The primary focus this month has been getting ready for the opening of my weaving school. Occasionally I have taken time out to work some more on the Laos loom project.
Firstly the school.The space comprises of two rooms. One was full to overcrowding with looms. I am not sharing that mess. This other space had been occupied by my friend Marilyn who looked after my place while I was away. It is now empty. I get to take from the other space and rearrange here.
The first loom is up. It’s the one that I collected from Maureen not so long ago. Each loom has it’s own floor rug. It’s a great excuse to weave some rugs. As they are not huge, it’s a quick and interesting project..
This room is now ready.
And so is the other one. I am so pleased to now have space!
I’ve had brass plates made to celebrate my ‘friends’ and their looms. Kati’s loom will always be Katie’s loom (the draw loom) as will all the rest. All I have to do is attach them.
And friends have come and visited. Pat was one of my very early weaving friends. Marg and Mike used to own a ‘friend’ in my studio. In fact Mike made it; a 16 shaft computer assist countermarche beauty.
And the Weavers Interest Group came from Qld Spinners Weavers and Fibre Artists.
I can hardly wait till my first week’s class.
I haven’t had a great deal of time to work on the Laos loom project. At the end of last month, I had knotted the new warp onto the dummy warp.
Now to get it on the loom.
Step 1: Sort out what goes where. Suspend the beater and shafts.
Another view. I’ve used a set of pulleys on the plain weave shafts. When one shaft goes down, the other will go up. Note at this stage there has been no effort to get either the beater or plain weave or pattern shafts at the correct level.
Step 2: pull the knotted warp through firstly the vertical storage pattern heddles and then the plain weave heddles.
Now it is very easy to see how the heddles are made: two interlocking loops with the warp thread passing through the junction.
Step 3: Pull the knotted warp through the reed/beater. Then tie the warp onto the front bar of the cloth storage beam.
Step 4: Level the heddles and beater making sure the warp threads are centred. The warp needs to be under tension. I have it secured with the ikat clamp I used previously when knotting the two warps together.
Step 5. Now to attach the treadles. These are the original treadles. They would be way too heavy for this project.
I’ve attached two lengths of pine. They are not anchored at the front in the style of what I saw in Laos. They are attached to the bottom of the plain weave shafts. I’ve centred them on the shafts so that they will pull evenly down. This has resulted in the treadles being very close together. I may make both slightly off centre: one to the right, the other to the left to give some foot space. Notice the loom is on blocks. We’ve had rain and a bit of water came through here. I’ll take it off the blocks when I come to weave.
Step 6. Now for the biggest challenge: to provide tension to the warp. I was very pleased that I took videos of the knot that is used in several perspectives. I watched it over and over working out how it is done. Here’s a link so that you can see it.: youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3skR6eZB3J0
When it is time to advance the warp, the weaver undoes the knot, winds the warp on and then re-tensions with this knot.
Here’s an image of it loosely formed.
And of the real thing. And it works! The warp is under beautiful tension. Next month maybe I’ll get to weave. My aim is to do plain weave first and just get a feel for weaving on this loom. You’ll notice that the vertical storage system is set well back and will not play a part.
All ready to weave.