Friday, 30 October 2009

Back to basics

Yesterday I put a new warp on my loom but as usual wasn't happy with the shed I achieved. I've never totally got to grips with the mechanics of the loom - I've just sort of bumbled along and fiddled with lengths of cord here and there. Usually to no avail.

Also the previous owner had attached little slices of cardboard between the countermarch and the little plastic pins. This she said was to give fine adjustment on the length of the countermarch cords but I'm not convinced they did a lot of good.

So the upshot is that I put the metal rods back into the countermarch and basically took the whole thing apart.

I left the harnesses where they were but straightened and levelled them up properly.
I took out all the pieces of cardboard and adjusted the cords so they didn't need them anyway.
I levelled out the V shape that the countermarch loop cords make as they were all over the place before.
I detached the lams and started again to get them level.
I detached the treddles and retied them so they were near perfectly level.
I simplified the cords between the lams and the treddles so I didn't get met with about a million identical cords hanging down when I tied them up.

I tried to be methodical and get everything level while reading the instructions in broken English (the loom is Swedish) and decided that I'm better to follow my instincts!

I thought it would take ages but actually it was pretty quick and I really wish I'd done it sooner. I don't think I had the confidence before to detach everything and re-level all the cords for fear of making it worse.

Also I realised that a big mistake I was making - it sounds so stupid now - was that I was taking the metal countermarch holding rods (I'm sure they have a proper name) out too soon. I was taking them out before doing the tie up so as a result the treddles and lams were kicking out in all different directions.

This time however I left them in and took them out last and to my surprise everything stayed level and how it's supposed to be - balanced.

I checked the shed and it's much better.

Ah I'm so pleased and strangely it feels like I've finally taken ownership of my loom.

A question to the weavers out there - what is your preference on the treddle cords? On each project do you leave them all in place (i.e. hanging down from the lams) or do you prefer to remove the ones you aren't using? I find I get lost with all the surplus cords in the way but I suppose to have to retie them for each new project takes too long.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Dashing to Dorset

My husband is working on a film in Dorset at the moment so this weekend as he just had Sunday off, I went to visit him. We stayed at an amazing B&B in Burton Bradstock - a little village on the coast. I've stayed in a few B&Bs before but I wasn't quite prepared for this one!

The house was built in 1902 during the Arts & Crafts movement - the interior was so sympathetic and tasteful. Stupidly I didn't take any photos of the house but this is their website - Norburton Hall. It was such a lovely treat!

I did manage to take photos of the coastline - which is Jurassic. Wow, you couldn't look at a rock without seeing ammonites and fossils. They were everywhere.

I love the texture and the layers. Knowing that they were millions of years old certainly gets you thinking too!

Lovely to see Ivan, lovely trip away.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Where can I find Bernard's Watch?

I've been so busy doing other things lately that I have rather neglected my loom. It reminds me every time I walk past it by looking empty and bereft of even a warp.

So what have I got to show for my elapse? Not a lot!! I just seem to be working all the time or walking the dog - maybe it's because the days are getting shorter now and it always takes me a while to adjust to the dark evenings.

So last night I made a new warp - it's meant to be a surprise although I have no idea how to keep it away from the intended recipient - considering he's going to see it as soon as he walks into the room!!

My solution is to find Bernard's Watch. What on earth is she on about now? Bernard's Watch was a kids TV program where a little boy called Bernard had a magic pocket watch. If he clicked a button on it, time would stop. Everyone except Bernard and whoever he was holding hands with at the time would stop literally in their tracks, making it quite amusing because the actors had to stop dead when they were running or whatever and you would normally see the more precariously balanced ones wobbling about.

So Bernard and his little friends were free to go and do whatever they wanted or needed to do - usually some scheme that would involve a frantic rush in the normal world but which could be achieved at a leisurely pace with the watch.

If I had the magic watch I could pause time, finish my weaving in time for Ivan's return tomorrow and of course release everyone to carry on with what they were doing.

Ever since I saw that program I have thought about what an indispensable item that watch was. Hey ho.

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