Sunday, 20 October 2013

The Unspecified Ones

I have discovered that the Unspecified Ones responsible for the current traffic chaos are working on a Flood Alleviation Scheme which is sorely needed in Leamington Spa. The river Leam is about 200 metres away and has got very close to Anne's house several times recently. It has flooded seriously here about four times in the last few years. Not that that makes me feel any better about the traffic.

I have been working on the Pioneer and thinking about it. Wendy Morris is right about thin threads. Even with a 2/10 cotton, the threads jump out of their heddles so I have to check before every weft throw. And the warp needs to be kept at very high tension to keep most of the threads from jumping out. I actually had a broken thread in the warp due to the tension, never before in my experience.

The first conclusion is that a thicker thread should be used. I am not a great fan of 2/6 cotton but maybe I have to use that. 2/20 cotton is my style currently. My original idea was to use the loom with its ability to resley as a kind of limited fan reed, that is, just in one section of the warp. Certainly I would not want to rethread as I think it would be difficult to get right. When I post a photo of the loom, you will see that there is a forest of half heddles present and it is difficult to work what is going on. I speak from the experience of correcting two threading errors.

The problem that I see with resleying on the hoof is that changes would have to be made every 2 to 4 weft throws. In order to make changes, I would have to slack off the tension enough to move the threads around the reed, taking care not to let the threads jump out of the heddles at the same time. The more I think about it, the more I think that the only good solution is to have the threads I want to move loose, that is not tied to the back beam, and separately weighted. In which case, I would just have to lift up that thread enough to move it in the reed. Of course, taking care not to let the thread jump out of the heddle. 

So I have to cut off the current warp and replace with a 2/6 warp where some threads are weighted separately. The back beam is going to be a mess of film canisters. 

My original intention was to weave a piece of fabric on the Pioneer for entry into the Complex Weavers Exhibition for 2014 but I have abandoned that. Early this morning I was in favour of abandoning the loom too but no, I think I will try again. Nothing like actually using a piece of equipment to find its limitations! 

In any case, I have just realised that I need to warp up the Voyager pronto to a) take to demonstrate at the Guild Exhibition next Friday, b) let the students use the week after when I run a course on double weave. The students could be just using a 4 shaft loom and I intend to warp up a warp and weft interchange draft for them all to have a go on. YSo the Pioneer will have to wait. And unless I have an inspiration very quickly, I will not be entering anything for Complex Weavers. The closing date is November 18th.

On the other hand, the Convergence yardage entry 'Ebb and Flow' is not due until January 2014 and I have already decided what to do. The draft is ready and it uses the silk warp already on the Megado. I just have to finish off the yardage for my waistcoat first. 


  1. What do you mean about "jumping out of the heddles"? Do your heddles not have closed eyes, as do all the kinds that I'm aware of?

  2. That is just it with a Pioneer. The heddles are half heddles so that you can reorganise the threading without taking the warp off or untying it. The reed also can have the top taken off and you can resley. I will post some photos of the set up tomorrow



Blog Archive

About Me

I am weaver and - -. I dye my yarns with acid dyes, I paint my warps, put fabric collages and stencils on my weaving. I have three looms, a 12 inch wide, 12 shaft Meyer for demos and courses, a 30 inch Louet Kombo which is nominally portable but has a stand, two extra beams and a home-made device containing a fan reed. And last a 32 shaft Louet Megado which is computer controlled, has a sectional warp and a second warp beam and I am the proud owner of an AVL warping wheel which I love to bits and started by drilling holes in. I inserted a device for putting a cross in. I have just acquired an inkle loom and had a lesson from an expert so I can watch TV and weave at the same time. I am interested in weaving with silk mostly 60/2 although I do quite a bit with 90/2 silk. I also count myself as a bookbinder with a special interest in Coptic binding.