‘OLAD strikes again’

That’s the name of a forum thread on Ravelry. OLAD stands for Obsessive Loom Acquisition Disorder, it’s a terrible affliction that can affect weavers and I think I’m in the early acute stage. As I’ve already mentioned, my Ashford table loom has barely had chance to settle and I’m already saving for a floor loom. It’s going to be a long process where I’m having to abstain from trawling the internet looking at floor looms as the temptation to ‘accidentally’ hit the ‘buy now’ button is getting overwhelming…

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That is my first love, my little Ashford. We are slowly getting to know it each other and like any relationship we have our ups and downs. We’ve had our first falling out when I was weaving some kitchen towels and she decided to unravel the whole warp from the back beam unexpectedly – for non-weavers all you need to know is that this is a complete disaster and meant that I nearly lost rather a lot of quite pricey cotton thread.
I’m learning her little quirks, like the fact that I can’t keep the warp under too much tension otherwise she refuses to let me wind it on, and her limitations, like when I tried overshot for the first time and didn’t think to take into account the number of her heddles so was unable to thread the final twenty or so warp ends as I ran out of space.
However, I am convinced that a floor loom is the way forward. I need more shafts (8 minimum) and a wider weaving width, as well as the ability to tie up treadles to make it easier to follow a weaving draft.
At this point I feel I need to mention that I never know how much I need to explain about weaving terms. My dilemma is that I am torn between not wanting to patronise you but also not wanting this blog to become completely unintelligible. Before I started weaving I knew nothing of shafts, treadles, warp or weft. I didn’t know what a draft was let alone how to read one, or the difference between a table, floor or rigid heddle loom (not to mention the various kinds of floor loom such a jack, countermarch or dobby – he’s a character from Harry Potter right?).
So on that note, and skip this paragraph if you weave, shafts are the part of the loom the threads (or warp) go through and can be raised up or down to make the pattern (from a draft), so the more shafts you have the more complex a pattern you can weave. The most basic looms have two, but you have up to 36 on a computerised dobby loom. Each shaft has heddles on it that hold the threads (this is a really poor explanation). On a floor loom the shafts can be tied to treadles so you move them using your feet. On my table loom I have four levers across the top that do this. The warp is the threads that run up and down, the weft refers to the threads that go across. Ok, here endeth today’s lesson.
As the floor loom is on the far horizon, I decided I needed something to keep OLAD at bay and bought a rigid heddle. This is a basic loom, with two shafts, that can be used for plain weave, ideal for scarves or small projects. I can use it to weave while watching TV, hopefully, as my table loom is resident in my craft room the spare bedroom. I don’t know when it’ll get here but I’m beginning to obsess about the postie arriving each day…

10 thoughts on “‘OLAD strikes again’

  1. Anne Davis

    Clear as mud????? Anyway, I am happy just seeing your finished projects and even happier wearing them. Just getting my head around knitting stitches and the like. The treddle loom thingy sounds like it might be easier for your weary muscles though. Has Mr G cleared his shed out in preparation of eventual arrival? Oops. xxxxx

    Reply

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