Friday, February 9, 2024



ready to thread

Yesterday I beamed the next warp and today I will begin threading.  The Megado has a removable breast beam, so I take the reed out of the beater and the beater top off, then remove the breast beam.  I have a lower stool (than what I sit on to weave) and I have spot lighting.  

The lamp on the right gets directed into the heddles on the shafts and another lamp on the left shines light from over my left shoulder.  I want the light where I need it, which is in the 'threading zone' ie, where the light can shine on the heddles I am threading.

Given my current series of tea towels, which has a fairly complex threading, I print out the entire threading draft and mark each group as I complete it.  Since each group may vary, I find it easier to just track my threading myself, not rely on iWeaveit, which gets set to a specific number of ends.  But my drafts rarely fit nicely into a constant number of threads, so it makes more sense to me to break the threading sequence down into groups that make visual sense.   That may vary from 4, to 5, to 6, to 7 or even 8 ends.  I rarely do more than 8 at a time.

I also have a lamp at the back of the loom that lights up the back few shafts and the stick that holds the bouts of the sectional beaming.  This is especially helpful on grey dreary days when it can be harder to see the back few shafts.

Some people 'treadle' their threading but I have never tried that.  Those who do it, love it, so you might want to explore that if it seems like a good idea.  

Instead I have numbered the top of each shaft on the bottom, several times across the width of the loom.  As I move the heddles from left to right, I still have the numbers as a visual guide to work from.  I don't dye my heddles, but prefer to keep the data in the same format - numbers on the draft, numbers on the shafts.  I don't have to remember that shaft one is red, shaft two green, etc.  And, with 16 shafts, I would run out of colours so I'd be repeating them.  And for me, that way lies chaos.  But again, if it works for you, by all means, you should use processes that are effective for you, not me. 

Because we are all different.  What works for me, may not work for anyone else.

As I thread each group, I pull the threads upwards as I tie a slip knot into the group.  Doing this will sometimes catch oopsies - a thread that didn't make it into the heddle eye will stand out and can be quickly fixed.  Sometimes I can tell I did a progression in the wrong direction.  Again, I can quickly fix that.

Each threading repeat gets tied into a larger grouping.  Again, one way for me to track my progress through the threading sequence.

The typist's clipboard works well to hold the draft and the little ledge holds my pencil so I can easily find it to mark the group just done as being complete.  As I do that, I check for the next group, then pull the needed heddles out of the forest, position them in their intended order, select the number of ends in that group, then thread them.

Rinse, repeat.

The current towels have 760 ends.  I go slowly, not rushing, and take a break every 45 minutes or so to give my back and hips a rest.  I used to be able to thread that many ends in a single day.  Now I try and spread it out over two days.

I don't mind the 'old'.  I mind the 'decrepit' deeply.

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