Multiple Tie-Up Solution for LeClerc Nilus Loom from Pat Keily

When Pat Keily sent me his question, I gave him my thoughts but non suited his problem with floating shafts with multiple tie-ups. Here is what he wrote for this guest post to explain the problem and his happy solution. Thanks for contributing this tip, Pat!

“I have a 67-year-old LeClerc Nilus 36-inch, 10 treadle loom that has given me fits.  The problem has been floating frames on multiple tie-ups.  For some reason still unbeknownst to me, depressing a treadle would cause one or more frames to “float” an inch or so off the bottom.  I was finally able to determine the cause and solution by googling the right key words.  The problem is caused by the weight of the treadles (but why depressing a treadle would cause this is beyond me) lifting the jack.  The solution is to install springs that keep the treadles from weighing down the frames.  After searching for the right size springs and seeing they would cost over $50, my wife came up with a much better idea.  We went to the Dollar Store and bought clasp-free hair bands for 10 cents each (pack of ten for a dollar).  I bought 20 eye screws, installed ten in the end of the treadles and ten on a hardwood strip that I attached to the loom (Pat told me that he opened the “eyes” with two pairs of pliers).  I slipped the hair band (fancy rubber bands) onto the eye screws and my floating frames floated right out of my life!”

Japan Tour 2017 – Day 20


Day 20. Asakusa gate was where we began our day in Tokyo–to say it was crowded is a huge understatement. We headed for the Amuse Museum near the big temple to see the new Boro Exhibit.



Here is an example of Boro–patching with scraps of fabric done in the cold-winter area of Hokkaido. There were quotes I liked from the labels. “The beauty of practically”. “Lovingly mended with diverse cotton fabrics”. “Only property owners had a control over even small fabric scraps. Possession of those scraps proved one’s social status and wealth”. There were cloths used when giving birth that had been around for generations. They were boiled before the birth to kill any lice!



Next we went to the big Mitsukoshi department store and spent the entire afternoon there. First we encountered a flower arranging exhibit as we were heading to the kimono department. There were many arrangements to be seen but tickets were required to see the masters’ arrangements.



It was a mob scene around the flower exhibition and a long line of women waiting to pay for accessories that were for sale.



Finally we got through the crowd to the kimono department where spent probably well over an hour at the special exhibit and demonstrations.



There was this fascinating smallish table loom set up to make fancy brocade fabric for small purses.



The warp was made of paper strip!



Here was the intricate pattern being woven. All done by picking up threads row by row.



Here was a small bag on display and for sake using the paper warp brocade fabric. Beautiful.

Japan Tour 2017 – Day 13


Day 13 – Ikat weft thread in a shuttle in Ishigaki. The weft thread has the dark and white areas that an ikat thread would have after dyeing and removing the ties. The special thing here is how the weft is in the shuttle. The weft “bundle” is made similar to winding a kite stick. The tool it is wound on looks a bit like a mechanical pencil or pen but there is a split at one end so you can anchor and start to wind the beginning of the weft thread around that end. (The weft thread will come out of the center of the bundle when inside the shuttle). The thread is just wound around the pencil-like tool a few times then it is wound like a kite stick around the tool. In my books you can see that I wind my warps on a stick that I call a kite stick in the way a kite stick is wound instead of chaining the warp. A bamboo stick holds the weft bundle in place and the thread comes off like any bobbin.



She was winding the weft thread on the tool too fast for me to get a good photo of the end where the weft was anchored and started. Here the weaver is winding the thread around a few times before beginning the “kite stick” technique. (Winding a kite stick is very much like winding on a nitty noddy.)



To keep the pattern exact the cloth is stretched to the width in the reed with the bamboo stick here. Also notice that the edge of the cloth isn’t perfectly straight. That’s because when the ikat weft thread is being woven it has to be slid either to the left or right so it lines up perfectly. The weft loops at the edge shows where the thread had been moved so it will line up. I bought a hanging with just a small amount of weft ikat and I love seeing the straight edges except where there are small weft loops sticking out where the weft ikat pattern is woven.



This shows where the ikat warp threads are joined with the white foundation warp behind the heddles on the loom shown in yesterday’s post.

Japan Tour 2017 – Day 12


Day 12 Ishigaki Island, Okinawa. We took a taxi to the Minsa Textile Institute & Minsa Craft Center and were met with lovely yarns drying outside the entrance. It is a large shop with a little museum upstairs. We spent quite a long time there. The weavers were winding huge warps onto beams to be put into looms when an order was placed for that color and design. There were tens of warp beams on the shelves to be woven as needed. We weren’t allowed to show photos of the process or the things in the shop. The shop was very attractive with contemporary colors and designs using traditional techniques woven on this island. Too bad I can’t show photos. Minsa technique means narrow weaving for obi for men and women. This shop used the warp faced technique with wider warps for lovely products to sell. Some examples were placemats, pillow covers, small coasters and lots of bags of all sizes. Everything was beautifully made.



Skeins drying after being dyed. The ones with the white plastic sticking out were ones that had been tied before dying. The area with the ties resisted the dye and will remain undyed. The cloth woven with these specially dyed threads in patterns is what is called “ikat”. Ikat is pronounced “e-cot”. See the next photo for a closer look.



A close look at the threads tied for ikat cloth. When they are put on the loom the tied will be removed and the yarns will be beige and white.



In the afternoon we visited a small weaving studio where the patterned “ikat” cloth was woven on looms with the pattern warp on a reel device that fit onto the back of the loom. This I had never seen before. Instead of tying the pattern threads they were painted on the warp threads while the warp was on tension on this reel device. This meant that the patterns lined up perfectly and didn’t need adjusting like we had been seeing before on the other islands. The next photos will show closer looks.



Here is the warp with the pattern painted on it.



There are two warps on the loom. The patterned one and a white one which is the main part of the cloth. The two are integrated in the heddles and woven together.



This is what the woven cloth looks like. Besides the warp threads being patterned the weft threads are patterned as well by tying the ikat threads and then dyeing them. We call it double ikat when both warps and wefts are dyed in these ways. The warps are the vertical threads and the wefts are the horizontal threads.



This is the tool used to “paint” the pattern on the warps.

Japan Tour 2017 – Day 11


Day 11. Ishigaki Island, Okinawa. The tradition in this area is of weaving narrow cloth called Mensa. The warps are very dense so the cloth is totally warp face. There is a stripe with two warp ikat patterns. The traditional textile has a”four-square” and a “5-square” pattern that stand for eternal love. This photo shows the 4-square design. The 5-square design is in the cloth,too, but not shown in this part of the cloth. This is s woman’s obi. A sash for the men is about 4″ wide; the women’s is bout 6″ wide. I love this piece because all the rest of the patterning comes from the arrangements of dark and light colors in the warp. They are woven on two shaft looms in plain weave; over one and under one.



Traditional Mensa narrow obi. I saw a picture with both men and women wearing this narrow “belt”. This is the traditional color but now many colors are available.



Traditionally the wefts were beaten in with a sword. Now the looms use a beater to do the job. With warp face cloth getting a clear shed and beating in the wefts are issues to consider.



At the end of a hot and humid day we tried the traditional Okinawan sweet treat: zenzai. It is made of red kidney beans sweetened with raw sugar and covered with shaved ice. We almost ordered one for each of the four of us but thankfully we were advised that one would be enough for all–and it definitely was. It was refreshing but I like soft ice cream better and that is found all over.

 

Japan Tour 2017 – Day 10


Day 10. Tiny Patterns Woven at Miyako Traditional Crafts Research Center. It was impossible to imagine these patterns were tied and dyed (ikat) until we saw how it was done.


Imagine whole kimonos woven with such fine patterns! It was thrilling to see how it was done.



This is what I hoped to see and it was hanging to dry after being dyed with indigo. This woven thick piece is how the tiny white patterns are made. In the photo all the places where there is weaving resisted the indigo blue dye and remain white when this thick mat is unwoven. The unwoven threads with the tiny white areas are then put on the loom and the real cloth is woven.

marmarweaves commented: This is pretty unbelievable, if you had not seen it and shown it, it would be more than one could imagine. Astonishing. Thanks Peggy for taking us along.



Here you can see the mat being unwoven and the threads have white areas where they were originally woven to resist the blue dye.



Here the threads are on the loom about to be woven into cloth for a kimono.



Here is a pattern piece ready for the dye pot. You can see the pattern that will eventually be woven into cloth.



On the loom if a thread isn’t exactly lined up it has to be tightened or loosen to be in the right place. The weaver watches carefully with every row.



Here is a close up of the edge of the piece woven and ready to dye. Bundles of threads are woven. Where the threads float is where the dye will sink in. Where they are woven will be too tight and won’t allow the dye to penetrate causing the small white patterns.


 

Japan Tour 2017 – Day 8



Day 8. Chibana Village Okinawa. At the Chibana Hanaori Cooperative they also wove cloth with extra warp threads to create patterns with threads floating on the surface. This complicated but beautiful cloth also had some ikat designs where the tied and dyed threads are woven in the cloth along with areas where the threads ride on the surface of the cloth.



This is the back side if the previous cloth. The threads not on the “right side” float on the back of the cloth.



In this area the shafts on the loom are lifted to create the patterns on the top of the cloth with this hook. In the previous studio they pulled down the shafts with their toe or foot to make the patterns.



For this pattern extra threads were laid in as the weaving progressed. We call this inlay technique. The left side if the photo is the right dide of the cloth and the right side shows the back side. See the next photo.



Here the yellow thread is the starting point of an inlay design.



The warp beams on the looms were square.



A photo of Part of the weaving studio.



The warp beams are square but they are round with the warp wound on them. There is a square “sleeve” made of wood that goes on the beam before the warp is wound on. I don’t know why. The photo shows that one warp is the foundation thread and the other for the pattern.


 

Japan Tour 2017 – Day 6



Day 6 we drove 2 hours out of Naha to the Kijoka Bashofu Cooperative where precious cloth is made out of banana plant fibers. The cloth is called bashofu.



We saw the special banana plants cultivated for the fibers in the stalks. These plants aren’t grown for their fruit and the plants must be cultivated–wild ones can’t be used.



Double ikat patterns are typical of basho cloth that I am familiar with.



We visited a famous weaver Kyoto Shukumine who has exhibited a lot and is known for her distinctive colorful cloth.



There are special pattern shafts in addition to two shafts that are for the ground cloth.



The pattern shafts are operated with the weaver’s toes or in this case her foot to pull down the required pattern shafts while the other foot operates the treadle for the ground plain weave.


 

Japan Tour 2017 – Day 5



Day 5 Naha Okinawa. This is glorious cloth woven by Michiko Uehara an artist/weaver who has exhibited in New York as well as in Japan. She reels the silk threads off the cocoons herself and weaves the most sheer cloth I’ve ever seen. This piece is double woven as a tube.



Another silk woven by Michiko Uehara. She dropped it from the sir and it simply floated down. She showed us maybe 20 large pieces–each one more thrilling than the last.



One piece was woven both warp and weft with threads that came from single cocoons. Always several if not 10 or so are reeled off at once to form fine threads. I held the cloth and was amazed that is was light as a feather. What you see here are the warp threads. If you look closely you can glimpse the cloth.



One of Michiko’s daughters is a potter and made these tiny containers for the tea in the tea ceremony. These are what I’ve been so interested in. Michiko herself wove her fine silks for the bags for the containers made by a contemporary potter in a joint exhibition.



We also went to Haebaru Village to see kasuri cloth being tied, dyed, and woven. Here a man is painting the lines on the threads instead of tying and then dyeing them.



Here two sets of fine warp threads are being put into the reed.



These are warp threads that have been starched before weaving. The warp looked like straw.


 

Japan Tour 2017 – Day 4


Day 4. We flew to Kume Island for the day and visited a spectacular place where they make traditional cloth from raising the silk worms, reeling the silk off the cocoons, tying and dyeing the warp and weft threads and weaving. It is the Kumejoma Tsumugi Museum.



Here are baby silk worms being taken care of I can’t remember why the women were taking off the worms and putting them in the boxes. I think they were in the process of feeding them. They eat a lot of fresh mulberry leaves and will grow to the size of a thumb.



Here the women are unwinding the silk thread from the cocoons. You can see how many cocoons are making a single silk thread.



Here the tied and dyed warp threads are being adjusted so the pattern will be exactly lined up for each and every thread. The little bobbin is putting a bit of extra tension on a warp to keep the thread lined up.



This is a small area showing how the dyed threads come together in the woven cloth. This tiny motif is precise and woven by one of the experts.


 

Japan Tour 2017 – Day 3


Day 3. These were in a lovely gallery in the city of Naha on the island of Okinawa where we are staying. I meant to focus on the little pots in front because they are the little tea containers for the tea ceremony that have interested me. In the back is the container for the water I think. You can see that they go together. I hope to find a little container that I can afford before going home.



Two gorgeous vases in the coffee gallery next door. I have seen so many beautiful things.



We were led to a tiny antique shop where we could buy scraps of cloth made from banana fiber. I put my business card in the photo for scale. The cloth is made for kimonos and hugely expensive so we were thrilled to be able to by these little fragments.



This is a class room where people can pay to weave a piece of cloth to take home. It’s a great way to introduce crafts to the public. There were also similar classrooms to make items in glass, pottery, painting on fabric. There was a fantastic DVD and gallery of kimonos. This was at the Naha Traditional Craft Center. There is a good shop too.


 

Camp Season Almost Here

Table Looms for Camp
Here are my Structo table looms all ready for the campers later in June. Last year we had great creativity from the 6-11 year-olds. Finally a use for my looms that have been gathering dust n my studio. Last year was a great success so we are going to do it again this year. I always wonder before hand how it will go over. The kids last year were so eager. I made the warps–2 1/2″ wide and then cut cut them off when they are all done and glue the cut ends.

My First Guest Post! Calm Obsession by Regina Potts

Claw for post
I started guest posting with Regina Potts. It all began when she emailed me with a better way to stretch out the cloth on the loom. I suggested using croc clips in my book, Weaving for Beginners. We’ll be collaborating in future posts. I like her idea, her stories, and the way she thinks.
Here it is in PDF format. Just click the post title below
Weighted Claw Temple by Regina Potts

Fine Threads, Oh, MY! A Video

Threading My Loom with Threads that are as Fine as Hairs


I’ve been threading the heddles now for a few weeks—about an hour at a time and when I can get into the studio. It’s such a meditative thing that I wanted to have a film made. I’ve never used so fine a thread before and I hope it can stand up to the tension and abrasion of weaving. This short segment is the beginning of the film I’m dreaming of. I hope we can put together the rest of setting up the loom and me weaving—and an end result. This time threading is both soothing and ‘hair’ raising—you’ll see why in the video. If you’re not a weaver and don’t want details, go to the video now.

The thread is so fine that I couldn’t get it wound off from the skein so I sent it to Japan for them to wind it off (my friend with the equipment in the US couldn’t do it). It came back on about 15 cones—each with a very small amount of thread on it. So even the experts had a hard time—so many cones means that the thread kept breaking and they had to find an end and start a new cone over and over.

I’m planning on 120 threads per inch—the threads in my other sheer warps have been only 96 ends per inch. That gives you an idea of how fine we are talking about—like hairs.

I thought I’d warp 10 cones at a time as I’ve done with the other thread. Well, things kept breaking and threads blew around in the air and I almost gave up. I did end up using 4 cones at a time. I could keep track of those and repair them every time one broke and find its own exact path to the heddles in the heck block on my warping reel.

I didn’t notice that the 4 cones weren’t in position to make a perfect cross so I ended up with a 2×2 cross. You’ll notice that in the video. Jim Ahrens taught us that 2 threads at a time can work but never more than that. (3 or more threads will braid up on one another.) I’m hoping that is true because every thread has a mate in the cross. The reason to use a paddle is so you can always make a thread-by-thread cross. In my case I have a heck block that does that job connected to my reel. I am lucky enough to have a warping reel that Jim Ahrens made.

Just Published!! My new website about Ahrens Looms!

Ahrens Plaque
My good friend Vera Totos and I have been working for months on creating a new website about Ahrens looms. Jim Ahrens built looms for efficient weaving, using his own engineering and centuries old European techniques. This site explains their use and operation. Check it out and let me know what you think using the “Contact” page or as a “comment” at the bottom of each page.
http://ahrenslooms.com/

Peggy’s Weaving Tour – Philippines Day 12

Every day on my weaving tour of Japan and the Philippines I will repost all of my InstaGram posts here on my blog. I hope you enjoy my adventures.
loom 33
My blog, Facebook, Instagram and email notices are not behaving well together so if you are viewing this in FACEBOOK just click the post text to see the full post (with photos) on my blog. 
If you are viewing this in an EMAIL just click the post title to see the full post on my blog.

Day 12. Iloilo City. The only looms today!

A photo posted by Peggy Osterkamp (@peggyoster) on

Typical of the floor boards I. The old houses

A photo posted by Peggy Osterkamp (@peggyoster) on

Peggy’s Weaving Tour – Philippines Day 4

Every day on my weaving tour of Japan and the Philippines I will repost all of my InstaGram posts here on my blog. I hope you enjoy my adventures.
Fields
My blog, Facebook, Instagram and email notices are not behaving well together so if you are viewing this in FACEBOOK just click the post text to see the full post (with photos) on my blog. 
If you are viewing this in an EMAIL just click the post title to see the full post on my blog.

Day 4. We drove through jungle and this kind of landscape to another weaving village. T'bong Village. More later

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Here is the weaver whose cloth I bought. She is rolling it up in the photo. I liked the red border.

A photo posted by Peggy Osterkamp (@peggyoster) on

Peggy’s Weaving Tour – Philippines Day 2

Every day on my weaving tour of Japan and the Philippines I will repost all of my InstaGram posts here on my blog. I hope you enjoy my adventures.
P-Weaver

My blog, Facebook, Instagram and email notices are not behaving well together so if you are viewing this in FACEBOOK just click the post text to see the full post (with photos) on my blog. If you are viewing this in an EMAIL just click the post title to see the full post on my blog.

A loom for weaving pineapple fiber. I can't wait to see it being woven and I hope I can buy some yo dye.

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Weaving abaca fiber cloth on s blackstrap loom.

A photo posted by Peggy Osterkamp (@peggyoster) on

Making a warp demo.

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I noticed this spaghetti of wires then noticed the name on the building.!

A photo posted by Peggy Osterkamp (@peggyoster) on

An interesting description for the next photo.

A photo posted by Peggy Osterkamp (@peggyoster) on

These are large pieces. Even used for ship sails. I loved the explanation

A photo posted by Peggy Osterkamp (@peggyoster) on

From our hotel window in Manilla. Off at 4:30 in the morning for a flight to the south.

A photo posted by Peggy Osterkamp (@peggyoster) on

Fine-Threads Saga Part Two: Threading the Heddles!

Peggy post 7-24-15-2
Well, this job will take a good while, but I think it will work out. In my books I show a trick for threading that isn’t really a trick; it’s a technique I always use. Jim Ahrens taught it to us in our Production Weaving classes. What you do is put tension on the threads so they are taut when they are in the lease sticks making it easier to see which is the next thread. I usually use a 3 ½-ounce wrench for a weight (it lives in my apron pocket). WrenchI separate out a bundle of cut warp threads about the thickness of a medium-sized carrot to tension. When you select a strand to thread next you pull it out of the weighted bundle using the threading hook. This is described on page 71 in Weaving for Beginners and on page 51 in Book #2, Warping Your Loom & Tying On New Warps available now in PDF format.  [click any photo to enlarge]
Peggy Osterkamp-2
For these tiny threads I used very small fishing weights and tied many ties along the lengths of small bundles just so none of the threads flew around.Peggy post 7-24-15-3
You can see them hanging down at the back of the loom if you look closely. ( My loom is folded up for threading.) The fishing weights were from weaving velvet one time.

 

Peggy post 7-24-15-4 This photo shows the threads in the lease sticks. Peggy post 7-24-15
This photo shows the threads behind the heddles as they go into the heddles.
Peggy post 7-24-15-5Peggy post 7-24-15-6

These photos show the
threads coming out of the heddles.

Peggy post 7-24-15-6
This last photo shows where I am so far—threads that are in the heddles and held to the side out of the way by a tiny ball of UHU removable putty.

These fantastic photos are by Bob Hemstock, my miraculous web guy.

Preparing for Weaving at Camp

Kids Warping Board

Kids Weaving 4

The counsellors and a few of the campers and a parent came to my studio to set up the looms before the camp started. The day of these photos a counsellor made a warp and she and I threaded one of the 7 Structo looms together. Her little brother and his friend came, too, and had fun weaving while we were having fun ourselves setting up the loom. It was a lovely afternoon. [click photos to enlarge]
Kids Weaving 1
Kids Weaving 2Kids Weaving 3

A Fine-Silk-Thread Saga: Part One

Drum - Beamimg Raddle
I have been fascinated with stiff silk—raw silk—undegummed silk for a few years. These threads and fabrics are not silky but crisp. Silk organza is an example. On a trip to Japan with Yoshiko Wada we found a few skeins of it and I grabbed them. They were lovely in the skeins and I didn’t notice how very, very fine the individual threads were! When I tried to wind the threads from a skein onto a spool it was a nightmare: threads broke, I couldn’t find an end etc., etc. I asked Takako Ueki, owner of Habu Textiles in New York, how to wind off fine threads and she said she would do it in her store, when I got a skein back it was on about 10 cones—I guess she kept starting over and over when threads broke. (It was expensive.)

Now I want to weave with that silk thread. The previous fine silk threads (enormous in comparison) were on spools (much easier) and collapsed when wetted or dyed. Now I want to weave and dye the cloth with indigo—hence the undegummed silk was needed.

I wound my previous warps with 10 spools at a time so I thought I would with this fine stuff, too. Snags, broken threads, cones messed up—all kinds of problems. So I tried 6 and finally ended up with 4 good cones and made a 10-yard warp. I have a wonderful warping reel with a heck block and leaser so winding with multiple threads is efficient. I tied many, many choke ties before I took the warp off the reel—turned out unnecessary for these threads but critical for the previous warps with the threads that collapsed. I decided I had to recalculate the sett because the threads were so fragile and fine so I went from 96 threads per inch to 120.
Rattle Loading
This first photo shows me loading my 5-dent raddle with 24 ends per dent. I skipped a space after every 2 dents to widen the warp and with more threads in a dent they worked together so that they did not break. For the 24 threads I used 2 raddle groups, each with 12 ends. [be sure to click the photos to see the fine details]
Drum - Raddle on Loom
Drum with Choke Ties

 

I use a warping drum to hold the warp on tension while I beam. I clamped the raddle onto the loom and left the lease sticks in to keep the threads organized and in order in their groups of 24 threads.

 

 

Drum - Errant Threads One photo shows a few errant threads but all in all the threads did fine under the tension of the warping drum while winding it onto the warp beam on the loom. The first group of threads was the one where I tried 10 and then 6 cones and had the breakage, etc. I will discard that group I’m thinking—that snarled errant thread shows you why.
Drum - Beamimg Raddle
The drum is across the room in my studio—maybe 15 feet away from the loom. I have to push a lot of stuff out of the way in the studio to make room for the beaming process. I stand at the loom and turn the warp beam roller and that pulls the warp off the drum under a lot of tension. The warp looks really great on the beam—tight and orderly.

The final step in this part of my saga is at the end of the warp as it came off the drum.
Drum - End of Warp
This illustration is from Page 148 in the chapter: The Warping Drum in my Book #2, Warping Your Loom & Tying On New Warps which is now available again in PDF format. The rope to the drum is attached to the end stick which I put in the end of the warp and the lease sticks are in place—for the tread-by-thread cross. This I did today. Now the remaining part of the warp can be beamed and ready for threading the heddles. I think it will take a couple of weeks for that step—there are around 600 threads and sometimes I can’t even see them—just feel them. Wish me luck.

Young Weavers on the Way

Camp Weavers 6
Camp Weavers 5When people come to my studio, they usually comment on the seven Structo looms sitting on a high shelf. I always thought I was collecting them to teach classes in my studio—to the adults I am comfortable with. Instead I took them to an outdoor day camp a week ago. I was completely smitten by the little boys and girls and they were smitten with weaving. Setting up the looms was done ahead of time in my studio by campers and young counsellors. It was amazing to me how the little ones could follow directions and do what I showed them how to do. They measured out the warps (3 yards), threaded the reed and heddles (You won’t believe it but we warped Front-to Back), beamed the warps, even tied on. Some of the small hands couldn’t push the levers for 1&3, 2&4, so did 1&2 and 3&4 which worked out just fine. One or two began thinking of other combinations.
They took their weaving home in CD cases I had on hand. [click photos to enlarge]
Camp Weavers 9
Camp Weavers 3

To set up the looms Front-to-Back, I had to have a couple of my books open to certain pages placed around the room. Patricia Townsend who teaches that method to high school students wrote the chapter and planned the illustrations. I have to say all my questions were clearly answered and the steps clearly accessible and understandable. I can now see why it is easier to teach. For these little looms and short warps, it was the right way to go. Her chapter is in my book, Weaving for Beginners where there are also a chapters on rigid heddle looms and hand manipulated structures—all written by experts because I only know Back-to-Front thoroughly. The computer chapter was written by Nancy Alegria and Debra Holcomb.There is another camp coming up this week. You can think of me under the trees with these great kids.
Camp Weavers 7
Camp Weavers 2Camp Weavers 8
Camp Weavers 4

This 4-Shaft Tie-up is My Gift to You

Tie-up for 4 Shafts

© Peggy Osterkamp – click to enlarge

This tie-up works for all 4-shaft looms except countermarch looms. I have made two posts about it already and here it is a third time. That is because it is so useful and I think, wonderful.

This way to tie up your treadles is a fantastic gift that Jim Ahrens taught us. You’ll never have to tie up the treadles again on your 4-shaft looms. My looms were built by Jim;  this tie-up is the only choice–because it’s so flexible. I love it and pass it along to you as my gift.

One tie up for four shaft looms is described in my book Weaving for Beginners on page 96, figure 226. I describe a tie-up that never needs to be changed, for four shaft jack and counterbalance looms. You can get all the combinations possible with four shafts with this system. Your feet can dance over the treadles for many weaves, and if they aren’t dancing, they can work very efficiently. See Figure 6. Another advantage of this system is that you can change to any weave structure you want in a project without changing the ties to the treadles.

I received this comment about the tie up I posted. (Search for tying up your treadles.) “Thanks for the tie-up, Peggy! What if you have a 6 treadle loom and want to add a tabby tie-up? Is it best to put it in the middle or on the outside treadles, in your opinion?”

Here’s my opinion:
No, no, no!! The extra treadles just get in the way and offer the chance for mistakes. To do tabby put your foot between the treadles and push 1&3 with one foot and 2&4 with the other. Then you can walk the treadles. Which two treadles to not hook up you can decide on depending on how your feet fit the treadles–and what’s comfortable. Getting comfortable helps avoid mistakes. See also page 2 in my third book, Weaving & Drafting Your Own Cloth.

Threading Without Mistakes – Tip No. 3 – Heddles on Shafts

Heddles on Shafts
How to know which shaft a heddle is on
It’s easier to see what shaft a heddle is on if you look at the
bottoms of the shafts. See the closeup in Figure 176a.


This comes from the same book that will very soon be ready as a PDF digital book, Warping Your Loom & Tying On New Warps. We are now very, very close. There is lots of threading information. This will be the last threading tip for now, however. I can’t wait to be able to tell you that it is finally ready!

Mexico Day 10 – Tlaxiaco, Oaxaca, Mexico

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The Saturday market in town was outside the doorstep of our hotel. Unlike so many I’ve seen this one was not jam packed and many of the people dressed in indigenous clothes. We saw lots of unfamiliar foods. Prickly pear pads were being scraped of thorns. Packages of vegetables were prepared for soups. If you wanted to make mole all you needed to do was to ask the woman at the booth to prepare all the ingredients for you. Limestone needs to be boiled with corn to make tortillas. There were a lot of things I didn’t recognize. It was fun to mingle with the people.

Then we drove to a remote mountain village, Laguna Guadalupe, where Trique people live and where there the local women wear long huiples. We visited a home where many weavers gathered and set up their backstrap looms. It was fascinating to see different techniques. I watched one woman get her loom set up which had always mystified me. When you watch it being done it makes so much more sense. We were out in a yard mingling among 5 or 6 weavers. It was a heavenly experience.
We were fed lunch in a log cabin. We had tamales and some other soup with shredded beef and hot tortillas, of course.

Tomorrow we go out to a remote village, too. Today we drove in the mountains on more twisty roads.

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