Archive for November 9th, 2009

Killamarsh in huck lace

20091109_killamarsh2I first played with this idea at the beginning of the year (blogged here) – bellringing methods interpreted in huck lace. One of my ringing friends asked me to make scarf as a Christmas gift for his mother, using “Killamarsh Surprise Major” as the pattern.

Johnathon chose two reds from my stash of cottolin, one verging on orange, the other a bit bluer.

20091109_killamarsh1The variation in texture – plain weave, spots and full lace – plus the slightly different colours in warp and weft create a gentle interest through the cloth.

20091109_killamarsh3I’m not sure if you’ll be able to see the movement of the plain weave (representing the treble or highest bell) and lace (the path of a “working” bell).

In the original piece I had trouble with shafts sticking. I had trouble again with the deflected double weave (blogged here), but that was likely largely due to my woeful warping job.  Before starting this project I opened up the loom’s control box and tested all the solenoids – no problems there. I warped carefully and think I got a reasonably even tension. I started weaving the header – and got sticking.

One possibility is that the loom needs adjusting. There’s some uneven tension in the cables that go past the control box and up to lift the shafts. However it’s not clear the best way to adjust that – and I felt a more likely suspect (and certainly a contributing factor) was user error (ie me).

In my very first work on this loom I had similar challenges and improvements in my treadling technique made a huge difference – lifting my feet and treading crisply. I needed to practice and improve my technique and rhythm  – but I didn’t want to ignore mistakes or to continually interrupt myself by unweaving. My solution was not elegant, but it was effective. I added a blank lift between every actual lift of the shafts. So for each pick I pressed the treadle twice – once for the real lift, once a “blank” which shook out any sticky shafts. Every once in a while a shaft would lift or half lift on a “blank” and the movement would unstick things. So the next real lift would be clean.

It worked! I didn’t have to do any unweaving, I don’t think I had any bad real lifts, and I could focus on working smoothly. It’s not a permanent solution and it would be hopelessly inefficient for a production weaver – but it gives me my chance to learn. It was a pleasure to weave instead of a struggle.

20091109_next_huckI’m keen for more, so I decided to try another new thing – tying on a new warp to the old threading. Currently it looks rather scarey and a huge tangle just waiting to happen – time will tell.

 


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