Saturday, April 25, 2009

Four Boxes

Someone emailed me today asking if the four box fly shuttle was really useful or if it was 'overkill' as her friends were advising her. :)

When I ordered the loom originally (1983) I ordered it with the double box fly shuttle. Over the years, I found the double box useful even though I didn't use it all of the time.

When I ordered the air assist for the loom in the late 1990's, I was weaving for a fashion designer and quite often fiddling around with 3 and sometimes 4 shuttles. It made sense for me to upgrade to the four box fly shuttle to accomodate the designs I was weaving for my client so that I could weave them more efficiently.

After having AVL assure me it would be impossible to fit the four boxes to my loom, I ordered it anyway and Doug found a way to fit it on the underslung beater of my loom.

I then challenged him to come up with a way to change the boxes using the air assist system. Again he was assured by 'experts' that it would be impossible, and again he found a way. :D

Quite frankly I haven't been using the fly shuttle much for the last 3 years as I've been mostly weaving scarves and hand throwing. But that's the thing about tools. They wait very patiently for when they are needed again.

This project is using 7 shuttles. I'm winding the metallic by hand on the pirn because it won't work on the industrial pirn winder, so I have one AVL shuttle and 6 of the industrial shuttles. Four of the shuttles are in the boxes, the others are parked on the stool next to me and I change them out as required.

I expect that the yarns trailing toward the stool are visible in the enlarged picture. I stopped weaving tonight after the 8th headdress because I need to wind more of the metallic. Plus I'd made such good progress that it felt like time to quit and work on the transcription of WeaveCast episode 35. I've been wanting to listen to the interview with Tom Beaudet for a long time, but just haven't had the time to do that until now.

But to answer the question of whether or not the four boxes are useful? It depends. If you need them, you really need them. If you don't - well, they won't complain if you don't use them. :)

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