I am thrilled to report that I finished setting up and dressing Lilly this weekend and, yes, I even have about 15 inches of successfully woven cloth to show for it!
In the last post I showed the warp chains ready for the loom. Here is my snarled messy warp laying in the lease sticks across the back of the loom (with my homemade raddle being used to space the warp). I made an error with one of the bundles and ended up excluding it completely, the rest desnarled enough to be passable. I did make some errors during this part of the process that I will not repeat next time. I also plan to try using two crosses on the next project and see if that doesn't help me.
The next step involved threading the heddles. This was only an issue until I remembered I could totally remove the breast beam to get in close to the shafts. After that it was time consuming but simple. I threaded the four shafts I have installed for a straight twill (1, 2, 3, 4).
I made two threading errors in this part which I caught as soon as I wove my spacing rows. It was simple to unweave the couple rows, untie those bundles from the apron rod and rethread the 4 heddles that had errors.
After threading the heddles it was time to sley the reed.
Again, I made a couple of errors here. I missed two dents in the reed and in one other I had sleyed two threads. It would have required resleying the entire reed to fix these, so I opted not too. Theoretically, the extra spaces should work themselves out during the wet finishing process when I am done with this piece of weaving.
In addition to experimenting with a floating selvage (something you cant really do on a Rigid Heddle loom), I also used a paperclip temple to help keep the weaving from drawing in too much.
The first few inches were drawing in ALOT (it was a good 3 inches shorter than the width at the reed). Part of this was me not allowing enough yarn out of the shuttle, and I think part was that I was not using a temple.
For this you use paperclips, extra yarn or cord and something to weight the whole contraption.
I need to get some nylon cord that will not stretch as I only had the heavy cotton I used for the header rows. You can see it is starting to sag in this picture.
Despite some issues with the cord I used, I did get my fabric to where it is almost the width of the reed again.
The process is simple though, you run a cord from breast beam to back beam and then suspend weights from another cord which is attached to a paper clip and hooked through the edge of the fabric. Complete directions can be found here: http://www.woolgatherers.com/id105.htm
Why only 15 inches? Well, on Saturday I had the opportunity to go to the Potomac Fiber Arts Guild Auction! Members clean out their stash and donate it to a large sale to raise funds for the guild.
I was more than happy to do my share and buy 50 pounds of wool yarn, a dozen magazines and two books that are on my Weaving Book Want List!
The company was fantastic (I went with two dear friends) and there were so many lovely people there. The potluck brunch was excellent as well!