Friday, November 7, 2008


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

I have removed the front beam.  I have removed the top of the beater.  Ready to thread And I have removed the cloth beam.  I have inserted two books to lift up the shafts so that the heddle eyes are at a convenient height.  I have set up lamps to help my vision.  I have moved my bench closer to the heddles.

The last, and for me the most difficult, thing I did was to count out the heddles I needed on the right side of the center posts.  Difficult because it meant first doing some arithmetic. 


I have a total of 684 ends.  Or, at least, that is the number I should have if I have done everything correctly so far.  That, however, is a judgment that is not yet ready to be made.  I need half those ends on each side of the center posts.  Half, my calculator tells me, is 342 ends.  That means I need 342 heddles on the right side.

I am going to thread straight draw on 8 shafts, beginning with the back shaft, #8.  To find how many heddles I need on each shaft, I divide 342 by 8.  The result is 42.75.  Now I know I am in trouble.  Sigh.  3/4 of 8 is 6.  So I am not in trouble.  So I figure what will happen if I have 43 heddles and shafts 6 through 8 and 42 on shafts 1 and 2.  That gives me 344 heddles, or 2 too many.  So I try 43 heddles on shafts 7 through eight and 42 on shafts 1 through 3.  Well, that gives me 341 heddles or one too few. 

Since the second figure, while not exact, comes closer to the number I need, that is what I will go with.  But I know that the ground under me feels very unsupportive….  On the other hand, I know that if I learn when I get to the center posts that I have made a mistake, it is not the end of the world.  I can release the heddle holders from the center posts (the posts are at both the top and the bottom) and move heddles one way or the other.  But it is awkward, and if I have to release all of them, the skin on my thumb gets very sore. 

READY TO THREADReady to thread close up

In this close up photo, the lease sticks are visible behind the heddles.  They are at a pretty good height for me to be able to thread the heddles while I am sitting on my regular weaving bench. One bout is at the right of the heddles, only to ensure, while I am away from the loom, that those carefully counted heddles will not somehow slip back to the other heddles at the far right.  I do have a cat…..

I enjoy the threading process. Threading is an activity I can easily fit into those bits of time between other activities.  And right now those other weaving activities in particular are going to include dealing with the warp I have removed from the loom.  That is very high priority.  Also, I need to update the paperwork for this current warp.

Related Post:  
The Threading Process
I Ought Not to be a Weaver

"Getting Ready to Thread" was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on November 07, 2008. © 2008 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina


Susan said...

My first loom was a Leclerc Colonial with the hangers through the center of the loom and the support 'clips'. It wasn't bad if you were doing a straight draw but anything more complicated and it got confusing with the heddle counts. With Fiberworks PCW program you can do your draft, determine the sett and then it gives you a count of heddles on each shaft. I *love* it.
...I am 'math' challenged after all!

:) Susan

Dorothy said...

I'm very interested to watch you setting up your loom. I have never had the opportunity to see anyone else's loom so closely before.

Peg in South Carolina said...

Susan, Yes, my program gives me the heddle count also, but I don't always trust it either, especially if the draft is not symmetrical.
Dorothy, thank you for your interest. I am always fascinated by watching how others do things and I am fascinated by other peoples studios as well.

deborahbee said...

I am following your progress as you set up yout loom with interest.. The most valuable aspect for me as a novice weaver is the care and precision that you take.As a result it sets me a standard to follow!!1 I am developing patience, but with difficulty. I am always coming up against my inability to get the maths right...I have been counting out string heddles all day and getting the correct number on the shafts. I make so many mistakes
Thanks for mentioning that you still count on your fingers

Peg in South Carolina said...

DeborahBee, thank you for your comment. I am so glad to learn what you got out of the post. Care and precision are excellent words for a weaver!