Process Review: Dressing the Drawloom the Second Time

Dressing the drawloom the second time is easier than the first time. No slip ups or confusion. Just smoothly moving from one step to the next. (Read to the end to see what to expect for July.)

Winding skeins of wool yarn into balls.
Winding skeins of wool yarn into balls.

With my first drawloom warp the most challenging part was distributing the pattern shafts. (See Q and A with Joanne Hall and Drawloom Dressing.) This time something clicked and the light bulb turned on. Instead of blindly following steps, I now understand what I am doing, and why. And I am having fun in the process!

Winding warp on the warping reel.
Winding the warp on the warping reel, making two bouts.
Big fat wool warp chains.
Warp chains of 6/2 Tuna wool, ready to dress the loom.
Ready to thread pattern heddles.
After beaming the warp, the loom bench is moved to the back of the loom for threading heddles. Pattern heddles first, and then, ground heddles.
Sleying the reed on the drawloom.
With the reed sleyed, it’s time to return the ground shafts to the front of the loom and put the reed in the beater.
Leveling string is doing its job!
Warp is tied on, and the leveling string is doing its job.
Distributing pattern shafts on the drawloom.
Inkle band serves to separate pattern heddles as I distribute the pattern shafts.
Adding pattern shafts to the drawloom.
Pattern shafts are resting nicely on the pattern shaft holders. Their little hooks grab the Texsolv that connects them to the draw cords and handles.
Dressing the drawloom!
Pointed threading can be seen in the arrangement of the heddles on the pattern shafts.
Dressing the drawloom!
Drawloom setup is complete except for tying up the treadles. Treadle tie-ups on a drawloom are refreshingly simple.
Testing pattern sheds on the drawloom.
Testing pattern sheds by pulling some of the draw handles. After a few small adjustments, she’s ready to weave!
Wool on the drawloom.
First sample. 6/2 Tuna wool warp and weft, 4-shaft broken twill on the ground shafts, sett is 5.5 ends per cm, 16 pattern shafts with 1 extra shaft for the edges.

Friends, It’s that time again, when Warped for Good is put on pause for the month of July.

Thank you for sharing in this journey with me!

What’s on my looms: I am near the end of the blue double weave blanket on the Standard, and I am planning a new pictorial tapestry for that loom. The drawloom is dressed and in motion. And the Ideal loom is still sitting ready for rosepath rag rugs. Also, Steve and I have a Casita trip planned that will include some leisurely backstrap band weaving.

What’s on your loom right now? Share with us in the comments.

See you the first Tuesday of August! (In the meantime catch me over on Instagram @celloweaver.)

May your second times be better than your first times.

Keep on Weaving,
Karen

13 Comments

  • Beth Mullins says:

    Love the drawloom project! I’m getting ready to dress my loom for retro-inspired kitchen towels. Enjoy July!

  • Nannette says:

    Enjoy your July.

    I will be picking currants and black raspberries out of my backyard to sell at the farmer’s market.

    The weaving on the drawloom looks so warm. Ready for the autumn.

    Blessings

    • Karen says:

      Hi Nannette, I have fond childhood memories of picking black raspberries in our backyard, and eating them! Yum!

      If all goes as planned, I will finish the drawloom weaving in time to make a simple vest that I can wear this autumn. …we’ll see.

      All the best,
      Karen

  • Charlotte says:

    Good morning, my sweet! Weaving has been suddenly interrupted. Father’s Day – 15 minutes before the close of service – my heart began racing. No pain. It being Father’s Day, I thought I needed food. While at the restaurant, pulse 158. Wayne wanted to head to the ER…light ache in jaw. They stopped my heart and thankfully, it started on its own. 3 drugs later, I was finally in my sinus rhythm. Orders to lay low. Sleep studies. Waiting. Terrible drug reaction. Waiting. Today…sleep study in near future. Home sleep study last Thursday. Waiting. Love you and thankful I remain on this side of heaven. HE has given me a new ministry with Semper Fi Fund. We should talk! I love you!!!!!

    • Karen says:

      Oh Charlotte, You’ve been through a lot! Hopefully, weaving will be back in rhythm for you. I’m thankful you’ve been given a way to bless others in the Semper Fi project.

      I don’t want you to rush off to heaven when you still have a mission here!

      Love,
      Karen

  • Geri Rickard says:

    Hi Karen! My loom projects are a runner on the drawloom in 35/2 linen for warp snd 16/1 for weft. It’s on a 21 shaft setup. On the other standard loom I’m just starting an easy batch of M&O towels in 16/2 cotton. I’m enjoying seeing your drawloom progress! Enjoy your July!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Geri, Thanks for sharing! It’s great to hear what you have on your looms. I’m looking forward to putting linen on my drawloom–it may be the next warp! And more and more shafts each time. And M&O’s is one of my favorites, so pretty.

      Happy weaving,
      Karen

  • Geri Rickard says:

    P.S. Just wanted to say my drawloom is set up on the Glimakra I bought from your former weaving teacher. The one you learned on! I forgot her name but at the time I bought it she was in the Denver area and downsizing.

    • Karen says:

      Geri, how cool! You are weaving on the loom I learned on from Leigh? That’s a beautiful loom and such sweet memories for me. Oh, that was a special time with Leigh.

      Thanks for letting me know!
      Karen

  • Maggie Ackerman says:

    Hi Karen, we moved last month and after painting every room in our downsized house, I’m still at blacking boxes and trying to do something with the smaller yard. My loom room is a nice room in the basement and unpacking will be a winter thing. However, still on my baby wolf loom is a scarf from NZ possum merino that I kept on my much pared down look room to sell the previous house. Must’ve worked cuz it sold in 5 days! Somehow I’m looking forward to winter!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Maggie, I know how big a job moving is. You’ve got some restful times to look forward to after you get fully settled in. You will have so much fun setting up your new weaving space! No doubt that loom with lovely weaving was what sold the house! Congrats on your quick sell.

      Happy Weaving,
      Karen

  • Karen Reff says:

    What a great idea, to use woven bands for loom tools! I’m not a fan of weaving just to weave. There has to be a plan! Now, spinning…that’s different.
    Your drawloom weaving is going to be lovely. Enjoy!

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Skinny Inkle Band

This is the narrowest inkle band I have ever made! With thirteen ends of fine 16/2 cotton, I get a very skinny ribbon. I brought my inkle loom with me to the Texas Woodcarvers Guild Spring Round-Up. This gives me something to do at the “Conversation Table” while Steve attends wood carving classes. Some ladies have their crochet, some have their knitting, and I have my inkle.

Skinny inkle band.

Inkle shuttle holds fine 16/2 cotton weft.

Farm scene relief carving.

Steve making progress with his farm scene relief carving.

The inkle loom is a conversation piece, to be sure. Inquiring people stop to look and ask questions. Many think it looks complicated. “It’s a lot simpler than carving a piece of wood,” I say with a smile.

Skinny inkle band, woven with 16/2 cotton.

Warp is close to the maximum length possible for this inkle loom. Off the loom, the band measures about 2 1/2 yards (2.25 meters).

Dime shows scale of narrow inkle band.

Finished skinny inkle band, with a dime for scale.

Seek the Lord; seek His strength. Walk in the Lord’s strength. When this is your habit, your continual mindset, life’s struggles seem less complicated. Down shedshuttle – up shed – shuttle. Repeat. Keep going to the end. 

May you have the strength you need. 

Truly Yours,
Karen

6 Comments

  • Laurie Mrvos says:

    Steve’s carving is very impressive! And I love that tiny inkle band. What kind of inkle loom do you have? Thanks for the reminder that I can take my inkle loom with me when I am at family gatherings and the like, though a smaller loom might be in order.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Laurie, the narrow band caught the eye of someone who carves dolls and makes clothes for them. She bought the band from me!
      This inkle loom was handmade by someone. I’ve had it for a long time. I think it is similar to Schacht inkle looms. I have used this loom to weave many inkle bands while riding in the car on long trips.

      Karen

  • Joanna says:

    That’s a really sweet little band!

    My barely 4-yr old granddaughter really wants to weave. She’s figured out the two treadles on the band loom and can often be found inside the big Glimåkra. I’d like to set up a little loom for her, what do you think, rigid heddle or inkle?

    Your meditation today came at a time when it was sorely needed. Thank you.

    • Karen says:

      Joanna, It seems like the inkle loom would be easiest for a young weaver. The sequence of moves has fewer steps than with a rigid heddle loom. Sounds like a fun endeavor!

      I’m very glad that the meditation thoughts came at the right time for you.

      Blessings,
      Karen

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Weave the Portable Way

What do you do when you are away from your looms for a week? Portable weaving, of course. I thought about bringing my band loom, but fitting the band loom in the car turned out to be more of a hassle than it is worth. So the band loom stayed home.

Glimakra band loom with cottolin warp.

Band loom stays home.

I have my inkle loom with me instead, as well as my small tapestry frame. Steve is taking a woodcarving class from Dylan Goodson this week at the Texas Woodcarvers Guild Seminar; and while he is in class I am keeping my hands busy with portable weaving.

Woodcarving class by Dylan Goodson.

Steve beginning to shape his relief carving, following the finished example by his instructor, Dylan Goodson.

Linen inkle band.

First inkle band of the week is linen.

Cottolin inkle band warp.

Cottolin warp for the second narrow inkle band.

Cottolin inkle band.

Second inkle band almost finished.

Small tapestry on portable frame loom.

Start of a small tapestry of a little girl, derived from a picture in a children’s book.

Cottolin inkle band. Karen Isenhower

Time to put on one more inkle warp!

Woodcarver doing relief carving.

Adding more details to the relief carving. Good carving takes time and patience. Like weaving.

May you enjoy passing the time away.

Happy portable weaving,
Karen

4 Comments

  • linda says:

    I hope you find other fiber artists that have portable projects ( ie knitting) it makes the adventure more exciting and new friends I’m sure are always welcome. I have taken knitting. I’ve done sweaters of woven material , knitted the cuffs with the same yarn and machine stitched them on. My portable little project turns out to be a finished big project. I’ve also taken hand woven bands and stitched them on bought fleece or boiled wool jackets to jazz them up. Kaeen I’m sure you’re never with out something in the fiber arts and I’m sure they all are beautiful. Laughter, Peace and Joy, linda

    • Karen says:

      Hi Linda, I did make new friends; the social interaction was fun. Several of the ladies had crochet projects with them. The portable looms I brought were great conversation starters. A few people knew what an inkle loom was, but most had never seen one before.

      Karen

  • Kris says:

    Your bands are lovely, Karen! I’m sure you had a lot of interest with you inkle loom. People are used to seeing knitting and crochet done in public, but bring out a loom or spindle and the questions fly! Isn’t it fun?

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Tools Day: Enough Shuttles for Now

If I line up all my weaving shuttles, end to end, how far do you think they will reach? The accumulation started slowly, adding a shuttle here and there, as needed. My husband contributed to my collection by handcrafting some of the shuttles for me. “I could use a stick shuttle in such-and-such a size.” “Okay, dear,” he would say, before going out to the garage to whip up yet another yardstick shuttle for my rigid heddle loom.

Ski shuttles are for rag weaving. Boat shuttles are for almost everything else. Most of my boat shuttles are traditional Swedish shuttles. All these fascinating shuttles, such simple tools, work the wonder of weaving.

Hand-crafted walnut stick shuttles for rigid heddle loom. Mohair/silk/alpaca shawl.

Shawl woven on 32-inch rigid heddle loom, with super kid mohair/silk and baby alpaca. Smooth, handcrafted walnut stick shuttles were used for this project.

Novelty yarn woven on inkle loom.

Tapered edge on pine inkle loom shuttle helps for beating in the weft. I have been known to weave with crazy novelty yarns on my inkle loom.

Hand-carved maple band loom shuttles, and woven bands.

Maple band loom shuttles, hand-carved by my husband, *live* in a small handmade bag that hangs on the back corner of the band loom. This shaped shuttle is perfect for the tricky one-handed manipulation that is needed. If they are too smooth and polished, however, they slip right out of my hand.

Ski shuttles for rag rug weaving. This rug used 3 shuttles at a time.

My favorite ski shuttle is the beautiful cherry wood shuttle made by my husband, Steve. It helps to have several ski shuttles. The “Creative Expression” Rosepath Rag Rug used three shuttles at a time to get the gradient color effect.

Boat shuttles ready to weave.

Boat shuttles eager to weave. Do you hear them? … “Pick me”…”No, pick ME!”

A few of my favorite things. Karen Isenhower

These are a few of my favorite things. Swedish woven goods made on a Swedish loom with Swedish boat shuttles. (I’m the only thing not Swedish here.)

34 1/2 feet of weaving shuttles.

How far will my shuttles reach? 34 1/2 feet (that’s 11 1/2 yards, or 10 1/2 meters long). I ran out of room, so the last one is standing on end.

May you fascinated with things that work.

Happy Weaving,
Karen

16 Comments

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Tools Day: Scissors

Whatever you do, choose good tools. Scissors are probably the most frequently used small tools in my weaving room and sewing space, so it makes sense to use quality scissors. I started with Gingher many years ago, and have never been disappointed in their performance, so there are several in my collection.

Painted leather sheath for scissors, from the Philippines.

Painted red leather sheath, found on one of my trips to the Philippines, protects this pair of five-inch Gingher Sewing Scissors. These scissors live in a holder on the table where I wind all my quills.

I have a variety of scissors, and each has their own special place to call home. A few sit in custom felt sheaths. To make the sheaths, I wove a variegated wool band on my inkle loom, which I then machine washed and dried vigorously to cause the wool to felt. I then cut and stitched each little sheath to size.

Small scissors in inkle loom woven felt sheath.

Five-inch Gingher Sewing Scissors that live in the loom bench basket by my Glimakra Standard. I clip threads as I go, so these must be in easy reach. The felt sheath doubles as a pin cushion.

And, as your mother always told you, never ever use the fabric scissors to cut paper. There are paper scissors for that.

Gingher Dressmaker's Shears

Eight-inch Gingher Dressmaker’s Shears for cutting fabric, and only fabric. Cutting the warp off the loom counts as cutting fabric.

Small pretty scissors and inkle-woven felt sheath.

Pretty little scissors that live on my sewing/cutting table. These are used for clipping sewing threads and for some finishing work.

Famore Rainbow Colored Snips. Great for snipping threads as I sew!

Famore 4.5″ Rainbow Colored Snips also live on my sewing/cutting table. They come with me to the sewing machine for quick and easy snipping of threads.

Clover thread cutter, with handwoven band for hanging around neck.

Travel thread cutter lives in the bag with my travel tapestry loom. The handwoven band, worn around my neck, keeps the Clover cutter at my fingertips.

Gingher Thread Snips, with handwoven inkle band for neck strap.

Gingher Thread Snip is the most recent addition to my cutting collection. It lives on my Glimakra Ideal loom, hanging on the corner of the front beam. While weaving, I wear the inkle-woven band around my neck, so the snips are always at hand.

Collection of scissors and their sheaths.

It must be bedtime for the scissors, snippers, and cutters!

May your tools serve you well.

On the cutting edge,
Karen

2 Comments

  • Eileen says:

    My mother, always surrounded by textiles in progress, was adamant about not using the “shears” for cutting anything but cloth! She is 85 now, sews less, but I wouldn’t dream of touching her good shears for anything but cloth…I make cloth, and love every thread.

    • Karen says:

      Your response makes me smile, Eileen! Good for your mother! Look at the value she passed down to you – your enjoyment of not only fashioning with cloth, but making cloth, as well.

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