Styles of horses and pulleys

I wrote this post on Monday, and the instant I was going to click "publish" the electricity vanished. We were powerless for about 20 hours. Ironically, both "before" us (on the power line) and "after" us ("us", here, means some 25-39 houses along the road) did have electricity, except for 15 minutes. BUT: it is our part of the power lines that is buried, "to avoid power cuts in the future". Go figure!

The best laid plans can be wrecked in an instant - . More than a week ago, I fell and wrenched my right wrist and my left ankle (and got several sore spots in between). It could have been a lot worse, but I still can’t lift anything heavier than a coffee mug...

So I decided to trawl the 'net for different types of horses-and-pulleys. Simple as they are, there are a lot of different styles "out there".

A "horse" is, in principle, no more than a dowel with a hole in the middle and a slit, knob or something to stop the shaft-connectin cords from falling off.. A horse should be about the length of the heddles used – or longer. (On old looms the horses are often quite a bit longer.)

Some are quite ornate, some are strictly utilitarian.
These two styles are lifted from Blomqvist/Nordiska (made by Glimåkra) and AK:s snickeri (aka Öxabäck), respectively:

However, no horses function without a pulley, over which they are connected. Pulleys can be small(ish) and connected to the loom just by cords, or they can be bigger, having a hole through which the top cross-member of the loom can pass.
Glimåkra used to use the free-hanging pulleys – this picture is lifted from a for-sale ad on the 'net. I have no idea how old this loom is – in fact, I don’t know that it is a Glimåkra, but that’s what the seller says:

Some other examples, most of them lifted from ads:
A small "no-name", no age given (50-ies, 60-ies?)

Probavly a very old loom, which has some curious pulleys (they are double, both the same size. What is the other pulley for?). The shafts hanging every which-way is typical of CB looms without a warp. Unless they are stabilized with a shaft-holder, of course.

These pictures are from Madesjö museum (I have written about it before)

From the same trip, a five-shaft pulley used as if it were a "normal" one:
(To use it for 5 shafts, the fifth is generally placed at the back, with a cord from the shaft to the hole that I nearly point at. It can be tricky to get it balanced...)

This is just a pulley, again from an ad. The seller just calls it "a detail from an antique loom", and wants to sell them one by one. (Pulleys always come in pairs, horses always in, hm, "foursomes"(?))

(There is a storm brewing outside - let's hope it will not fell too many trees and cut the power, like the one in '05. But the windows are starting to rattle...)


Some sightings

in chronological order:

(London usually gives one a good walk-out, but I have never seen a whole troop. Yet, that is.)

Two armholes of the inverted-T type:
(seen at the Congregation of the Burgon society)

and one recommendation (or should that be "urging"?):
(spotted on the wall of Robes of Distinction)

Morning over "The Vale", Malvern:
(in reality, it looked like a seashore at ebb tide - some clumps of seaweed (I mean trees), sticking up over the low water (I mean fog). I had a very nice visit with Pat of Purple donsu - we even saw some sunlight later in the day)

On the whole, I had a very wet but very interesting and informative week-end.
Unfortunately, my homeward flight was delayed, which meant I missed the last train. The next train was at 4.26 (in the morning). It was a long night...


"Not much to write home about"

is a Swedish saying.

I lost interest in the fan project, at least in its present incarnation, and turned it into a bigger sample. This is now properly wet finished and mangled. This colour turned out to be extremely difficult to photograph - or maybe I just don't understand how to handle the new-to-me picture-manipulating software.

I used three nuances from two manufacturers for the warp. This time all warp yarns are cotton 16/2, but they have different twists. For the "contrast" part I used a 16/2 with higher twist (thus apparently thinner), and for the "same" part I used one of the softer (thus apparently fatter) warp yarns. The "fatter" yarn gave a slightly wider result - something I had not anticipated.
On the whole, I think I like the "same" part better - that is, the use of one block only in the treadling. But maybe the contrasting weft was better...

I also pictured it hanging in the window - maybe this is the best use for fan fabric?

Now, what to do with the rest of the warp?
Hmmm... the warp is the same I used for the "leaves" scarves - maybe I could combine the two ideas... except I would go mad with such a treadling sequence. Or I would go mad trying to use the fan reed in the AVL. Maybe not a good idea, after all.


Fantastic fabrics

I came across a link the other day, to a book is called Textiles and clothing, by Kate Heintz Watson, published in Chicago 1907.

Here is the link to the fabric names section .

Some names that caught my eye:
Buckskin—A stout doe skin with a more defined twill. (oh yeah – a stout doe is the same as a buck, then?)
(OK, so doeskin appears, too: Doeskin—A compact twilled woolen, soft and pliable.
However, in this listing I could not find swansdown, which I’m sure I’ve seen somewhere else.)

Farmer Satin—A lining of cotton chain or warp and wool filling, finished with a high lustre, also called Italian cloth.

Kerseymere—A fine, twilled, woolen cloth of peculiar texture, one thread of warp and two of wool being always above. Hmm – "one thread of warp and two of wool"? Could it be ta scanner trick, perhaps – "one of warp and two fo woof"? Anyway, I like the "peculiar"...

Prunella—Lasting cloth. Lasting as in long-lasting/hard-wearing? I thought I had read about "lasting" as a quality, but if so, it has hid somewhere in the bookshelf.

What I have woven today? I wish I could have said "crash" ('cos it sounds fun), but alas, today’s "fanning" was all cotton...

Crash—A strong, course linen cloth of different widths, used for towels, suits, table linen, hangings, bed spreads; in fact, there is no end to the uses to which this textile can be adapted.


How many holes?

(sounds like a variant of "how long is a string", doesn’t it?)

On yesterday’s sample, I did notice a difference between the width of the max top position and the max bottom position. For some reason, I did not draw any conclusions from it.

Today, when I had started the "real" piece (maybe to become the next sample, who knows?) I payed more attention. Noticed I could make another hole – not quite high enough, but better than nothing, perhaps?

Made the new hole. Yes, it made a difference:

Weaving is slow. After every 8 picks, I have to stand up to shift the beater height - . At some 10 picks per cm it means I have to get to my feet more than 200 times for a scarf length.
"Excercise is good for you", right?
(and I already would like to re-thread, to see what happens if... there is a stripe in the middle of one section, or maybe an assymetric stripe, or... Maybe I could start with making stripes like that in the weft, instead?)

To answer Jean's question: I just use the outer holes, so I'm using 7 positions. As for the "good shed" - well, it isn't. I help it along by wiggling (if that is the word) the warp by hand for the extreme positions.
I know that there are special fan-reed beaters out there, but I haven't seen one other that on a line drawing (which also had a price on it - no way I was going to pay that much for something I almost had, anyway).
Some people use elastics (instead of a regular beater), but I don't think I could conscentrate enough to have control over my "positions".
Sara of Woolgatheres use texsolv cord - she has a video on how she does. You can find it here.


Two-block turned twill sample

- this time woven with the fan reed.

First small sample, just cut off:

Still wet, sitting on a marble slab, after (what I thought was a very vigorous) hand wet finishing, in the hottest water I could manage. Obviously not vigorous enough, as all reed marks still are too visible. (And the flash making it blue, instead of the greener it "really" is)

Day two, dry and pressed (actually, pressed when still damp, left to dry), in natural light. Not quite as "reedy" as I thought - and some of it can come from the fact I had (of course!) three slightly different nuances in the warp.

I started with the idea of making 12 picks (or three "through-treadlings") between each moving of the reed. Very soon it became apparent I could not count to neither 12 nor 3, so I went down to 8 (or 2 "through-treadlings"). Much easier!

Now to decide if it is worth going on with a longer project, how/where to place the "turns" lenghtwise, whether to back down the contrast to give it a more traditional look...