How I Make a Shawl - Part 5: Switching on the Loom

With some looms, non-dobby foot looms, there is another process called tie-up, but because I am weaving this series on a computer-controlled loom, I don't have to crawl under the loom to connect the treadles (foot pedals) to the shafts according to the weave structure; this is a relatively short and straight-forward process, unless you have not enough room under the loom and need to test your contortionist skills. (I do this when weaving on my Jack loom.)

A computer-controlled loom (which is not a special loom as much as it has lots of extra parts) can read a weave structure designed (or downloaded) on the computer, in a graph-like format called a draft, and decide which shaft/s is/are lifted in what order.

In my case, I needed to switch on the computer, open the program that translates the draft into the lifting order, and select the weave structure I want to sample;

then I switched on the air compressor in the garage to power the physical lifting, (the car is not attached to the compressor; Ben needs to park this close so the garage door can be closed);

and I switched on the black box which conveys the lifting order to the solenoids.

Oh, and I prepared the weft samples by winding them onto pirns that goes into the shuttle.

My workstation is all ready to roar in less than 60 seconds. (The air compressor in the garage is behind the wall to the left.)


minnetonkafelix said...


May I suggest that you take each of the last entries, print them out nicely, and frame them for presentation in your show. Perhaps You had this in mind. It would make a very insightful and beautiful "process" concept piece onits own.


Meg said...

Felix, I was thinking of selecting a few posts and printing them out to put in a folder at the exhibit, but not specifically these "process" posts. I'm not sure which ones I'll choose at this point, but thank you for the tip - the voice of experience in the art world. I'm also accumulating quite a number of photos of the sea, sand and the sky as you can imagine, and I've got them dotted all around the house, and one or two of the pieces may resemble some of the photos in which case I'll be tempted to print out small (postcard-size?) photos and put them right by the pieces.

I finished weaving Shawl 3 tonight, and I'm finally on a roll - I know what S4 is going to look like, and have some options on the next warp as well. YAY YAY.... If only there were no big block party this Sunday....

Merisi said...

I am so in awe of you and your art, Meg! I feel exhausted just looking at all the prep work.
I'll put out some chocolates in case you need a sweet break. :-)
By the way, my mom knitted all our sweaters and mittens and socks (there were eight of us). I once had a candy pink two piece suit, skirt and double-breasted jacket, in second great. I felt like a princess. :-)

Merisi said...

Not "second great" but "second grade" (school). Sorry.

Meg said...

Merisi, Sweaters, mittens and socks for eight kids - I think keeping all eight alive and well is a task enough, even with the mod-cons of today. You had a Super Mom!!