Tuesday, October 8, 2019

Seven Warps

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I share with students that when I learn a new technique/process, I give myself seven warps to learn it so that it becomes my new default. 

Becoming friends with the Megado is going to also take several warps, maybe that entire seven, before I tweak my processes so that we can work together well.

There are many things to love about the Megado.  For one thing it's a lot quieter than the AVL.  It's much lighter in terms of the physical effort required to treadle and move the beater.  Partly that's because I skipped the fly shuttle.  I rarely weave more than 36" wide in the reed and I can throw that distance without too much effort.  It is physically smaller taking up less space in my studio - a really important consideration as I try to move All The Things out of the annex and back here.

Now that I've got my laptop set up and can use Fiberworks to drive it, I'm much happier.  Still have to get a proper height table to put the laptop on, but Doug has been busy with other jobs of higher priority, so I'm making do for now.

All of my reeds fit into the generous beater so I can use all of my reeds, including the 9 dent which is taller than most.  I got it from Allen Fannin who routinely bought up mill equipment and just happened to have one when I asked.  (this warp is 2/16 bamboo/rayon at 36 epi with four per dent in the 9 dent reed)

Doug will add mounts to the loom so I can add my supplemental lighting.  With baby cataracts I need to have lots of light shining into the heddles so I can see them to thread.  This warp was a bit of a challenge because it is really dark hues - navy, black, green. 

I like the AVL tension box for a number of reasons but I'm still working out how best to use it.  The second warp went on much better but not quite 'perfect'.  The beam is very small so I'm having to get used to cranking multiple times to beam a - for me - relatively short warp.  Still have some tweaks to try on the next.

There is no auto cloth advance on the loom so I'm having to get used to using the brake release and advancing by hand.  Not a big deal, just needing to get used to it.  The loom also has a quite generous sweet spot so I can weave easily 2" or more before I weave out of the sweet spot.

Since Doug got the dobby solenoid sorted out the loom is working well in terms of reliably opening a correct shed.  Something the AVL was no longer doing and the final straw in my deciding to get rid of it.  Plus the noise.  Plus the physical effort to use it.  Something my aging body was no longer wishing to do.

The weft on this scarf is a slightly slubby rayon.  Because both the warp and weft are slippery, I'm not beating as such, but carefully pressing the weft into place.  That means I'm weaving more slowly than my 'usual' rhythm, but necessary for this cloth.  Sometimes you just need to adjust your rhythm and go more slowly to get the results you are aiming for.

This test warp was wound at just under 7 yards - enough for some sampling at the beginning and two scarves.  Enough even if I felt I needed to cut off after one scarf and re-tie.  But the tension seems to be ok so I'm going to carry on and weave the second scarf.

After this warp I will decide if I try the Louet tension box for two more scarves, or use the AVL again but tweak my process and try to beam a warp long enough for three scarves.  Things are different enough that I feel scaling up slowly is the best approach right now.

It's kind of like getting a new car with completely different features.  It takes a while to figure out where the window wiper lever is, the back window defroster, the sound system, get used to where the mirrors are, etc.  I had just hoped to be further along in the process, but being away so much, then coming home sick really put the kibosh on getting going.  And of course not feeling well, I was having trouble thinking and processing what needed to happen.

And now I suspect I have another sinus infection.  Much as I loathe taking anti-biotics, I think I am going to have to go have a chat with my doctor.  Plus I need to talk to him about the surgery on my foot, get forms filled out, get labs done.

Getting old is not for sissies...

1 comment:

Judy said...

I'll be watching with interest as you get used to using the Megado. It's a sweet loom (in my opinion, but I'm a rookie weaver). I have the 130 cm/32-shaft and I find it easy to use. I'm currently using PixeLoom to drive the dobby since that's the first software I bought, but I also have FiberWorks Silver (with the dobby driver). I just have to learn to use FiberWorks. :) I hope you learn to love your Megado!