Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Managing Multiple Shuttles

Dorothy recently asked how I managed the four shuttles I am weaving with:

"A problem I need to solve, that I realise you must a means of managing, is what to do with the shuttles I put down when using more than one. Where do you rest yours? I find them in the way if I balance them on the cloth, and if I put them on the breast beam all to often they get knocked on the floor."

Weaving a wide warp, such as this current yardage, does not cause a management problem for me. I sit on a wide weaving bench and there is plenty of room to set them at my side. If I did not have a bench, I would put a small TV table on each side of me to hold them.

I also keep them in order. The one I pick up is the one closest to my body. When I put it down on the other side, if it is not the first of the four shuttles, I put it behind (farther away from my body) the previous shuttle. This retains the order. Still, every time I start weaving a new block, I re-check the colors to make sure they are still in correct order.

Weaving a narrow warp (10"-12", for example) does create problems for me. Setting them at my side doesn't work well at all. Setting them there draws too much thread out of the shuttle in relation to the width of the warp. Consequently threads get a bit tangled up and make weaving more awkward. If I am working with only two shuttles I can generally keep them on the loom, on the woven fabric. I'm not sure this is good for the warp, however. Also, I like to weave fairly close to the front beam, so there is not really that much woven fabric to store the shuttles on.

I've tried using the breast beam, and yes, they get knocked to the floor. I finally got a couple of pieces of wood from the hardware store, covered them with carpet padding to keep them from being slick, and attached them to the front beam, one on each side, with C-clamps. Right now, the system is not as good as it could be because the size of the pieces of wood are not really quite right---I just bought scraps that I guessed would work. But it works well enough that it would be worth my while to work out the optimal size and have them cut for me at the hardware store. I haven't done that yet, however.

One caveat about the wood boards: I can't attach them until after the front rods have gone over the front beam and disappeared underneath. But that doesn't take long to happen.


Janet said...

Peg - I thought I was keeping up with you by reading your messages to the Online Guild. Now looking at your blog I see that I am way behind. You have been very busy and I have a lot of reading to do to catch up.

Dorothy said...

Thanks Peg!

I'm thinking about constructing a pair of small tables, removeable, to fit over the side bars of my loom. They'd fulfil the function of the small TV table but fit in my rather limited space better. Not sure when I'll find the time for this project though, too many tasks seem to take me away from actually weaving!

Leigh said...

Oh, I love my wide weaving bench! I couldn't do as you say with my Schacht bench, too narrow. I do think that the next thing on my equipment list should be end feed shuttles. The boat shuttles seem to contribute to selvedge problems. This post and the tip about the mirror are very helpful.