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Submitted by yarnfloozie on Fri, 10/08/2010 - 21:43
But first, I have a dumb question...does one need to purchase software in addition to the dobby mechanism itself?
Yes, you need the loom driver which gets bundled into a software program.
I was afraid of that.
In order to use the Compu-Dobby, you will have to have software and a computer that can be connected to the Compu-dobby. Be sure that you know what kind of port is needed for the connection so that you can get the right cables for your connection.
I'll probably opt for a smaller treadle loom, actually. But in case I do go the Compu-Dobby route, thanks for the tip.
I went with a mechanical dobby even though (or maybe because) I work in the computer industry.
I love the simplicity/complexity of the mechanical system. Just watching the parts move in concert is a joy to behold.
My grandson calls my looms "castles" and he love to watch me make them work. Just this evening he was asking "Where is my castle?" Is under three too young for him to start weaving?
I already have a mechanical dobby; it's just that I'm starting to get irritated by having to change out the chain all the time. And no, of course 3 isn't too young!!
The real advantage to the computer is the ease with which you can generate looooonnnnnnggggg treadling repeats, and change them out. If one only does shorter repeats and doesn't change their treadling a mechanical dobby works just fine. It was when I needed to use all of my lags and still didn't have enough for the Summer and Winter pattern I wanted to weave that I decided enough was enough and got the Compu-Dobby. :)
That's exactly why I was thinking about it.
I will agree with that statement. I am limited to a 173 pick repeat if I use every bar I have. What I am doing is break long patterns into sections and swapping out chains as needed. The works in my hobby mode but would not work for a production weaver.
I decieded on a comp-dobby because I am use to a computer and because I wanted some way of keeping track of where I am in my pattern repeat. I have not used it yet for long repeats but I like knowing I can. If I even find the pattern I saw once that had a 90 pick repeat I'll not worry about trying it.
To step back from the must have program and loom connected from the get go. I broke it down into steps as it fit into my life (this is over many years)
Rigid heddle - used graph paper and excel to draft structure
4 shaft rug loom - c-above, plus about this time I bought Stitchpainter, a grid program that really was a step beyond using excel to design with. It is used by knitters, beaders and other graphic artists to design on a preferred grid. Stitchpainter's beauty is that you can change the grid to match your structure and plan pick up and other items. As a rugweaver and a weft faced weaver that designed in blocks of color it was very helpful for me. here is the link on how I use it. IT IS NOT a weaving program. It is a graphic design program with a direct link to grid design.
but to continue with weaving computer decisions!
started on twills - bought weaveit basic version so that I could start experimenting with drafting and flip structure around
Never connected the loom up to the computer for years, just used weaveit program to understand drafting and structure decisions. Very helpful for just "thinking" about the what-ifs.
Finally bought a computer driven loom, already had the weaveit program (c-above), upgraded it to weaveitpro so it could "drive" the loom. I had enough experience with the software that when I finally actually connect the software TO the loom I had a base of troubleshoot skills to pull from and could separate weaving problems from start up issues on connecting loom to computer (usually resolved by upgrading drivers software)
From here went on to the joys of plowing thru other "computer" issues of mac versus ibm and the bundle of troubleshooting that comes with that
BUT never forget that you can buy a weaving program and use it just to think about a structure. It never needs to be connected to the loom.
At this point I own...weavemaker and pixieloom (mac) and weaveit pro (ibm) and jump between them.
just some more to think about even before you ever commit to buying a computer loom. Deb Mc