Friday, 26 September 2008

help, anyone? (countermarch treadling)

I might as well start at the beginning...

When i bought my large floor loom, i was informed that it could be tied up for either counterbalance or countermarch treadling. not knowing what on earth that meant (having only used a jack loom), i went "oh, alright then" and that was that.

Now, when in plain weave, my counerbalance setup was working alright, but then i tried to set up a 2/2 twill and it all went wrong, as detailed in an earlier post. since then i haven't been able to get an even shed, even in plain weave. nightmare.

so, thought i'd try countermarch, cos at least it lifts the shafts evenly. so i downloaded the instructions trapunto directed me to and used them. or, rather, attempted to.

because, it turns out the countermarch tie-up needs to sets of lamms. and i have only one.

vexing is not the word.

so am i going to have to go back to finikity counterbalance tie-ups then? am i ever going to be able to use that horizontal countermarch castle without learning the brutish art of carpentry?

this is one of those moments at which i wish i wasn't a self-taught weaver and had someone else to turn to whose been through it all before and knows exactly what to do.

so, should i persevere, or is it impossible and should i just go and use counterbalance? and if so, do you know of any decent web resources for counterbalance tie-ups, specifically 4 shaft twills? i've got the stuff from glimakra, but it's nice to have as much as possible

thanks in advance for ANY advice you can give me, i wait with baited breath (and if you know what the root of that saying is i'd love to know, cos it makes no sense to me)


Monday, 22 September 2008

for crying out loud

Yesterday I decided to attempt to recreate a spiral twill i saw on stephanie's blog.

And, hooray! it's just a simple pointed twill, with warp and weft threads alternating one by one. ain't that simple.

What is slightly vexing however is that, having (as it turned out) threaded the heddles without error (through constantly rechecking everything throughout the whole process), i then proceeded, as you do, to Sley The Reed. Which is, i must admit, my single favourite part of the entire warping procedure. the rest of it being frankly tedious and footery as anything. Never mind that anyway

So, i finished sleying the reed, and stood up and had a cup of tea.

Sitting down again, i decided to finally tie on the the front stick and begin, upon which i discovered that

I'd sleyed the bloody thing back to front. and i never take the reed out of the beater bar because then i'd end up wearing the thread out of the wee holes the screws go into, cos it's all screwed down, not designed for the reed to be changed on a regular basis. So i had to take the whole bloody lot out and start again

But as i say, i like sleying the reed, because it's simple, and repetitive and there's not much that can go wrong, you just need to make sure you get the hook in the right dent, and that's simple as simon. So i got it tied on

Int at pretty? I hope you like my happy little weaving manny i've drawn on the castle, cos that's the closest any of youse in internet land r gonna get to seeing a picture of my face. See how happy i am with my shuttle? That's me that is. Anyway, happy little weaving manny finally got down to weaving with his happy little end-feed shuttles, alternating the colours in the weft as in the warp in a one-den-de-uvver pattern and a 12-forward, 12-back diamond twill treadling pattern. I don't know if i explained that properly, but the Result(!) speaks for itselfMaybe that doesn't come out too well on your monitor. It doesn't look very good in this wee editor window anyway. Needless to say, i am very chuffed with the result, and as i have a reasonable amount of that nice straw coloured yarn, i'm going to make a range of scarves based on this pattern and colouring, though i could change the blue for dark green, and will no doubt have to when the blue inevitably runs out long before the yellow does.

These are the considerations one has to make when one gets one's yarn from the town's charity shops.

Anyway, that's the way. I shall leave you with the Corries' rendition of Green Fields of France

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

pattern drafting

why didn't i think of doing this before?

Gives me something weaving-related to do while i'm in college and probably ends up helping me get into the next college. hooray! The top one is the sheperd's check, except the bit i've done already is a plain weave, and the draft there is a twill. i've got another couple of metres sitting on the loom waiting to be woven, and i want to do that in twill, but i can't figure out the tie-up to do it properly

long live checked paper


Monday, 15 September 2008

The curse of the faulty rachet-stop + The contractual obligation video post

I got the warp wound on the medium sized loom last week, and threaded and sleyed it this weekend

Now. The back beam is held by a ratchet. and the ratchet-stop is a plate of metal which is pulled up from the ratchet-wheel with a handle attached to the main upright. It seems that somewhere along the line of the last couple of weeks i must have bent the plate back a little cos it no longer holds tight against the wheel. i've tried holding it down with a piece of cord wrapped round the beam, but it's not having it and i've had the whole thing come loose while swinging the batten twice already. I've tried to remove the plate but one of the screws is held tight. I'm going to have to take it outside and hammer it flat on the doorstep. This is aggravating

On another aggravating note, the shuttle keeps flying out of the race and hitting the wall when i beat from the left hand side on the larger loom and i can't figure out why, cos i haven't changed anything from the other day, when it was working fine. grr

Also, if anyone know any free guide to countermarch tie-up i'd really really really appreciate hearing about it cos i'm just having no luck making a twill tie up at all with counterbalance

Finally, teacher says we have to post a video to our blog today, so in the spirit of co-operation with the forces of law, order and authority i give you "Timewaster" by 4-piece London punk outfit The Restarts

Enjoy, unless you don't like punk music, in which case, just ignore please

-Humblebumble (handweaving to the sound of heavy anarcho-punk and hard techno)

Monday, 8 September 2008

The Contractual Obligation Post

Teacher told us to post to our blogs.

I am actually doing a class in college on blogging. It's almost unbelievable isn't it? I think i saw a music video for some bog-standard american pop-metal band where they're all sitting in Blogging 101 taking pictures of themselves.

As it goes, I finally cleared the table loom at the weekend and put a wee silk sample on it. 200 ends, and 56epi on a 14dent reed. it's going a lot better than the last one. and i got the rug loom almost beamed. should finish it tonite, but probably won't get much more done on it till the weekend.

Ho hum. More pictures when i'm finished


Monday, 1 September 2008

Check off the loom

finally got the 2/2 plain weave check finished. Reasonably chuffed with it. I'll cut off the hanging weft trails and darn the remains back in 2nite then give it a soapy foot pressing in the bath before gently steam ironing it. Must remember this time to keep a copy of it in loom-state for future comparison

Having cut it off halway along the warp for the sake of starting off afresh with new tensioning, i have another 2 metres left to weave. I have decided to do this in straight twill. However, it occurs to me that it looks different on one side to the other. I am assuming that i threaded to loom with the draft pointing in the middle and that's why things are the way they are. Anyway, i like the effect and will probably try to create large blocks of colour alternating on each side.

However, before i do that, i have to sort out the hideous treadling problems with which this tie-up is being afflicted. This is the first time i've tried to do a twill tie-up on a counterbalance set up, i've only done it on my jack loom before, and there's no tie-up on that at all. You may guess from the following picture that i am not getting an absolutely perfect shed. And the lamms are clattering off the shafts. And one of the main pulley strings snapped towards the end of the last piece and the whole bloody lot came clattering down on the left-hand side, undoubtedly putting considerable strain on the warp. I am tie in rescue cords in future to prevent such an occurence from occuring

And here's two pictures of handsome animals, cos they're nice, and terribly noble creatures. The great white thing is Blot, my brother's dog, and the wippet with the fluttering eyelashes is Eris, my little girl. Aren't they pretty?

That's all for now. I'll post more on this when i get the treadling sorted out and all that