Saturday, March 28, 2009

Studio Assistance and Going Slow

As you know, I'm all about working as efficiently as possible. To that end I have invested in equipment that helps me work faster.

This is my pirn winder. I love using weft yarns that allow me to wind pirns this way! So long as there are pirns in the carousel it will keep winding, doffing the full pirn and loading the next from the carousel until the weft package is empty. The full pirns slide down a chute below into a box placed there to catch them.

That means that I can be doing other things while the winder is chugging away. This morning I wove one square while the winder was preparing the pirns for the next one. The huge advantage to this winder is that it pretty much winds perfect pirns every time and I don't need to be standing over it while it's doing it! :D

On the other hand, sometimes you just need to go slower.
So it was with the new block design. I had woven one whole square and started on the next when I noticed that the 16th thread from the left hand selvedge had stopped weaving. Don't know why - it wasn't mis-threaded and it wasn't crossed in the reed. It just stopped weaving into the cloth!

I had been toying with adding the temple because the cloth was beating in at about 23 instead of 24 ppi which meant that every once in a while I'd either have to beat a few extra times, or manually advance by hand. So when I saw the miscreant, I started the green square over again (I'd only woven about 12") and added the temple.

The cloth is now beating in at 24, and the wayward thread is also weaving in. So I'm grinning and bearing it, advancing the temple every 20 picks.

In this photo you can see the padded bicycle gloves I wear while weaving with the fly shuttle. You can also see the controls for the fly shuttle boxes sitting on the top of the beater. I have four fly shuttle boxes, and they were getting a bit on the heavy side to change manually so since I already had air to the loom anyway, I challenged Doug to come up with a system to use air to lift and lower the boxes.

Even though many people doubted he could do it, he did, and it works quite well.

The controls to throw the fly shuttle are activated with my left foot, and the control to open the shed is activated with my right foot.

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