Knitter, spinner, weaver, dyer. Wool is my therapy, what's yours?

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Lessons Learned

I am finally weaving on my Cranbrook, but only after a very long and frustrating weekend. I choose to change out the original string heddles for new texsolv heddles and they arrived last week. Hence the loom sitting vacant for a month :(
I decided to run a small test warp on the loom to get a feel for her, so a short 2.5 yard warp was ran for a bath mat. You see, I have this huge box of sock loopers for such an occasion.

The loom was warped, threaded and tied on in record time. I climbed into the body of the loom, which by the way is really cool, to tie up the treadles. I kept thinking that something was off.... things don't look right. After just sitting underneath a moment and staring at all the parts, I realized that the treadles were upside down. Easy enough fix, right? So I pulled out the bar that the treadles are on and I flip them all over. Re-tie.
Something. Is. Still. Wrong. I am a little more than frustrated at this point. I just don't get it. So I pull out all of my manuals, books on tying up countermarchs, and hit up google. I can't find anything I have done wrong at this point, so I decide to go back to the beginning. Do I have this monster put together correctly? I open the original assembly manual and read it line by line. Nothing jumps out at me and as I am sitting there staring at a picture of the loom, the problem smacks me in the face. Why yes, my treadles were upside down, but that was because the whole treadle frame was upside down! The treadles are supposed to hang from the frame, not rest on it.

I cuss at this point. The only way to fix the problem is to take the whole loom apart, flip the treadle beam and put it back together. And oh, re flip the treadles since they were on the beam correctly in the first place. And OH, did I mention this beast is warped? My husband and I start discussing how to attack this. I would rather try to save the warp instead of just pitching it, so a game plan is put into place. I tape all the warp threads to the warp beam like I've see sectional warpers do.  Then I untied all the threads from the apron bar and overhand knot them in front of the reed in small groups. My husband unpins and pulls out the back beam while I unhook the harnesses and pull the reed out of the beater. Together we walk all these pieces away from the loom. So far so good! Pulling the loom apart at this point is a cinch, and in under 10 minutes we have the back treadle beam flipped and treadles re flipped. In another 5 we have the warp beam on and harnesses re hung. The tape worked very well and I only had 1 section pull out of the reed.

I am really surprised. REALLY surprised it worked. I have no tension issues yet and we are weaving smoothly. I don't believe my shed is as big as it should be, it is at about 2" wide. I asked some weaving friends on Ravelry about it, but we have come up with nothing yet. The loom may just need some fine tuning and that will come as we move forward.

 Yeah for my first rug!!

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