Monday, March 29, 2010

Not there yet

After almost a week of working on the loom itself, (related reading Here , and Here). I was ready to wind on the warp this weekend. It didn't go well and I had to rethink how it could be done, (related story here) . Success! I got the warp wound on, 30 yards/27.4 meters.
I then threaded all 240 threads through separate heddles and then sleyed, (scroll down a little) them through the reed. (Note, the author of the sleying entry threads their loom from front to back, my loom is done back to front, so all their steps in warping the loom are the reverse of what happens on my loom.)
I tied the warp on to the lease stick,
wove a couple of inches with old loom waste and string to spread the warp threads evenly,
wrapped the chosen colored rags on shuttles,
and commenced to weave.
I'm not pleased. I'm using 8 threads per inch/3.2 per cm, 1 up - 1 down and find the resulting rug just too thin. I think I'll go back and rethread the heddles to 2 up - 2 down and try again.
A lot of work to reach a point where you realize you need to go back and do it over sure, but, better to fix the problem now than to try and go forward to an end result that you already know is going to be a disappointment.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Back to the drawing board.

After attempting to warp on following the original instructions, from some 80 years ago, as well as missing some loom parts and having to guess at what they might look like, I ended with tangled and broken threads. I decided to do some more thinking and visited my friend the internet. There I found that most people with a sectional warp beam loom use a detached spool rack and a warp tensioning box. Okay. Into the woodshop to see what scraps I had on hand to come up with these items. Voila...
The woodshop is getting low on scraps but I managed to find the pieces to come up with a spool rack, of course I had to dismantle my original home built loom to use it's leg assembly. I had an assortment of wood doweling, and some T-pins. The base of the tensioning box is oak and the side piece is poplar. The idea is that the warp threads come into the box through 1 set of pins and wrap over and under the dowels in a series that adds the right amount of tension, they then feed out through another set of pins and on to the warp beam in the right order.
It seems to be working.
The overview of this set up from the back of the loom.

Now, I need to finish winding on and thread the heddles and sley the reed so I can get on with some weaving.

Friday, March 26, 2010

2 problems solved, on to the next one

Okay, i've built and attached the new treadle brace/ spool rack.
The next problem was how to control the threads as they come off the spools. The original loom would have had a wire with multiple loops bent in several different directions. No clear picture of how it should have looked, and a later edition of the instruction manual stated that the newer versions of this loom were equipped with" a thin board with wire staples". Okay, what? My solution, a board with eye hooks. I don't know yet if it is a good solution. I have to solve the next problem before I know how this solution works.

New Blog discovery.

A great Blog for the man, or woman who needs advice on doing things, like the death star watermelon.

Man Made (Click on to jump to his blog)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Loom repair

The part of the loom that I was sure I would have to replace sooner rather than later did break soon.
I can't afford a nice piece of maple to make the part I need so I took a few pieces of old pallet wood from work and made do. As you can see, the original would have also had some holes where "spindles" would have been inserted. These hold the spools of warp thread while you wind on the warp. since my wood is a soft wood, rather than a hard wood, I made the piece thicker than the original.And, since it was such a nice evening out in the garden, I went out there to do part of the work.
Power tools do help speed up the woodworking, but the old handtools are very pleasant to use. No noise, and,well... they are hand tools.
The new piece is shaping up nicely, but that is definitely enough for today. Piggy and dog also want some attention as well.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Got shuttles?

I had 2 shuttles that I made from a piece of cedar, this next project will require more than that.
Drill press,
Band saw,
dremel and sander.
Okay, I've got shuttles; the 2 cedar, 2 oak,3 poplar and 9 makore. It's a good thing that save all my scraps of lumber.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Yep, another rug.

This one was woven at 10 warp threads per inch. 21x41 inches / 53x104 cm
Up close.
I'm waiting on the new rug warp that I ordered and can't weave until it gets here. So in the meantime I have a little loom repair to do as well as preparing rags for the next rugs.
Cutting them into strips.
Sewing the strips together and winding them into balls.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

A rug request

I have a request for a set of 3 rugs, I'm thinking this will be the pallette. They are for a ladies bedroom.
I have to do a little loom repair before I can begin the project though. The board that the foot treadles are attached to broke in half. I knew it was going to happen sometime and would be the first thing that needed replaced, I just didn't know it would happen so soon.