REading the draft..newbie

I just bought a Baby Wolf, used but in good condition. Just got handwoven magazine and wanted to weave the placemats in huck. Looks easy for a beginner. Got the thing warped, following the chart... I thought. But now that I start weaving, I'm suppose to weave two inches of plain weave. However... I get the side borders okay but the center weaves the pattern, no the plain. It has to be the way I warped it on but I an lost here. There is no weaver within  less that 100 miles of me so I am asking help here. I have warped the big loom for twill but have never done anything with borders. I've re-read the instructions but can't find anything to tell me what I'm doing wrong. Help, please!


Posted on Sat, 10/24/2009 - 18:17

My guess is that your tie-up is wrong or you started in the  wrong place on the draft.  In this draft, the shafts have been assigned according to the modern convention of putting the tie-downs on shafts 1 and 2 and the pattern shafts on 3 and up.  When you treadle 1+3 then 2+4 (shaft numbers) you will get plain weave everywhere.  To get pattern, you need to follow the tie-up.

Plain Weave everywhere:  1+3, 2+4

First pattern: 1+3, 2, 1+3, 2, 1+3;  2+4, 1, 2+4, 1, 2+4 (weft floats in B, then weft floats in A block)

Second pattern:   1+3, 2+3, 1+3, 2+3, 1+3;  2+4, 1+4, 2+4, 1+4, 2+4 (warp floats in A and weft floats in B then v.v.)

Third pattern: 1+3, 2+3, 1+3, 2+3, 1+3;  2+4, 1+3+4, 2+4, 1+3+4, 2+4 (warp floats in A and weft floats in B, then warp floats in B)

Enjoy, lace is lots of fun!


Posted on Sat, 10/24/2009 - 19:00

Thank you for getting back to me. I thought it looked simple But I guess that's mostly because I have no idea what I'm doing. My tie up is just as you say but when I treadle 1&3 and 2&4, all the ones come up, not just the tabby. Do I work the border and then tie up the pattern?  I don't think that can be right, I did a little over-shot piece on my table loom and did not have this problem. The tabby worked then. I'm going nuts on this. I'm sure I'm doing something stupid but I can't figure it out.

Posted on Sat, 10/24/2009 - 19:21

I  found out the problem. Being a little new at this I figured it was something I was doing. It turns out it is the loom.  The shafts are sticking somehow so that I was not getting the correct shed open.  I thought my floor was level but I am going to try if I can skew it so that they are rising and falling properly. I do thank you for getting back to me so quickly, It's nice to know I can get help here . This problem may have turned out not to be me this time but I'm sure that will not be the case the next time!  Thank you again! I hope to be able to post a photo soon of my (correct) place-mats!

Posted on Sat, 10/24/2009 - 21:36

Hi HazelRose,

Do you have any beginner books like Deborah Chandler, Learning to Weave or Rachel Brown, Spinning, Weaving, Dyeing book.  Peggy Osterkamp's books are an amazing threesome of everything you need to know as a beginner, and forever.

Just a suggestion.

I'm thrilled you found help quickly here.  There is nothing more frustrating than starting a new project only to be stumped with no one to ask for help.  This is one of the reasons we created Weavolution.  I, for one, am thrilled it is here for you.

Happy weaving.  My baby wolf was my first and still my favorite loom.  It my goto loom for anything I need to complete quickly.

Claudia, Weavolution co-founder

Posted on Sun, 10/25/2009 - 00:37

For the tabby picks every other thread should be up.  In huck you can have areas with just tabby (plain weave) and pattern areas which alternate the a and b tabbies with a pattern shot based on a defective version of the other tabby.  The selvages are generally threaded 1,2,1,2 (no pattern shafts, only the tie-downs) and they always weave plain weave no matter what the pattern areas are weaving. So, you are building up the borders at the same time you are weaving the center pattern.  If you leave a pattern shaft out of the plain weave shed, you will get a weft float.  If you add a pattern shaft to the plain weave shed you will get a warp float.  To get pattern in the A block you add or subtract its pattern shaft (3), and to get pattern in the B block you add or subtract its pattern shaft (4) from plain weave sheds.  Rewriting what I sent before, this is another way to look at the structure:

Plain Weave everywhere:  a, b (where a = 1+3, b = 2+4)

First pattern: a, b-4, a, b-4, a; b, a-3, b, a-3, b (weft floats in B, then weft floats in A block)

Second pattern:   a, b+3-4, a, b+3-4, a; b, a-3+4, b, a-3+4, b (warp floats in A and weft floats in B then v.v.)

Third pattern: a, b+3-4, a, b+3-4, a;  b, a+4, b, a+4, b (warp floats in A and weft floats in B, then warp floats in B)

Loom problem - 1) Check that the loom is locked open. 2) Check that threads are not crossed behind the reed. 3) Check that the shafts are correctly tied to the treadles and that a tie has not fallen off.  4) Check that the shafts are not catching on each other.  5) Check that the shafts are sliding and lifting freely - lube the tracks if needed with candle wax, soap, etc.  6) Check that the metal piece underneath that pushes up the shafts has not fallen off one or more shafts. 7) Check that the loom is level and square, all bolts tightened, etc.



Posted on Sun, 10/25/2009 - 01:47

Thank you everyone! I have been checking all those things. I am not very mechanically inclined so dh said he would take a look at it and see if he can see what's wrong. As near as I can tell it is warped and tied up correctly. I did not find any twisted threads. I got the level out and  have the loom sitting level in all directions according to it. I have tired lubrcating the harnesses but they might need more. We'll keep working on it.  I know you guys all have projects of your own going so I do appreciate you taking the time to help me out.

Posted on Sun, 10/25/2009 - 12:16

If you checked all the things in my list, here's a few more:  If there is a central attachment from the heddle bar to the frame of the shaft be sure it is clicked shut into place.  Look at the top and bottom of the frame.  These often catch on each other.  Look down the shafts and see if they are warped in any way.  Although bending is fixable, it is not an easy fix, and probably not do-able with the loom threaded (particularly this loom).  Also, check that all threads only go through one heddle (rather than two on different shafts).  If you are weaving at really high tension, back it off a notch or two and see if the correct shafts lift.  See if the sett is correct - a very high sett can make some shafts not operate properly, especially in lace.  Have someone look down at the top of the loom while you are weaving, sometimes a different angle makes the problem obvious.

Good luck!


Posted on Wed, 10/28/2009 - 00:47

I ended up having to take the warp out of the heddles so he could work in the loom. The third shaft (I think it's called) was out of square. He fixed that and then sanded and waxed everything. The loom had been broken and fixed once before and either not done quite right or something but it is working now. I got it rewarped  and  wove the placemats today. they are really ugly , I have the seashore-- waves and breakers-- for edges and  I do have some tension problems with this warp but I'm managing. I also have a lot more warp on than the project called for. I have to practice measuring, too! lol But I am just weaving more placemants, I can use the practice.

Anyway, I think you all for your advice when I was in trouble. We checked all those things and found some contributing o the problem as well as the messed up shaft. I have already found another project I want to try next!

Posted on Wed, 10/28/2009 - 02:32

Hi Hazel,

Glad to hear you found the problem.  I understand the seashore effect.  I loved the first project I made and thought it was great.  I took it out of the drawer last spring to wear it and noticed the selvedges were horrible.  I felt a little embarrassed that I ever thought it was great but that was several years ago.

As for measuring the warp, have you tried using the Resources here on Weavolution.  The pink print on the Weaving calculator is getting fixed soon, but the calculations are great and very easy to understand.  Take a look, you might find the answers right here.

Other resources are Peggy Osterkamp's books which are a very worthwhile investment.  I refer to them all the time and have been thrilled to own them many times over.  She sells them here along with her new book for beginners.

Good luck and happy weaving,