Monday, 11 May 2015

My loom can do 4 shaft patterns, too

I keep getting asked when I'm going to get a 4-shaft or more loom, as if my RH looms are inadequate or limited.  Well, they do have some limitations, but not nearly the limits previously reported.   I have been experimenting with 4 shaft patterns using 2 heddles and 1 pick up stick permanently placed.  The front heddle controls the 1 threads, the slots control the 2 & 4 threads, the back heddle controls the 3 threads and the stick controls the 4 threads.  The limitation is that the 2 threads cannot be chosen independent of the 4 threads, but it turns out that with a bit of clever re-ordering of threads quite a lot of patterns work quite well.

I present the following examples of the new range:

On the left is a sample done in dishcloth cotton on 2 5 dpi heddles threaded at 5 epi.  The bottom half is waffle, the very bottom is beaten much to hard, far too many ppi.  Even properly beaten it's too loose at that sett.  The top half is Bumberet (I love that name, silly, but true), not so bad but the sett is still wrong.  It was enough to tell me I was on the right track, though, as the weaving sequence was easy and it worked.  On the right is the same thing on 2 7.5 dpi heddles threaded at 7.5 epi.  The beat is right throughout this one.  Much better, but the waffle floats are still a bit long for a Linus blanket.  The Bumberet will work for a Linus, though.

I didn't have enough width to try the Atwater-Bronson variation I wanted from Handwoven Jan/Feb 2015 on the dishcloth cotton so I tried a huck next.  Had to fiddle with the threading a bit to make it work in my system, but I'm quite pleased:

On the loom
Washed one side
Washed, the other side     

 I had quite a bit of warp left over from Judith's class so I started messing with that.  Without changing the threading I tried some Summer and Winter and a 3 shaft waffle:

This is 2/8 cotton warp and tabby weft with 4/8 pattern weft .  The waffle sample is 2/8 for both warp and weft.  Sett is 20epi for all.  Summer and Winter really doesn't show itself to full advantage on the loom. Here's what the other side looks like after washing:


Last, I rethreaded the Flip with doubled ends to try that Atwater Bronson Variation.  One of my limitations is the range of setts I can get, especially when I am using both heddles to control threadings that repeat on one heddle.  This one goes 1-3-1-3-1-2 for a bit which means that even with two heddles I can only sett it at the stated heddle dpi, in this case 10dpi.

I love it.  The green weft is 4/8 cotton, but I think I like the doubled weft better.  At this sett it would be great for a teatowel, but I am contemplating dress fabric.  Judith gave me a bit of 2/22 cottolin to sample with.  I think I will try it doubled in the 8dpi heddles. 

Stay tuned, more experiments to come.  Though maybe a little spinning first, as I have an article for Ply magazine due July 1st.

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