Help with Tie-up

Hi, I have just added four shafts and four treadles to my four shaft six treadle 39 inch Ideal loom, a loom that was probably built in the 70’s.  I have some experience with countermarche loom weaving but, as you will see, not enough experience for me to breeze right through the tie-up process this time.  I do have all the books… Joanne’s and Becky’s, as well as the manual that came with the loom and The Big Book of Weaving; I've read through all the appropriate sections of each of them.

 I have a 24 inch warp for a simple prayer shawl on the loom.  It is tabby but will be woven on all eight shafts.  Treadle one and ten are tied up only to shaft one to give the lower lamms more weight as suggested.  Treadles two, three, eight and nine will not be used; until I ran out of anchor and arrow pins I had started tying them up for my next project which will be more complicated.  I’ve been assuming, perhaps in error, that since I won’t be treadling them this tie-up shouldn’t interfere.  Treadles four and seven are tied to raise shafts one, three, five, and seven.  Treadles five and six raise shafts two, four, six and eight.  Again, for this simple first project I’m only treading on treadles four, five, six and seven.  As an aside, I have also switched at this time from adjusting the tie-ups under the treadles to at the lamm level.

Everything looks great when the shaft supports and the locking pins are removed.  When I treadle four and seven I see a pattern: the threads on shaft one are raised the highest, then three, then five, and finally seven all across the width.  At the same time the threads on shaft two are pulled down the most, then four, and six and eight are equally pulled down the least.  When I treadle five and six I get the same sort of situation.  The actual shed is quite narrow because of threads not pulled up enough and threads not pulled down enough.  If they all behaved like the threads on shafts one and two I’d have a good two inch shed. 

I know that between the books and observation I should be able to figure this out for myself.  However,  I think at this point I have a little brain gridlock and I know I have a lot of sore body parts.  Having an expert right by my side would be a great help, but the next best thing is finding help in this forum.  I’m hoping someone can sprinkle some crumbs and help me find my way out of the woods!  Thank you for wading though all this with me!

Comments

Posted on Thu, 08/06/2015 - 16:26

If I'm understanding this correctly you're splitting your tabby up onto 4 treadles? 4 & 7 and 5 & 6? Not sure why you would do this. One treadle per tabby is sufficient. So, shafts 1, 3, 5, 7 on one treadle (4 OR 7) and shafts 2, 4, 6, 8 on one treadle (5 OR 6). The rest of the tie up shouldn't interfere if you're not treadling it.

Posted on Thu, 08/06/2015 - 16:30

Geometry: as the treadles are mounted at the back, the front end (nearest the weaver) will move the longest. Thus, the front shafts need to be tied with a little slack, the slack becoming less for each shaft. The back shaft should have a taut tie.
The difference gets bigger the more shafts are mounted; for just 4 the slack is seldom needed.

Hope this makes sense!

Posted on Thu, 08/06/2015 - 16:35

Shawn, I started with a tie-up that tied one shafts one and three to treadle seven and treadles five and seven to treadle four; shafts two and four to treadle six and six and eight to treadle five.  It didn't seem like I was getting a decent shed so I thought maybe it would help to change it to what I now have.  It is a duplication... but I understand that there can be issues when not enough treadles are used.  Again, I may be misinterpreting something that I've read.

Posted on Thu, 08/06/2015 - 18:15

I just noticed that, whereas I had a warp that followed a straight line and was pretty much in the center of the heddle eyes early on, now it looks like all the threads are slightly bowed in their path to the breast beam.  I'm going to put the supports and pins back in place and make more adjustments.  Anyone more experienced please feel free to jump in!

Posted on Thu, 08/06/2015 - 18:15

I just noticed that, whereas I had a warp that followed a straight line and was pretty much in the center of the heddle eyes early on, now it looks like all the threads are slightly bowed in their path to the breast beam.  I'm going to put the supports and pins back in place and make more adjustments.  Anyone more experienced please feel free to jump in!

Posted on Thu, 08/06/2015 - 20:03

Just maybe, if this is your first experience with a countermarche loom, you might try using only four shafts and six treadles. This means only 24 connections to troubleshoot and will make the functionality of your loom more clear as you weave.

The tieup for this is tabby on with treadles 1 & 6 or treadles 2 & 3 with the other four set up for 2/2 twill 1/2, 2/3, 3/4, 1/4. This will do many structures and you can see clearly what is going on. With 8/8 you have 64 connections and with 10/10 you will have 100. AFter you've come to terms with four shafts and six treadles, you will have no difficulty adding to your loom for more complex projects.

Posted on Thu, 08/06/2015 - 21:52

Hi Sara, 

Actually I have woven with this loom on four shafts.  I just haven't done much changing of the tie-up on this loom.  You're right... it's a lot harder to troubleshoot the tie-up for eight shafts!  

I decided to go from four to eight shafts at this time because I have some yardage that needs to be woven- on eight shafts- by September.  My other eight shaft loom is just an inch or two wider than the width of fabric I'll be weaving; I think I'll get a better fabric on the Glimakra.  I didn't want the warp that I learn to tie up eight shafts on be the warp for this special project; thus the shawl in tabby that can be woven off in a couple of hours tops so I can get on with this next project.  Hope that makes sense. 

Posted on Fri, 08/07/2015 - 03:55

I had a lot of troubles when I was tying up 8 shafts and finally decided it was time for a lesson.  So, off to Montana I went to visit Joanne Hall.  All of my 8 shaft tie-ups are now great.  As Kerstinfroberg states, shaft no. 8 should be taught, 7 slightly looser, 6 looser than 7, and so on.  My understanding is the top of the shed isn't as important to be all the same height as the bottom of the shed where the shuttle runs across.

 

There were suggestions on Weavolution to place the pins in at the lamms, but I have found that I do get a better/even shed if the pins are underneath the treadles. 

 

Hope these suggestions help and you can get back on track.

 

Dorn =^.^=

Posted on Fri, 08/07/2015 - 04:54

I'm not sure if this will help, but I had similar problems and solved it by raising the headdles so that the warp threads went through the center of the eye of the heddle.  I realized that some of the warp threads hit against the bottom supports for the headdles.  I raised each of the shafts just a bit, being sure that the warp threads did not touch the bottom of the eye of the heddle, and it solved my problems.

Posted on Sat, 08/08/2015 - 11:23

I'd like to post a follow up.  I find the posts in these forums so helpful so it makes sense to share what seems to have worked for me.  I had a phone consult with one of my local mentors who weaves on a Glimakra.  

There were three things that I decided to change based on our conversation.  First: she suggested that I remove the shaft supports prior to tying up treadles.  (I know that Joanne's book says to keep them in for tie-up and would love to hear her comments on this).  

Second, I cut back to just two treadles: one to raise 1-3-5-7 and the other to raise 2-4-6-8.  This is also counter to what I've read should be done with a multi-shaft countermarche loom.  

Third: her method is to tie-up starting with shafts one and two, then three and four a little looser, etc.  I had been starting from the back shafts in each of my unsuccessful tries.  I had also tried tying up successive treadles as opposed to successive shafts.

I don't know which one or more changes in my tie-up was responsible... and at rest things do not look good... but I got a good shed with an even floor and have woven thirty-some inches on my prayer shawl.

I have a new question.  My next project is a color and weave project with a very different tie-up for eight shafts than the usual tabby and twill tie-up.  Must I wait until the next warp is on the loom for that next tie-up?  I know that a warp is needed for the initial hanging of the shafts, lamms, etc; is it also necessary for the treadle tie-up?  My friend says it is.  My tie-up connections are on the lamms and it would be far easier to make my changes on a warp-less loom if it's possible.

Posted on Sat, 08/08/2015 - 14:29

I do recommend leaving the shaft suports in place for adjustments, particularly at the start, because you can see that everything is hanging level. Experienced weavers learn to make minor changes on the fly - but only after considerable practice.

1. The countermarche loom can have "extra" parts left in as long as every shaft has some form of support as you have discovered with your two tabby treadles. As you gain experience, you will also become creative in how you do your adjusting. If I have 8 shafts tied up and need to use only four, I adjust the treadles for the front four and totally ignore what is happening on the back four - as long as they do not interfere with my desired tieup.

2. Believe it or not, some countermarche looms actually balance well enough without a warp that you can test your tieup. It is possible and probably recommended to do the basics of the connections and put in what you think is the right degree of slack without a warp, go ahead and warp the loom, and then before starting to weave adjust one or two connections to perfect your shed.

On the Oxaback looms I use, the vertical CM action and loom construction allow me to tie and treadle a project and estimate the evenness of the lower shed prior to warping. Other CM looms may give different performance.

Posted on Sat, 08/08/2015 - 17:26

about your follow-up post: you write:

"Third: her method is to tie-up starting with shafts one and two, then three and four a little looser, etc.  I had been starting from the back shafts in each of my unsuccessful tries.  I had also tried tying up successive treadles as opposed to successive shafts."

As numbering the shafts is sometimes different from culture to culture (weaver to weaver?) I have to ask: did you really have the back shafts tied with the most slack? If so: are your treadles back-hinged (as is normal with all Glimåkra/Swedish/Scandi CM looms I have seen)? If so: *how* did you manage to get a shed on the back (seen from the weaver) shafts?

And, Sara: could you please elaborate on your sentence "2. Believe it or not, some countermarche looms actually balance well enough without a warp that you can test your tieup."? In this case, what do you mean by "test your tieup"? (While I sometimes do the tieup before there is a warp on the loom, it has never occurred to me to "test" it w/o a tensioned warp; it seems to be a lot harder to try to eyeball/measure w/o the very "handy" "tool" that the warp represents...)

Posted on Sat, 08/08/2015 - 18:49

Kerstin,

I often tie up the loom without a warp and then treadle carefully to see if the sinking shafts are sinking evenly. If that looks pretty good, I warp it and then test again. The vertical CM arrangement doesn't let everything slip out of adjustment. Testing that tieup first is just a rough guestimate that with experience is pretty accurate.

Posted on Sat, 08/08/2015 - 21:12

Diane,

Remember that in America we count the front shaft as #1.  It is the one closest to the front of the loom.  In Europe and  Scandinavia, the shaft furthest back is called #1.  And some weavers in American read the Swedish weaving books and number the shafts in this way.  Since we have some foreign participants on this list, it can be confusing when referring to the numbers on the shafts.

Joanne

Posted on Sun, 08/09/2015 - 01:16

I've always considered the first shaft as the one closest to the front.  But in tying up I had started with the eight shaft, making sure that the cord was taut, and proceeding forward.  For some reason it seems to be easier to me to start with the first shaft and work backward to the eighth.

Posted on Sun, 08/09/2015 - 01:16

I've always considered the first shaft as the one closest to the front.  But in tying up I had started with the eight shaft, making sure that the cord was taut, and proceeding forward.  For some reason it seems to be easier to me to start with the first shaft and work backward to the eighth.

Posted on Sun, 08/09/2015 - 04:22

I am new to this site and not sure if this is where I should ask my question. I just got a norwod 8 treddle loom that is missing the tie up chains. can i use texolve or should i try to find replacement chains? if so any ideas where i might find them?mary

 

 

 

Posted on Sun, 08/09/2015 - 04:22

I am new to this site and not sure if this is where I should ask my question. I just got a norwod 8 treddle loom that is missing the tie up chains. can i use texolve or should i try to find replacement chains? if so any ideas where i might find them?mary

 

 

 

Posted on Sun, 08/09/2015 - 05:52

One simple way as a beginner to tying up treadles on a vertical countermarche is slide a 2"x4" in under the treadles, coming from behind and sliding it toward the tips of the treadles, and sit it on it's 2" wide edge. Now your treddles are 3-1/2" off the floor at the front by the weaver. Tie up the cords with no slack to the front-most lamms, if 8 total it's then 1-7 shafts. Then, when the back treadle hole is tied, lift it about 2-1/2-3" clear of the 2"x4". Now you have just introduced slack to the front most treadle holes. This won't be the end all to adjustments. I find often times that adjacent treadle holes need about the same slack as someone suggested recently on one of the forums. I can't remember any instances of tying up with the warp on, then pulling the cradle bocks away and locking pin out, that has resulted in uneven shaft heights. Once you weave some or tramp each treadle to check the shed clearence and have made adjustments there is usually an uneveness introduced, but not more then the width of a shaft bar and mostly less. Sometimes there may be a shaft that may have relatively few warps compared to others, it usually will be the most difference between the rest of the shafts. At which point if it makes a good shed when treadled, it makes no difference.  :)

Posted on Sun, 08/09/2015 - 10:12

ReedGuy, thank you for your thoughts.  My own countermarche is actually horizontal but I doubt treadle tie-up would be different.  Would you explain why uneveness would be no more than a treadle width?  I'm not understanding what you mean by that.

Posted on Sun, 08/09/2015 - 10:12

ReedGuy, thank you for your thoughts.  My own countermarche is actually horizontal but I doubt treadle tie-up would be different.  Would you explain why uneveness would be no more than a treadle width?  I'm not understanding what you mean by that.

Posted on Sun, 08/09/2015 - 10:20

Hi Mary,  Someone here may have a better answer for you, but I'll jump in for starters.  My second loom many years ago was a Norwood.  My local hardware store carries chain by the yard in lots of sizes; I just don't recall what fittings are used on the ends of Norwood chains.  My original question for this thread is posted on two forums, both of which are concerned with countermarche looms.  You would probably get more advice by asking your question on a more general forum.  I would post it on the forum that covers loom maintenance and renovation; here is the link for that forum:  http://weavolution.com/group/loom-repair-maintenance-renovation

Posted on Sun, 08/09/2015 - 11:27

Shaft bar Diane, because depending on the threading as much as anything there is always a shaft, with warp on and tensioned, that is slightlly not sitting at the same level when you have worked the treadles and made adjustments. It's more really to do with how the warp balances out  on the shafts, and the tension on it, to give some counter balance to the levers that control it. It might not have enough weight to just rest even with the rest of the shafts or maybe a whole lot more warp weight resulting in same.