Duh #1 - Putting on too wide a warp
This is not a tremendously big deal, but I should know better than to try too many new things at once. The new loom should have been enough. I thought I was doing good to refrain from trying a fancy 8 shaft pattern, but I did allow myself to succumb to weaving something I'd never woven before, a blanket.
Duh #2 -Initially winding onto the cloth beam backwards
In this photo, it is wound on correctly. At first however, I had the apron cords going around the other way.
To the mechanically minded this probably would not have been a big deal, but to me it was a major panic. I had everything threaded and tied up and ready to weave. I thought I'd have to re-do it all! Fortunately, my DH looked calmly at the situation and started winding the beam until it unrolled the apron cords. He kept on winding and much to my amazement, it wound itself the correct way. If he hadn't been around it probably would have been a bigger duh because I would have untied the whole thing to correct it. Not something I would have enjoyed especially because of Duh #1.
I think what threw me off was the knee beam. My other loom doesn't have one and I'd never had to deal with one before. I'm assuming it's there to keep the cloth out of the way so that one can get one's knees under the loom.
Duh #3 - Tying up the "wrong" sets of lamms
"Wrong" here is a little relative. It has nothing to do with overall results, but everything to do with which side of the cloth I was going to look at while I was weaving. And this has to do with how the pattern draft is written and which way the shed is formed on the loom: rising or sinking.
My introduction to this entire concept took place shortly after I started to weave in 2000. I decided to weave a table runner using a pattern from Marguerite Davison's A Handweaver's Pattern Book. I was puzzled after I began weaving. While it looked pretty on the loom, it didn't look like the picture of the pattern I'd chosen. To my surprise, after I finished and cut it off the loom, there was the pattern I wanted, on the bottom! I soon learned that this was because all the drafts in this book are notated for sinking shed looms. My jack loom had a rising shed. That meant that if I wanted to look at the pattern while I was weaving, I needed to tie up the treadles according to the blank spaces in the draft, not the X's.
Usually tie-ups for rising shed looms such as jack looms, use O's to show the treadle tie-up. Sinking sheds such as counterbalance looms, use X's. The two drafts on the left will produce exactly the same woven pattern. While most modern weaving books show the rising shed tie-up, the older A Handweaver's Pattern Books (originally published in 1944 before jack looms came into popular use) uses X's.
But what about a countermarche loom, where part of the shed rises and the other part sinks? For my first treadle tie-up, I followed the instructions on the set-up video, which showed tying up the upper lamms first, and then tying up the bottom ones in the opposite pattern. However the video showed a simple plain weave, whereas I wanted a simple straight twill. What I didn't realize is that the short, upper lamms pull the shafts dow to sink the shed, while the long, lower lamms lift the shed because they are attached to the overhead jacks, which pull the shafts up. (Photos of this stuff on this post.)
Countermarche looms are usually considered rising shed looms for the sake of tying up the treadles. They do differ from jack looms in that every shaft has to be tied, but they can use the same rising shed drafts.
So what exactly did I do "wrong'? I switched which set of lamms I tied to. I tied the upper (sinking) lamms to the O's in the draft which were supposed to be rising. My pattern was upside down. I probably could have let this go and simply pressed on with my weaving. I was having problems with my shed however (more on that next time), so I decided to re-tie the entire treadle tie-up. I've often said that I learn more from my mistakes than from getting it right the first time. Believe me when I say that I won't do that again.
So there you have it. Looking on the bright side I have to say that I'm learning a lot.
Next ....... Adjusting the Shed
Posted 9 July 2007 at http://leighsfiberjournal.blogspot.com
Why A Countermarche?
Warping the Glimakra:
.....Adjusting the Loom With Texsolv
.....Winding On the Warp
.....Tying Up the Treadles
.....Adjusting the Shed