Tried and True: How to Count to Three – and Other Weaving Tips

We weavers are resourceful. We enjoy finding solutions that make our time at the loom more efficient, while raising the quality of our weaving. We’ve done some of these little tricks so much we don’t think about them anymore. And then, some innovations are things we think up on the spot because necessity, as you know, is the mother of invention.

Keep Count

Necessity: Keep from losing my place with treadling repeats.
Solution: A strip of blue painter’s tape with “3 2 1” and a rubber band, placed on the breast beam. Move the rubber band on the tape (from right to left) to track repeats.

Weaving tips - low tech solutions.
I need help counting to 3 when it comes to treadling repeats. On the Glimåkra Standard loom, I am able to loosen the warp enough to lift the breast beam so I can put a rubber band on it. Without a removable breast beam, one could use a separate small piece of tape instead of a rubber band to keep track.
Keep track of repeats. Blog post with tips and tricks.
Low tech solution for keeping track.

Shuttle Catch

Necessity: Keep from fumbling the catch, having to reposition the shuttle in my hand to send it back across the warp.
Solution: Keep my eye on the shuttle. If I turn my head to watch the movement of the shuttle, my catching and throwing improves immediately. This makes my selvedges improve, too.

Weaving tips and tricks. Easy tip on how to catch the shuttle perfectly.
It is easy to throw and catch the shuttle without actually looking at your hands. I have to consciously remember to turn my head to follow the shuttle with my eyes.

Leave No Trace

Necessity: Keep from leaving slightly perceptible lines in the woven cloth that reveal every time I stop to move the temple and advance the warp.
Solution: When it is almost time to advance the warp, I move the temple and then weave one or more pattern sequence(s) before advancing the warp. This helps me leave no trace of starting and stopping.

Tips and tricks for the weaving loom.
Almost ready to advance the warp, I remove the temple and reposition the pins on my guide tape. Then, I put the temple back on, near the fell line.
Tips about when to advance the warp.
After moving the temple, I weave one or more complete treadling sequences before advancing the warp.
Three simple weaving tips for efficiency and quality!
After advancing the warp, I know exactly where I left off because of my tape-and-rubber-band counter. My eyes are on the shuttle to continue this segment of weaving.

Do you have a simple tip that improves your efficiency and/or quality at the loom? Please share in the comments.

May you notice what you’re doing.

Happy Weaving,

15 thoughts on “Tried and True: How to Count to Three – and Other Weaving Tips

  1. Great idea! I use masking tape with numbers on like yours. I attach these to my temple and just lift them from one side to the other. Seems to work well for me

  2. I have a string attached to my loom with beads with numbers on them and plain colored beads. The beads are put on the string according to the treading order and the plain beads mark the start of a repeat sequence and the end of the sequence, with a colored bead for each sequence repeat. The beads all start on the right side of the loom and are slid to the left with each treadle as the pattern progresses.
    I also used the string of beads when I threaded the complicated pattern on my 8 shaft Baby Wolf.
    Love your work Karen, thanks for the tips!

  3. I have a rising shed 8 shaft loom. When I thread the heddles, I place a larger cone of yarn that is wider at the base then at the top into the loom under the shafts with the smaller end out. It raises each shaft higher than the one in front of it from front to back and makes it a lot easier to see which shaft I’m looking at. 🙂

    1. Hi Cindy, That is very resourceful. It’s surprising how something so simple can make such a big difference! Thanks for sharing.

      Happy weaving,

  4. Thank you for the idea for leaving no trace, Karen. Those lines have always bothered me because they don’t always come out in the wash per se. I will be using your idea in future.

    1. Hi Annie, Oh good, I’m glad that gives you something to work with. I used to think it didn’t make a difference if I move the temple and advance the warp at the same time, but I found it really does make a difference on some things, so I’ve made it a practice for everything I use a temple on. …which is just about everything.

      Happy weaving,

  5. Do you have a recommendation for preventing those lines when you advance your weaving if you aren’t using a temple? I don’t always use a temple depending on what I’m weaving, and some pieces are too narrow for even my smallest temple. Do you find beating on an open/closed shed makes any difference? Thank you so much for your help!

    1. Hi Linda, You can find opinions about beating on an open/closed shed, but I don’t have a strong view about that. I think it depends on what I’m weaving at the time.

      I think the best prevention for lingering lines in the weaving is to advance the warp often. When you are able to keep the fell line and beater in their sweetest spots for beating in the weft you will have fewer noticeable lines in the woven cloth.

      I hope that helps!
      Happy weaving,

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