Monday, July 14, 2014

Weaving Woes

Our guild held a warping party on Friday to prepare seven looms for our first ever learn-to-weave class in two weeks.  Beryl posted about it on the guild blog and if you're interested in what we did, you can read about it here.  We wound warp and got it onto the looms but each of us brought one home to finish up.  I came home with this one.
This is a 15" Dorothy made by LeClerc and for someone with size large hands like mine, threading and sleying it was a challenge at every step.
The wire heddles are thin twisted wires with an eye that's about 3/8" and can only be threaded with the bent hook provided.  On top of being tiny, everything is very close together.
It's too hot to do anything outside so I've done nothing but get this loom ready.  I think Maddie was a little jealous.
I had no idea how to get the reed sleyed but Suzanne came up with idea of using a paper towel roll to stabilize it.  It's a good thing we're starting these students with the weaving experience.  I would be completely turned off if the first thing I did was warp this loom.  I told Suzanne that if we do this again, I'll lend my Dorset floor loom for the workshop.  That I can manage.
I found and fixed the errors and that was no small feat because at this stage, everything is jammed in so tight tight tight.  This loom is already assigned to a student named Sheila and I'm pleased that I'm providing her with a good solid warp for her first experience.
It's been a rough weaving week for me.  I'd like to finish these towels because I've entered one in the Nevada County Fair.  I don't have much time to finish because I have to mail my towel and scarf to Sue in time for her to get them in for intake.  And of course, that means that I've got trouble.  I managed to get an uneven tension on this warp and kept having to redo mistakes because the chisel-nose shuttle kept scooping underneath the loose bottom warp threads.  Then I remembered that Ingrid had told me that a quick fix is just to turn the shuttle sideways.  It's the perfect fix.  Problem solved.
If you have a Schacht end-feed shuttle and find this helpful, be sure you put the eye on the top.  I learned that the hard way after having the eye snag and snap one of the bottom warp threads.

I went down to Red Rock Hounds last night for the puppy socialization evening, but this post is too long already.  Next time~


Cindie said...

My beginning weaving class was using a Dorothy, each week I warped it up to weave a different weave structure. I called it the finger cruncher of looms because of those levers. Your student will be thrilled when she gets to a different loom, right now she won't know any better.

Beryl Moody said...

Good idea about the paper towel roll reed holder. I was going crazy trying to sley the reed and finally hung it at an angle using the main body of the loom for support. I had a couple of sleying errors to fix too. These looms aren't user friendly, are they!

Benita said...

I have a Dorothy just like that one. I use it in the weaving classes I teach. It's noisy, though. On student described it as sounding like "dropping a broken toaster" everything you changed sheds on it. :)