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Summer Thoughts

My experiments with woven text continue. I wound a warp of 6/2 unmercerized cotton and tied on to the previous warp of 8/2 unmercerized. The 6/2 is noticeably coarser feeling and produced thicker and heavier towels. The weaving proceeded slowly but uneventfully (or so I thought!). I used the fonts that I created from embroidery stitch patterns and they are definitely more readable that the Photoshop fonts.

Below you see the weaving draft for “iowaweaver”, both front and back views.

Below is a quick snap of the “iowaweaver” towel. I was still working out how to space the words in the towel and it ended up longer than I would normally have woven. The letters have issues, but I can live with them. The real problem emerged when I realized that I had three different instances of pulling the wrong lever for a particular pick. This resulted in floats across the back. Longer than I want, but still livable for my personal stash of towels.

Here’s the clue: Below, I drew around one of the places where the mistake occurs. If I had been paying better attention, I would have noticed that the broken twill had turned into a straight twill. Whoops. Also, the bottom of the E was not quite right.

Looking at the draft at the top of this post, we can see that there is nothing wrong with the draft. It wasn’t that. It was me. I wove this little piece at the end of the warp, and I did manage not to make any errors. So it can be done.

I use iWeaveIt on an iPad set up next to my Ashford table loom. I use it when threading with the Threading Tracker and I use it when weaving with the Treadle Tracker. I have found this program to be quite handy, but when I misread the line of levers I am supposed to be pulling, it can be a problem. I briefly (briefly!) thought about the Tempo Treadle. The Tempo Treadle connects to the levers or treadles on a loom with magnets and sends signals to a little box mounted on top of the loom. When you pull the wrong lever, it apparently beeps at you to tell you have made a goof. Then I looked at the price of it for a 16 harness Ashford and …. well.

I’d like to hear from anyone who uses the Tempo Treadle with a table loom and if they love it. It might make me change my mind, but we’ll see.

Meanwhile, I am still thinking of different ways I can use text in weaving, and wondering if this technique is really that useful, or merely a parlor trick that won’t stand the test of time. I think I am going to try placemats out of 5/2 cotton next, sett at 20 epi. here is the design I am thinking of:

The draft on the left is 3/1 broken twill and is the structure that I have used so far for my first towel projects. The draft on the right is 3/1 straight twill. It’s my hope that if I go with the straight twill I won’t have any trouble noticing a mistake in treadling.

Buckle up!

7 thoughts on “Summer Thoughts

  1. I have the TempoTreadle…on my Baby Wolf and had it on my Louet Jane table loom and love it. It really does guide you in your treadling. I tried iWeaveit and hated it. So many mistakes if my finger accidentally double tapped and I didn’t catch it. The TempoTreadle will not advance to the next pick if you don’t have the correct shafts raised… beeps at you. I sold that Jane loom (70cm) and just got the 50cm one and will be installing the TT on it as soon as I finish assembling the loom. I also used the TT computer part on my Baby Wolf without the system array installed (had the TT for the Louet before I got the BW and was waiting for the system array cable to be delivered). It worked very well for that also… just had to manually tell it to go to the next treadle, so if I ever used a studio loom somewhere I can just take the computer box and use it to weave anywhere. Now I can’t imagine using a table loom without the TT 🙂



  2. Your posts are building up my courage to try this. I have 16 shafts and have wanted to give letters a go for a while.


  3. I have a TempoTreadle on my 16 shaft Ashford table loom like you are using. I purchased the loom used from a guild member who had just put a TT on the loom 8 months prior to me purchasing it.

    I will have to say I didn’t think I would like it but, man was I wrong. I have woven for over 38 years and was not one for the idea of a computerized loom or attached device.

    There is a learning curve to the TT but once you get familiar with how it works it’s wonderful. I have been able to just look at the screen and flip the levers as needed without looking at the levers. TempoTreadle shows the treadling numbers in blue, when the correct lever is flipped that number turns green, if a wrong lever is flipped it turns red. You hear a beep when all the right ones are flipped and it advances on to the next sequence.

    I did some checking with Lofty Fiber to see what it would take to get support for the device before I purchased the loom and they said no problem the would stand behind the product.
    The makers of the TempoTreadle at Lofty Fiber are wonderful sadly I did end up having an issue with my array bar not seeing one of the flippers. They had me ship it back to them and they fixed the problem NO CHARGE to me. I can’t say enough wonderful things about them and their support of their product.

    This thing is a game changer for weaving complex weaves on a 16 shaft table loom. It makes the weaving go much faster and mistake free

    The first thing I thought when I saw your text on the towels was she must of invested in a TempoTreadle to keep track. I know I would not of been able to keep track of the text with out the TT
    Pricey but worth it


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