Wednesday, January 24, 2007

I hemstitched the beginning of the huck lace last night, and wove another three repeats of the pattern. I plan for each stole to have 18.5 repeats, so there's still a ways to go.

You can just barely see the beginning edge of the fabric, almost ready to roll onto the cloth beam. I think it should go faster from now on, though, because I switched shuttles. I started out using the 11.25" Leclerc shuttle I bought in 2004 to use with my rigid heddle loom, and it just wasn't working well. Every time I put the shuttle through the shed, it would dive down and catch threads from the bottom. Every single time. In order to get the shuttle through, I had to gently nudge it along from the top, reaching between the upper warp threads. So. Incredibly. Frustrating. I didn't know if it was the way I was throwing the shuttle, or the shuttle shape itself (though I used this same shuttle for lots of other projects with no problems), or the fine yarn, or the threading of the loom, or what. I struggled through two repeats this way, then decided there had to be a better way.

When that bobbin ran out, I switched to a 15" Leclerc that came with the loom, and WOW! What a difference! I can toss the shuttle, it makes it all the way across the fabric, and doesn't dive at all. I think the difference is that the larger shuttle weighs more and holds the threads down rather than bouncing along them. The larger shuttle also takes 6" bobbins instead of 4", so it holds a lot more yarn (yay!) and I discovered that if I load the bobbin into the shuttle so that the yarn comes off from underneath, it unwinds much more easily than if the yarn comes off over the top.


Leigh said...

Yay! I can comment! Blogger wouldn't me do that last night. :(

I'm very interested in your huck progress, especially as I had the exact same problems as you and solved them the same way you did. I found that in addition to my larger shuttle, I did better if I kept the warp tension cranked really tight. Must have something to do with the structure itself. Lifting 3 shafts and leaving one for the shuttle seems an easy recipe for diving shuttle syndrome.

Valerie said...

My advice, save your pennies and invest in a Schacht end feed shuttle. That is the best thing that happened to my selveges and my weaving rhythm in 26 years of weaving. In fact when I had a two shuttle project going last year, I bought myself a second one.
Your shawls are going to be lovely. It's so much fun to take lace off the loom and see it transform with finishing.

Charleen said...

I like my 15" Schacht bobbin too. It's nice not having to change my bobbin so many times. When I took an intro to weaving class at the guild she told us to have the bobbin unwinding from the bottom.