After back surgery, I wondered how-in-the-world I would be able to tie up my countermarch looms. After a four-week ban on bending over, I was eager to weave, but not eager to do anything that might strain or injure my back.
Two simple maneuvers made it possible for me to tie up the lamms and the treadles on both of my Glimäkra countermarch looms:
Remove the lamms. Treadle cords are added while sitting in a comfortable position.
Detach the treadles. Bring treadles closer to the front of the loom for attaching treadle cords.
And two important practices kept me from over-reaching and overdoing it:
Sit on a low stool instead of the back of the loom or the floor.
Take frequent breaks to stand up, stretch, and walk around.
Low stool for sitting
Rolling cart (IKEA cart) or small table
Plank of wood, longer than the loom is wide (one plank of warping trapeze, 1″ x 5″)
Treadle cords, Texsolv pins, other tie-up supplies
Length of cord to hold treadle up (Texsolv cord that’s used for hanging the reed for sleying)
The 120 cm (47″) Standard loom has open space in the loom, making it easy to get within arm’s reach of most things; but the challenge increases with the number of shafts–eight for this tie up.
Lamms are removed, 2 at a time, and placed on the cart to add the treadle cords, all the while sitting on a comfortable stool.
After all 8 lower lamms have the treadle cords added, the lamms are reinserted in the loom, 2 at a time.
Treadle rod is removed to detach the treadles. Wood plank keeps the treadles from sliding back while treadle cords are attached at the front of the loom.
Cord acts as a sling to hold the treadle up to a comfortable height.
The raised treadle helps with visibility, and enables the use of both hands, especially helpful for the “Vavstuga method” of tying up treadles with knitting needles (I use sharpened dowels). After treadles are tied up, re-attach the treadles at the back of the loom.
The 100 cm (39″) Ideal loom requires more reaching. Tying lamms to the shafts is a challenge for short arms, like mine. With four shafts, and only three treadles for this tie up, the rest of the process isn’t difficult.
Upper lamms are placed on the cart. I hold the weaving draft in my lap as I add the treadle cords to the lamms.
Lower lamms are removed as the pin is pulled out. After the treadle cords are added, the lamms are reinserted.
Detached treadles lay on the floor. They easily pivot up at the front of the loom for attaching treadle cords.
Why are stripes appealing? Stripes on the loom look good. I don’t usually windwarps in advance. I like to wind a warp and put it directly on the loom. But, recently, when I wasn’t able to weave, I was able wind warps. Now, one of those warps is beamed, and soon I’ll be weaving some striped plattväv towels.
This draft is from one of my favorite Swedish weaving books, Kalasfina Vävar, by Ann-Kristin Hallgren. I changed the colors and modified the stripes, while attempting to keep the attractive appeal of the original stripe design. We will see the full effect when weaving begins. The warp is the first part of the picture. The weftalways brings a transformation. The golden bleached linen, in this case, won’t change the warp, but it will create a fresh palette.
Faith and truth are partners. Truth becomes clear through faith. Warp and weft. Truth and faith. A fabric of convictions is woven to hand to the next generation. The good news of Jesus Christ is a message of faith and truth. The truth doesn’t change; but it comes alive when woven with faith.
I’m happy when I find my weaving rhythm, and I’m almost there with this scarf. This alpaca yarn is a weaver’s dream. No warpends are breaking, and the weft compliantly scoots into place. That means I can put most of my attention on other details.
This wavy 8-shafttwill has straight twill threading, which means the pattern is in the treadling. It’s not difficult treadling…once you get the hang of it. But, as usual, it takes practice. It is tricky to find and correct errors because of the subtle curve in the pattern. The more practice I get, the smoother the weaving goes, and the fewer errors I make. There is no shortcut to the kind of confidence that comes from attentive practice.
Did you know you are gifted? There are skills and insights that come easier for you than for other people. The gifts that God put in you, that are in your DNA, set you apart. Practice them to gain confidence. Put your attention on using your gifts. You may be surprised how much your gifts bless others. Finding your rhythm is worth the effort it takes. (And, on the subject of DNA, here’s an interesting perspective from Sarah H. Jackson, Textile Artist.)
After a few weeks of having to refrain from weaving, I am thankful that there was warp to weave one more rug. The quality of warp thread matters because it is the core of the rug. Never underestimate the value of good, strong warp thread for weaving rag rugs.
I like to use 12/6 cotton from Bockens. This rug warp is a six-strand thread with high twist. The smooth, nearly-unbreakable thread enables me to ratchet up the tension on the warp. That high tension helps produce sturdy, tightly packed rugs with tidy selvedges. Knowing you are making a rug that will last is a very satisfying and enjoyable weaving experience.
With finishing nearly complete, this rag rug will be enjoyed on the floor of someone’s home. Most people aren’t aware of the structural elements of a rag rug, but they do notice quality in the finished work. People, too, have an inner core–the heart. The heart matters. The strength of our inward framework determines our outward attitudes and actions. Since true quality is found in a life that serves others, most everything comes down to a matter of the heart.
This is a stash-busting rug, using leftover cut strips from previous rugs. Like my other rag rugs, I start with a plan. Then, I get out my fabric and make my color selections. It’s plainrosepath, without tabbypicks in between, perfect for a stash buster. Snip, snip, snip. Fabric snippets are taped to my idea sheet. These are my blueprints–weaving draft, treadling order, and idea sheet with fabric snippets. I am weaving!
I can, and do, make adjustments at the loom. But I keep one question in mind. Will my choices along the way fit with the overall design of the rug? My idea sheet serves as a guiding compass. It’s a reminder of the big picture that forms a cohesive design.
Guiding principles shape our lives and enable us to make wise decisions. A compass sets the course. Use a true compass. Live in a way that pleases God. This is a valid compass for all choices and decisions. The Grand Weaver has the comprehensive design. Amazingly, He weaves our leftover fabric strips into his design, and uses them to make something useful and beautiful.