Post #3161: More practice on the big loom

As much as I’ve written about my big loom, I’ve only warped it three times. The first time was a blanket experiment with free yarn when I still had the belt brake on the loom. The second time was an attempt at back to front warping a tea towel loom which failed miserably and got scrapped. The third time was this past weekend when I put a warp on for a blanket and I’m now weaving off quite nicely.

But I didn’t get here easily. For one thing, my loom has no brake on it at the moment and I’m tensioning the warp with weights hung off the crank handle. This has resulted in many little accidents along the way with weights crashing loudly to the floor, and when this project is done I am resolved to either fashioning a new friction brake, or figuring out the best way to hang weights from the back beam a la Tien Chu’s method.

Also, I made a bunch of mistakes in the process because I haven’t warped this loom very many times and there are some adjustments that have to be made before putting tension on. At the outset I forgot one of these, though I did manage to walk it back and fix it part-way in.

Now that I have made all the adjustments, including retying all the treadles, it’s weaving along very nicely and this blanket will be done in no time.

I have another sample ready for the Julia which will likely not go on this week as I’m about to leave my home and studio for a few days of city time – I plan to get a shawl sample on, and also think of another project to put on the big loom so I can keep getting experience warping it until it is comfortable for me to do.

There is a part of me that would rather get a different large loom, as this one is so idiosyncratic! However, there is a larger part of me that doesn’t want to spend between $2000 and $5000 at the moment – so I’m resigned to getting good with what I’ve got at hand!

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