Friday, March 6, 2009


Posted by Peg in South Carolina

weaving begun 2WATCH THE SHAFTS

Here is a photo after I have woven the first 20 inches. The placement of the treadles has not been a problem. In fact, it has become a good thing. I am always looking at the shafts to make sure that the correct shafts have risen. One of my first weaving teacher’s mantra was “watch the shafts.” When I watch the shafts, there is far less risk of a treadling error than if I watch the treadles.


I am having to do something, however, that I normally avoid. I am touching the selvedges…… If I had included either a plain weave or basket weave at the selvedges, I would have been OK. Isn’t hindsight wonderful?! But the way the warps group together, it is difficult to weave without touching them. And in the case of the double shots on the pattern treadles, the floating selvedge, on the second shot, pulls the floating selvedge way into the warp that I have to literally grab it and pull it out to where it should be.


I am having great fun weaving this because of the continually shifting colors. But it is still slow weaving (though not the slow weaving of fine silk!). I have found that the easiest way to place the weft shots is to do the following:

  1. Open the shed
  2. Throw the shuttle
  3. With the shed still open, pull the beater part way to the fell.
  4. Change the shed
  5. Pull the beat to the exact point where I want the weft to lie.

weaving begun Following this procedure I am getting 8 shots per inch, which exactly balances the 8 warps per inch. The way I check this visually as I weave is to look at the empty squares formed by the crossing of warp and weft. At the fell, where I have just beat, they are just ever so slightly taller than they are wide, or so I try to keep them. Farther down, as a result of the impact of more beating, they square up. These little squares are visible in the second photo to the left, but blowing up the photo will make it even more prominent.


I started weaving with the boat shuttle, since the yarn on the shuttle, after the unweaving, was attached to the weaving. I was surprised to find two things:

  1. How light the boat shuttle was.
  1. How much easier it was to get the Bluster Bay end feed shuttle through the entire web when throwing it.

image Had I continued to weave with the boat shuttle, I would have learned how much more energy I would have to expend to get the shuttle all the way across. But I could see how the issue of lightness would be important for people with shoulder issues. But using the boat shuttle would mean continually changing bobbins because it holds a great deal less yarn than the Bluster Bay end feed shuttle. And so far, at least, it does not both my shoulders.

This photo shows three of my shuttles. The first one one the left is a Schacht end-feed shuttle. The middle one is my Bluster Bay. And the one on the right is a LeClerc boat shuttle. The Bluster Bay is clearly the largest!


The colors in the two photos seem different. The difference comes from perspective. Looked at from a greater distance, the colors soften and blur. Looked at from the loom bench, they are quite vivid. So the colors in each of the photos are accurate from the perspective each photo was shot.

Weaving Has Begun” was written by Margaret Carpenter for Talking about Weaving and was originally posted on March 6, 2009. ©2009 Margaret Carpenter aka Peg in South Carolina

Related Posts:
Window Screening
Window Screening Continued
Never Touch the Selvedges
Slow Weaving


Dorothy said...

I love the rich colours.

That's very good advice about watching the shafts. I've learnt that one the hard way. It is obvious to look at the shafts, I have always looked instead at what I was doing, but when I wove a piece where there was a treadle tied up wrong I was quite puzzled by what was going wrong, couldn't understand it at all, until I looked up and saw i was lifting 3 shafts instead of two!

Peg in South Carolina said...

Hi Dorothy, Thank you for your comment. I do hope you will be back blogging soon but I also hope you are liking your job.

Lynnette said...

You're right Peg the colours do look much more vivid up close. What exciting colours - the shawl can only be lovely with colours like that!

Bonnie said...


Peg in South Carolina said...

Hi Lynnette, thanks for your comment. I am very much enjoying weaving this, so much so that I am weaving very very slowly so that I can enjoy the experience for awhile.
Thanks, bonnie!