A small thing that made me glad

On the Tuesday, I was ready to warp up the AVL. Getting near the front, I heard this odd, almost crackling sound. Hmm - or did I? Perhaps I was just imagining. But...

It turned out that it was the sound of a burned-out 'puter monitor. The computer that I use to drive the loom is itself Very Old (might actually be from '96), but I have got at lest one new monitor since then.

Well, no problem, really: I had one in reserve.
Except it did not like the computer: "no signal".

Oh well, there is another monitor upstairs - and I don't have any real use for the 'puter it is attached to, so I can try that. Hmm: "no signal".

Time to come up with a Plan B. (The aforementioned upstairs machine doesn't work very well, so that was out.) But wait: I have this new* snazzy laptop! The only thing needed was a serial-to-USB converter; should be a piece of cake.

No, the nearby electronic-things shop did not have one.
The next-to-nearest one did not have one. And it was nearly evening, too.

BUT: I was going to Kristianstad on the Wednesday - maybe there would be another shop there? Google told me Yes.

So, on the Wednesday morning I went to the shop in Kristianstad: can I have a serial-to-USB converter, please? Sure, they said, but they do not work with Win8. But if you want to try... you can always return it in 30 days.

So I took a chance.

Here it is, AND it works!

That is, I have tried a couple of treadlings (no warp on loom), so at the moment I only assume it works.

Should have started warping today, but instead the furnace decided not to work... hopefully, I can warp tomorrow.

* "new" is relative, I guess: have had it for almost one and a half year now, so I guess it is rather antiquated. Unless compared to the old loom-driving (very stationary) 'puter.


I'm sure some of you have seen this remarkable machine before. I know I have, but I had forgot the name of the creator. So when I happened to stumble on it again - :

The picture comes from class sculptor Andy Paiko's website, where one can also find a video of a woman spinning wool on it. There are also more pics of the spinning wheel - and don't forget to look at his other creations!

Isn't it fantastic!?!
And to think I live in "the kingdom of Crystal"... gives me ideas, it does!


The bad-idea and it's sample

Never mind what the end idea is - I wanted something completely reversible, and it had to have a supplementary weft.
This sounds like overshot (daldräll), so I started with the traditional cat's paw pattern. After adding another "block" and a "turned" tieup, I had this:

Could perhaps be interesting?

Then I made one (of probably several) bad decisions: what if I put it into the fan reed?
Now, the fan reed has 26 dents per fan, so I had to reduce the repeat to 26 profile ends (each representing 2 warp ends). Then I had this:

Still recognizable... perhaps. The treadling can be reduced in various ways, and is perhaps better left until the actual weaving. But wait: I have to have an idea of when/how often to change the reed position... some possible variations:

Now, no doubt you all wonder why I didn't abandon the idea right here? Looking back, I wonder, too. (But is was only some 180 ends, and perhaps it would be interesting, and...)

The end product is (was, for this try, anyway) to be relatively low-contrast, but for the sample I used what was nearest at hand: a narrow white cotton warp and a blue-green already-wound quill, also cotton. (Maybe, but only maybe, it would have looked better with lower contrast...)

(washed and flattened, but not properly pressed/mangled)

I'm sure you all agree that this sample has no future...
(Next try will, perhaps, be a biggish waffle weave. If I can figure out a way to use a discontinuous weft.)

Bonus: with a bigger scale (which of course makes it a dräll rather than an overshot - thus min 24 shafts, preferably 32 or 40), and a natural linen on a white warp, I still think the pattern is "good enough":



I had an idea, but after a short sample it was obvious that it wasn't a good one.

After cutting off:

Three "fans" and a few dents, will probably rethread to another idea...

Loomsday is organized by Meg, and this is the first time I have participated.


Local newspapers

Who said that local newspapers mostly contain local gossip?

Well, at least that is what I have always thought. So today I went to the local archive to read Nya Wexiö-Bladet for 1847 - the year that Mlle Granberg was touring the county giving classes in double-spinning.

I anticipated coming home with lot lots of "gossipy" information, such as Joahnna Månstdotter and Lina Andersson did attend the class in Lenhovda, and after only a week were able to spin 3 "pops" (knäpp) weighing only 2 "lod", or somesuch. Hopefully I would find advertisements and, and...
But. No such luck. In fact, almost no luck at all.

I found a few names, but those all belonged to remarkable spinsters from before the classes.

I found no advertisements at all (for things relevant, such as the classes themselves, spinning wheels, "modern" hackles...). Also I found nothing about the actual classes, not even the slightest mention!

What I did find was a kind of "morality", in the form of a conversation between "Mrs X", "the girl" and "the uncle":
Mrs X didn't want to send her maid to the spinning school, but the girl (niece of Mrs X, in fact) was going, because the uncle had said it was a Good Thing To Do.
Enters said uncle, who proceeds to tell the Ladies why [double-flyer] spinning school was such a good idea: it was "ancient" (had been used in Brabant for over 100 years - imagine that!); it would give work to paupers [my comment: why couldn't they get work spinning on a normal wheel, if spinsters were so sought-after?]; he gave a long lecture about the economics [interesting, but it will take some time until I can untangle all the various measurements used]; last, but not least: the Ladies ought to resume the responsibility of being Role Models.
Nearing the end of the economic lecture, Mrs Y enters. She gets all interested, 'cos that would mean she could turn away beggars without any remorse. Mrs X is nicer, she doesn't like to turn away hungry women without giving them something to eat.
The girl is excited, says she wants to go. [But that was her intention from the beginning]

This was quite a long article, but it ended without any mention at all about how to enrol, who was organizing the event(s), when and where they were to take place.

(Ok, so there might have been mentions I didn't see, but if so, it was in the middle of the "running text" - no advertisements, no "marketing".)

Maybe it wasn't so strange that (at least) one of them had to be cancelled due to low interest? I have found, in another publication, that four or five *were* held, one of them with more than 20 students. There were students turned away because of lack of double spinning wheels. (If you follow that link, don't tell anybody. Taking pics was allowed; showing them is not. Makes sense?!?)
So here comes a "legitimate" picture:


The never-ending story

or: yet some more pulleys

Considering I am a countermarche convert since first I tried one, it is interesting how odd counterbalance set-ups seem to come my way...

Have been to a flea-market again. Found some CB pulleys again. This time a pair of homemade(?) two-level type:

They look almost like the standard type, still sold:

- with the exception of all the extra holes.
They must be there for a reason, but which? To change the position of the pulleys? But if so, why?

DH speculated it was to be able to maximize the shed size.
But would that even be true, as, after all, the size/length of the horses (and their cords) must be so much easier to change than having to fiddle with a peg?
(Also considering the height of the reeds "way back when" - my old reeds measure between 5 and 8 cm, so theoretical shed size cannot have been a big question :-)

I left them at the flea market. Should anybody be interested, they will probably still be there for some time... light-weight and easy to pack. (Price? Don't know, unmarked) - come to think of it, there were also a couple of old-fashioned dräll pulleys, more or less like these
though I can't remember if 3, 4 or 5 levels. Again unmarked, but perhaps I could get a good price for both?
(If they are to be sent by post, they will probably not reach anywhere before x-mas)


AHA - so that's why...!

Once I wanted to weave with paper yarn, and to that end used one of the old wooden reeds.

After a while, I noticed that the dents were not evenly spaced:

Yesterday I came across the doubleweave portion of Zielinski's "Master weaver" where one can get several suggestions as to how to handle the fold when weaving double width.

(Methinks the first idea is the best: "experiment")

Transcription of the marked section (click, and most might be readable):
"Another method is to have special reeds made with dents growing wider towards the fold. Such reeds of rather old vintage can be found in antique shops. The difficulty here is that regardless of the width of the woven fabric the fold must be always at the edge of the reed, which may result in weaving off the center of the loom, unless the reed can be shifted in the batten at will."

I found that an adorable suggestion, which also might have explained my "variable" wooden reed...
Except it doesn't, of course. The open part wasn't even near one end, and wasn't even near to be systematic, whatever that may mean. And no, there weren't dents missing/fallen out, 'cos they usually show...