Friday, 2 November 2012

Making life difficult for myself

 This is becoming a real pain the backside.

These are 3 sample warps with a mix of card and heddle weaving in them.

It works beautifully in theory.

In practice it's really bloody hard work.

The cards are behind the reed.

This is an overslung beater, with box-changing levers above the batten.

I have to lean over to turn the cards. They're maybe a little too closely packed so it's difficult to open the new shed, and I have to put backbone into that as well

Argh. Why do I do this to myself? Anyway, I also have to hold the heddle-woven ends to the side of the cards on the close of each shed so they don't get all finagled up with the cards and cause me problems. On top of that this loom demands I yank the switching lever to turn the barrel. I should probably put weights on the shafts, but it'll take ages and might not even help.

Och, never mind. Anyway, it'll work out in the end. I've also had to abandon one of the warps because it's unweavable (that whole heddle-ends tangling with the cards issue) and I don't think I'll weave the other as due to geometrical reasons I don't think it'll actually weave at all. Well, it will with heavy wefts, but not with normal wefts. I guess I'm not using a lot of normal wefts anyway so it's all academic.

I have used lags as weft in one sample, and I am using heddles as weft in another. in the heddle weft section I am twining all the cards in the S direction, so in theory the whole thing should twist around itself. I wonder if it will, as it has rigid metal in it. Maybe it won't. We'll see. These are supposed to be final samples (god help me) so I don't think it's a great time for experimentation, but I don't really have a lot of choice.

This is all turning out to be a lot more difficult than I though it would be.

I'm going to do a bunch of warps at the weekend too. I will be embiggening everything. This shall be assisted by the new big chunky weaving cards I ordered recently. I'll tell you about them in the next post after I've had a go at using them. They were made especially to my specifications, which is very nice. They're big.


Laura Fry said...

Well....if you don't try, you'll never know, right? :^)

Andrew Kieran said...

Hear here!

Long time readers of this blog will have witnessed me cursing and greeting on a reasonably regular basis over the years, as I keep attempting to do really difficult things and make lots of mistakes.

The key to success is repeated and varied failure.

I consider myself to have stored up buckets of success ;-)

Making mistakes and doing things the wrong way allows me to understand why things are done the right way. It also sometimes teaches me that the right way isn't the only way. For instance, we have different loom-dressing techniques, I personally favour mine, but having worked in a small room I know why you do things your way, as it makes a lot of sense.

I've also had the oppurtunity to make a warp on an industrial beaming machine with a 600-end creel about the size of my flat and it's fantastic.

I'm hoping in the future to incorporate some industrial beaming methods into my handweaving practice to allow me to make longer warps without messing about with sectional beams. I'll probably have to go back in time a little to find how it was originally done, having seen a (very messily) set up loom in the national museum which appeared to have pieces of bent iron stripping used as warp brackets to allow a long warp to be placed on a regular hand-loom beam. This was, all in all, a very rough loom.

Also, it was a countermarche loom, and it was tied up wrong. I couldn't help myself, I shouted over to my friend "this bloody loom's set up all wrong". Got a few funny looks so I did.