeClerc have some good stuff and I particularly liked this document;- Hand Weaving ). It was only after three attempts at tieing up this counterbalance loom that I started getting a separation of warp layers that looked like sheds.

    My eureka insights were;

    - Immobilise the harnesses in their correct position before attaching the lamms and treadles

    - Everything must be either exactly horizontal or exactly vertical (maybe treadles excepted) and it must be balanced

    - To ensure the shafts rise and fall without tilting, don’t just wrap their support cords around the rollers, but actually fix them to the rollers

    The last point is a quote from Peter Collingwood that I found at the archives of the a Rugtalk List (another site that is well worth looking at).

    I am now getting shed that I can work with; I need to make a few minor adjustments but weaving should start real soon now!

    Wednesday, August 14, 2013

    Offset Twills

    The pattern that I have threaded is "Offset or Skip Herringbone" from  page 27 A Handweavers Pattern Book - Marguerite P. Davison. I am using two close shades of orange and the resulting scarf using a black weftshould look a bit like the picture on the left.

    The draft in PixeLoom looks like this;

    MPD got the pattern from Oelsner - A Handbook of Weaves where there is a section on Offset Twills the drafts of which can be found at Handweaving.net. Such a plethora of resources for the weaver and so much to explore.

    Tuesday, August 13, 2013


    Hand Loom Weaving Plain & Ornamental (1910) - Luther Hooper

    Nowadays we refer to this process as threading the heddles and sleying the reed but on a traditional loom"entering" is exactly what happens; you have to get inside it. I love the warning.

     These pictures here from Luther Hooper show and Old English Loom and the same loom prepared for entering.

    Now here is the similar thing on my loom. I took off the breast beam, the knee beam and the cloth beam. The stool was too high but I found that a plank stretched between the two sides of the loom frame was at just the right height.

    So as to get the lease sticks at the right height I clamped and clipped them to the back beam.

    From experience I know that in order to be able to thread the heddles happily you must be able to sit and work with a straight back and see the lease sticks and the heddle eyes without any contortions. On some of my looms I have not been able to achieve this, but the setup here was perfect. Threading was a doddle!

    I borrowed some boxes of pasta to hold the reed at the correct height for sleying. I started off with it too low but my back protested so I raised the reed and and everything was fine.


    When I was cutting the warp of the warping wheel I managed to snip two ends in the wrong place so that they ended up about 12" shorter than the rest of the warp. I wasn't prepared to cut the other ends to match so I tried the Russian Join and it worked a treat.

    Monday, August 12, 2013


    Hand Loom Weaving Plain & Ornamental  (1910) - Luther Hooper

    From what I have read the warp has to go on before doing the final adjustment to the shafts and tying up the treadles and lamms on a CB loom.

    I wound a 9 yard warp and puzzled a bit as to how to get it on. Usually when putting a warp onto a conventional (as opposed to sectional) warp beam my wife grabs the ends, applies tension, and walks slowly towards the loom as I roll the warp onto the beam. My wife was out so what I came up with was this;

    The warp was tied onto the back beam and went up to a raddle secured to the back of the loom framework.

    (I am not going to get into the debate about the respective merits of traditional european style looms versus jack looms but I do like having places to put things; the light clamped to the top cross beam is very handy.)

    The warp then went up and through another raddle that I secured to the top of the loom.

    From here the warp went across to the top of the beater of a second loom that was conveniently situated nearby.

    The animals on top of the loom controller are a frog, a penguin and a crab.

    The warp ends dangled down and were weighted.

    I was able to sit at the back of the loom and wind on the warp and put the sticks in. I am never quite sure how many to put in so I settled on 5 per revolution.

    Every now and then I had to nip round to the front and adjust the weights It all went very smoothly.

    (The computer screen in the background of this picture shows an overshot design, not mine, that I am working on, trying to get some interesting colours happening)

    A happy beamer!

    Sunday, August 11, 2013

    Counterbalance Loom

    I bought this loom in March. It  has been sitting in a shed that I am just starting to repair to convert into a studio. The time has come to give my wife back her dining room.

    So the CB loom had to be moved and the safest way to look after a loom and keep it safe is to have it assembled and working. By moving some stuff around an repositioning my Glimakra Standard I have made enough room for the CB loom with sufficient space to use both looms.

    I wrote to the Yahoo group WeaveTech to get advice on how to clean the loom and several people gave me excellent advice; I have bought and tried every recommended product and mixture. The framework I cleaned with equal parts of mineral turps, boiled Linseed oil and vinegar. The cross beams got special treatment with natural turps and Tung oil. I also did some garden furniture for good measure. I put Carnuba wax on the moving parts. Fantastic smells!Reassembly was straightforward. The CB rollers were in a hopeless muddle with cords tangled and heddles half off the shafts. There was sufficient information on the web to enable me to sort it all out.

    Saturday, August 10, 2013

    Weaving Hat back on again

    Well, I sort of hung up my weaving hat over the last four months, but not completely.

    I had too many projects on the go and was dithering between them and not getting anything finished.

    I put it most of it to one side for a while and did some different things and caught up with the jobs around the house and garden that had been accumulating.  I have built up a considerable supply of brownie points and have been easing myself back into weaving.

    I have done a lot of needle point, woven off the last three scarves that were on the colourful warp that I have posted about earlier. I have also done fair bit of planning for some future projects.

    I am currently putting a warp onto an elderly counterbalance loom which I bought some time ago but have just cleaned  up and reassembled. This type of loom is completely new to me so it is all very interesting and great fun. I shall post some photos tomorrow.