Tuesday, November 10, 2009

2 -> 12: Start of a Series

I like to think in series. Maybe that's because I have so much trouble making a decision. Since I can't choose a favorite, I choose 3 favorites, or 7, or 10.

I just concluded my dishtowel series, dishtowels from a kit, then 3 sets of towels from articles in Handwoven with modifications. The goal of that series was to create usable dishtowels, with the possibility of them being presentable enough to give as gifts.


In addition, I wanted to learn to dress the loom and improve my selvedges.

Now that I've met all of those goals, it's time to move on.

I'm calling my next series 2 -> 12.

Why? Because my Toika loom is currently set up with 2 shafts, but when I add all the moving parts, it will be a 12 shaft loom.

My idea for this series is to make samples or items, using 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, then 12 shafts.

I thought about stepping up sequentially: 2,3,4,5,6,7,... but concluded it might take me the rest of my natural life. By increasing two shafts at a time, I should still have years left to enjoy my loom in all its glory. (I kid, I kid!)

Some people might dive right in with all 12 shafts. I'd be more tempted to do that if the loom had been properly set up with 12 shafts when I got it. The previous owner converted it from linen cords to Texsolv, but she did mostly 4 shaft weaving and never was happy with the shed or the mechanics of the loom.


I figure if I add shafts 2 at a time, I can adjust things and get them to work while the loom is simple. I want to really understand it before I start chopping up the (expensive) Texsolv. And just avoid some frustration if I can. I just realized that's also the engineering side of my brain saying "Change one variable at a time" which is a tried and true debugging strategy.

So that's my plan. You know what they say about plans.....

11 comments:

Leigh said...

I made the mistake of setting up my Glimakra with all 8 shafts as soon as I got it. I say it was a mistake because I had to get used to both the countermarche as well as four more shafts. Only later did it occur to me that I should have started with 4 shafts until I was used to the loom. Ah well. Live and learn. And all that means that I think you are taking a very wise approach by working up to all 12!

fibresofbeing said...

A technical training is a useful thing isn't it.
I like plans with clear goals and reasons for choosing that direction. An excellent place to _start_ ...

Theresa said...

Good plan. I am a great believer in changing one thing at a time It's the only way to know what worked.
So, does that mean we'll be seeing 4 shafts on your beautiful loom really soon?

Life Looms Large said...

Thanks for supporting my decision to work my way up gradually. We'll see if my attention span holds up, and if I don't come up with some reason not to go 2, 4, 8, 12 or something. Of course, if the series drags on for too long, I will do just that!!

Even though I did weave a 2 shaft scarf last spring - which I don't think I really blogged about and which is still awaiting finishing - I've got another plain weave project on the Toika at the moment. You'll be hearing about it all week on my blog (well, if you stick with me). But the solution to the problem I'm having could be to add more shafts, so maybe I will do that sooner than I expected.

Sue

Jennifer said...

I love the plan and think you will be better off for it - You are right - me and my gut would go for the gusto and hit all 12 at once - life's too short I would cry - but I've also learned that there's so much to be learned along the way. What if 12 is overkill for a particular pattern?

Delighted Hands said...

Plans are good as long as you keep the plans open to adjustments! You might catch on sooner and want to upgrade faster-just weave and see what happens! Love the towels btw!

Sara said...

I think the way you are setting up and doing things is the perfect way to learn and to adjust and know your loom.

Love your dish towels...

bspinner said...

Good plan!

I started weaving on a rigid heddle then inkle loom before I wove on a floor loom. I wove on that a long time before I decided to try an eight harness loom and ended up buy one.

Lynnette said...

I admire your plan, it should be both fun and rewarding. I have to admit to being a shaft junkie...it pains me to weave with 8 when I have 12! I always want more, more, more! I can't wait to see the tea towels when you're done...

Life Looms Large said...

I've been wondering if once I get to 12, I'll ever weave with less than 12 shafts on this loom. (My other has 8). So I figure that working my way up will force me to learn a little along the way about the difference that adding shafts makes.

This loom already has 16 treadles, and space to accommodate 4 more shafts. I'd just have to find a woodworker to make 4 more shafts, and I'd have 16. But first, to get 4 to work!!!

Sue

Sharon said...

I'm a victim of second guessing. I ordered Texolv heddles for my Schact but they're still sitting in a box on the stairs. I'm so worried that when I replace the wire heddles, which I hate, with the lightweight, easy to slide and thread Texolv heddles, that the sheds will be so light, they will put up like toast from a toaster.