Shrinking the Kids

I decided to put the single draw system from the Oxaback onto a Glimakra Ideal. I think freeing up the larger Oxaback and creating a smaller single unit drawloom will be more useful. This of course, required some adjustments and the system is made for a loom almost 60 inches wide vs a 40 inch loom.

First – extending the depth of the smaller loom by adding the back slabs. This extends the back beam approximately 18 inches.

Then adding a little height to the castle so the front reed holder clears the beater. This required cutting down the front frame mount which usually sits under the countermarch bridge, it now sits on top. It maintains the correct sizing if it needs to go back on the Oxaback.

I did not want to cut down the original crosspieces as they can also be used on the Glimakra so I created new cross pieces. In all, this cost $70 and some sore hands.

Now to put on a sample warp.

 

Final Stretch

Above are pictures of the beater weight attachment and how it secures to the beater. If I use the heavy bars, I will probably need to use an insert screw underneath the middle of the beater. Heavy duty velcro straps work well for moderate weight. I will finish the Opphamta towel warp and then put the shaft draw system back on the Oxaback.

I used the trapeze to put the new tencel, hand dyed warp on the Oxaback. It went on smoothly and the colors are lovely.

Just Beat It

I love my Glimakra Sovereign (like a Standard but with metal beams). I personally prefer a little weight to my shuttles and beater. As I sometimes weave rugs, I like a little more heft even though regular Swedish looms are more than adequately built for this. Beater weights are expensive and difficult to retro fit to some looms so I decided to build my own

I finally came up with a design that is a shallow box that slots on to the bottom of the beater. As a minimum, I added two 3/4 inch steel bars to weight the beater for an approximate addition of 6lbs. The box acts like a tray where additional steel bars can be added depending on the project requirement. I would like to state that the beater as is, is more than adequate for all types of weaving. My personal preference is for more weight. I like the AVL shuttles which are quite heavy and I love the beater on my Oxaback (which some people find too heavy). I did not want to make too many alterations to the existing beater so the addition is secured by heavy duty velcro straps but I have the option to add insert bolts to attach it more securely.

 

Happy New Year

It is 2020 and although I have no firm resolutions, I do plan to improve my nutrition, hydration and to weave more.

Over the holidays I was able to complete several towels using the shaft draw system. Using 10 pattern shafts was very manageable and the opphamta wove up fairly quickly. In many ways it is like overshot except the threading does not dictate/limit the design. The ground weave is plain and the pattern is thrown with only the pattern shed raised, no treadling. The pattern shed is easy to manipulate allowing for lots of variation in design. The floats of the pattern require a need to be aware of fabric use and the length of the floats.

The beige sample above is actually damask (4 shaft twill) which is a more secure weave with no long floats.

The remainder of the towels are quite colorful and fun to weave.

 

Opphamta

I won’t lie, this project took a long time to set up. I moved the pieces of the shaft draw system to the Glimakra, which required some tinkering to make it fit. I used 16/2 cotton, 4 unit pattern, 187 lingoes, two sets of harnesses, 4 ground shafts and 10 pattern shafts. The yarn kept cuffing and knotting up. I had to re-organize the pattern heddles by moving one threaded heddle across all 187 lingoes. I used an 8 dent reed but didn’t like the separation it caused so I switched to a 60/10 reed which then left some light rust marks on the white warp. I switched to a 12 dent reed and started sampling.

The weave is a traditional Scandanavian technique similar to overshot. It can also be done using treadles and two harnesses or a sword.

I threaded the plain weave over 4 shafts so that I can also switch to a broken twill damask. I am hoping all the work will be worth it!

 

Where is my soul?

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Spent Monday & Tuesday dyeing a new tencel warp to replace the rayon warp for the “Appalachian” project. The colors came out nicely. Spent Mon, Tues & Wed prepping the cotton Opphamta warp. I dressed the 12 yard warp on the sectional live weight beam on the Glimakra. The cotton was very dry and cuffed a lot. The entire warp was problematic. After beaming, I noticed the warp was stacked higher to one side of each segment. This meant that the tension would be off on the entire warp.

I had to unwind the entire warp (with lots of tangles) and re-wind onto the plain beam. It was an extremely annoying process and a few times I almost cut it off.

The last few projects have not faired well. Partly due to inattention and too much time between each process. It is difficult to take a breath, step away and resume with calm patience.

The warp finally was dressed on the plain beam. Now to set up the remaining parts of the shaft draw system.

Put the Saw Down!

It is the week before my marathon and once again, I am risking injury. Last year my French Press exploded a few days before my race and I found myself dealing with 2nd degree burns on my stomach which made pants “questionable”.

I started building an extension on the Glimakra so I can add the shaft draw system and add a second live tension warp beam.

The extension moves the back beam back approximately 10 inches. The sectional beam with drum & weight tension is mounted above the original warp beam, the back beam is steel pipe. The tension arm uses a heavy weight, cord and a spring for tension.

I also added a beater weight by supporting a steel bar which is mounted to the rear of the beater using plumbing strap. It makes a wonderful difference and will help with future wool rugs.

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I had to use threaded rods to attach the existing warp beam mount and new extension to the original frame. The rods need to be cut down or cut with bolt cutters. I did start to try to cut them down and realized one slip and my many months of marathon training could be at risk! They will have to wait till after Thanksgiving.

 

 

No Two Are Alike

The gorgeous tonal drawloom warp (ferns) was problematic and kept breaking. I decided to cut my losses and make a new warp using 20/2 tencel.

A number of newer weavers ask about preparing a warp. As long as you are maintaining a good cross, there is no need to worry about overlapping threads when winding. The cross will maintain the integrity of the warp.

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Once the warp is tied (cross, bouts, ends etc) it is ready for dyeing. Remember, bouts can be very tight but when preparing a warp chain for dyeing, the ties need to be loose to allow the dye to penetrate the warp.

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This warp is not as pretty as the prior rayon warp, but the heavier colors will be diluted by the weft.

 

Breathe…..

My gorgeous drawloom warp, hand dyed, multi color in Rayon is toast. The sett and weave is beautiful but there is just too much breakage. I think the Rayon will need to be weft.

As it took a while to set up (2 sets of harnesses) I will tie on a new warp to the existing. The single unit design takes so long (leaves & ferns) that having to repair broken ends is just adding to the problem.

I will probably replace the warp with a similarly hand dyed tencel warp.

Samples and Planning

Cross Country season is over which leaves me with a little more time to get back to weaving.

I currently have the single unit drawloom warp waiting and I set up the  Glimakra Sovereign (not the newer rug loom but an older Standard style with metal beams) with a simple rag rug warp.

IMG_1762This loom is set up with 4 shaft counterbalance with horses. I had no issues getting it balanced and it weaves well.

Once this is complete, I plan to sample some 3 end block weaves and then develop a shaft switching method for this loom.