So I wound 600 ends (25 inches x 24 ends per inch), 11 yards long in 8/2 cotton for ten towels. Snowy white and stripes of a deep royal blue and beamed my loom.
As you can see I used my hybrid sectional method and my stripes are off centered. I'm trying to change pattern, stripe placement, colours.... everything!
Next up is threading and its a nice straight draw of eight down to one. I still paid attention as its easy to get a flat with a run like this.
It feels good to see a task completed! Sleying is done two per dent using a 12 dent reed. So far so good!
All set and ready to go except for the tie up. Countermarche looms have twice the number of cords compared to jack looms and they must be tied up to both upper and lower lamms. They separate the threads equally up and down so both sides of the shed are equally tensioned. Jack looms only lift up half the threads and the weight of the shafts and metal heddles 'dip' the bottom threads and that's why you need a shuttle race and I don't. I throw my shuttle across tensioned threads.
Now I have a 20+ tie up assist and it requires some 'mental gymnastics'. When you stand at the front of the loom, take note of the first treadle is to the far left and shaft one is directly behind the beater....... then you go to the back of the loom and you see this (picture is from a previous project)
The very top row of holes is shaft one and the bottom are shaft 12; the far right is treadle one and the far right is treadle 16. There appears to be a lot of cords, 384 in fact, as there must be a tie up point for each treadle and shaft but I'm only going to be using the centre eight as shown above. So as you see it's flipped and reversed! I take the tie up grid and rework it so that its becomes upside down and flipped. Its easier than it sounds. Just the first time is confusing... (honest!)
I like to call the dark squares on the grid " x's " and so by default the empty squares become "o's". I tie the x's to the upper lamms as they will go down when treadled and the o's go to the lower lamms as they will rise (think bubbles!) With me so far? good.....
Now with the 20+ tie up assist you translate the routine I just mentioned above to the cords and clips. If there is an 'o' on the grid, I go to the right holes for shaft one (at the top) and pull and clip the corresponding cord for the lower lamm.... and leave the opposite cord trailing free. The picture above shows a series of o's on a grid. The cords on the right would all be the x's. You only pull one on either side.
Still with me? :)
I sat down and pulled out the locking pin and eased the treadles so the cords between front and back could find their way and ease. Wove in some scrap yarn and looked for errors..... and , none! I wove in plain white for approx six inches and then thought to do some rows of stars and that's when it all went sideways....
No stars.... nada, zilch! So I double checked my threading, and then thought that perhaps I should reverse the tie up. Make it so the o's and x's change place. Its obviously means I'm weaving the stars upside down then which is no fun. I'd rather see them and know its going well! I'd hate to weave 10+ yards only to find there's no stars on the other side too. So I reversed the tie up and tried one again. No Stars.
I went back and flipped the tie up... and basically to shorten this story up, tried just about every possible way you could tie this up and finally got stars!
There are perfect white stars on the opposite side too! I have no idea of how I did it other than tried every possible combination. I'm glad that this wasn't a normal tie up loom as I would be still under there tying cords! I just sit and pull cords and clip although that took time enough when you do it several times. :) I'm on towel number two now and so its underway....
Later that afternoon as I was clearing things away (yes, I tidy up.... sick huh?) I looked once more at the draft on the magazine and that's when I saw it. They show the draft REVERSED from the way we do it over here in North America and so the tie up was reversed as well.... ah, geesh....
So moral to this story: always read the fine print!