To help myself get over the feeling of being overwhelmed with my new loom, I first took some time to explore the differences between it and my old one. Both the Glimakra Standard countermarche and the Schacht Mighty Wolf jack loom weave cloth, but it amazes me that there can be so many differences between the two.
The most obvious difference is size. While the Schacht fits comfortably into a corner in my living room, the Glimakra takes up an entire room.
Another obvious difference is the way the beater is attached:
The beater holds the reed and serves to pack the newly placed weft into place.
On my Schacht loom on the left, the beater is hinged at the bottom. The advantage of this is that it stays put during weaving, whether forward or back.
On the Glimakra on the right, you can see that the beater hangs from the top (reed has been removed). It rests in the beater cradle and can easily be lifted off and removed from the loom for warping. The cradle has three notches, so that the beater can be advanced as the weaving progresses. The advantage to this is not having to advance the warp quite as often. The bar itself is quite solid and heavy, but the frame is still easy to move.
One thing I did with the help of the video, was to check to make sure the that beater bar is parallel to the breast beam. It was off by about half an inch after being moved. It was very easy to adjust by loosening the nut and bolt on top of the cradle, sliding the cradle until I was satisfied with the measurement, then tightening them again.
One thing I noticed from the video, is that since the beater swings, it has to be held back to throw and catch the shuttle. That will take some getting used to. Evidentially, it is possible to gain such a rhythm as to let the beater do all the work; the weaver simply throws the shuttle between swings and keeps the beater moving. Of course, that's them and this is me.
The other obvious difference is the system by which the treadles move the shafts. On my jack loom, it is a beautifully simple thing:
In this photo you can see the jacks, the lamms, and the treadles.
The jacks are the diagonal bars which are partially hidden by that bar under the cloth on the cloth beam. The jacks are attached to pivots which enable them to push the shafts up when the treadles are pushed down.
The lamms are the horizontal sticks below the jacks with the strings hanging from them. On this loom, I have four shafts, each having it's own lamm and it's own set of jacks. By choosing which lamm strings to attach to the treadles, I can determine which shafts raise which treadle. It's possible for a weaver to tie-up all sorts of combinations, anywhere from 1 to 3 shafts at a time. By depressing the treadles in a prescribed order, the jacks push up the attached shafts, and my weaving pattern appears almost magically on my cloth (assuming I haven't made any mistakes.)
Now, here are the lamms on the countermarche loom:
A countermarche loom has two sets of lamms, an upper and a lower. This loom has 8 shafts, so there are 8 upper lamms and 8 lower lamms. Both sets have strings (cords actually) hanging from them. One set raises its attached shafts, while the other set lowers its attached shafts. The tail in the lower right hand corner of the photo is optional and nonfunctional in regards to weaving, except that what it's attached to likes to attack strings and yarn.
Obviously the tie-up system is a bit more complicated than on a jack loom. I'll be learning about the tie-up when I put my first warp on this loom. (Have I mentioned yet that I feel a bit overwhelmed???)
The jacks on a countermarche loom are overhead, right behind the beater:
You can scroll back up to the first photo to get a view from the under side. The shafts are attached to the jacks on either end, while the cord running down the middle attaches the jacks to the lower lamms.
The upper lamms are attached indirectly to the jacks by being attached to the lower lamms with a separate cord. But who can see that from the forest of strings hangning there. Well, I'm at the point where the more I try to explain this, the more confusing it sounds. I reckon I'd better quit while I'm ahead.
Posted 19 June 2007 at http://leighsfiberjournal.blogspot.com
Why A Countermarche?
Jack Loom Revisited
Jack Loom Diagnostics
Skeleton Tie-Ups for Countermarche Looms
Skeleton Tie-Ups for Jack Looms