Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Warping the Louet Jane Loom

Well I tried…I really, really tried to call my new Louet loom Lavender, but with the word Jane staring me in the face every time I look at it…..I’ve caved and Jane she shall be.

This is the first warp for the loom. I had to wait to receive the extra heddles and a replacement part, so although I’ve had this loom for 4 weeks this is my first warp.

I decided to pull a short 3 yard warp for Christmas card inserts. Summer and winter trees, based on a Donna Sullivan pattern, but modified a bit to make it mine. As you can see I had just enough yarn to do the warp – cutting a bit fine, but love to use up the stash. I have another cone very similar to use as the tabby weft.

The Jane loom came with wooden apron sticks, and I just don’t find them rigid enough for me, so Michael made me some new 1/4” metal apron rods.
The lease sticks have to be tied onto the upper part of the beater initially to allow the warp to wind on. Again, I must have some weird difficulty wish because I used very sticky 2/10 Egyptian cotton. It clumps together like Velcro!

The Jane loom has Louets’ signature built in raddle and a nifty little shelf, which I really like. The raddle however, is in metric spacing so a bit of mathematical fiddling to convert it to imperial measurements.

Here are my warp threads spread in the raddle.

I tied a string around the raddle to keep the threads all nicely in place before winding it onto the back beam, I used heavy gauge brown craft paper as a warp separator.

To allow you to reach the heddles, the beater and reed just flip over the loom to sit at the back while you work.
The Jane has another nifty doodad. It's a clear piece of plastic mounted on each side of the loom. When the beater is not being used, these little things keep it locked back out of your way, this allows another inch or two weaving space. I'm sure this will come in handy with finger manipulated weaves, when you need to have hand space to use your pick up stick etc.

Now I’m ready to thread the heddles, so I retied the lease sticks around the castle of the loom so that I could have the cross at eye level. I always count small increments of my pattern heddles and pull them out, then thread them. This is just another double check to make sure I don’t make threading mistakes.

Tying onto the front apron rod is next; Louet provided a wood stick and we replaced it with metal. I use the Jane Stafford method and do a simple knot, but go through the loop twice.
When all the bouts are tied to the rod I tighten my tension until firm, then I roll my hand over the bouts to even the tension. When the bouts seem about equal in tension I go back and pull each bout very tight and double knot. This method works extremely well for me.

I started weaving and noticed that the left side of my work was getting fuzzy. Upon closer inspection it seems that the tape on my reed was too high and was rubbing….so Exacto knife to the rescue.

Finally, I’m weaving. I used 2/16 merino wool in moss green for the pattern weft and it’s looking great. I’ll post the draft and the finished cards when I’m done.


Sunrise Lodge Fiber Studio said...

This is SO cool!!! Thank you so much for sharing the step by step of a new loom;) The Christmas card trees are very cool too!!!

Life Looms Large said...

I'm having a similar loom-naming dilemma. If my loom is a Toika Liisa, is it just too boring to call it Liisa?? I feel like I don't have to commit to a name quite yet, since the loom is still in pieces scattered throughout the house!

I'm impressed that you're working on a Christmas project already! Before Christmas I always promise myself I'll start things for next Christmas in January. But when January rolls around, I feel like I have so much time til Christmas that I don't need to start yet!

Love that Christmas tree draft! How many shafts does it use??

It's weird how some cotton yarn clumps. Today I was working with some cotton, and just one color of it was really sticky. The other stripes I've done as part of the warp were fine. All from the same manufacturer. Weird!!

Can't wait to see how your trees come out! They look great so far!

Susan said...

Congrats on 'burping the new baby' :)
A relatively painfree process isn't it? Louet sure has a winner with the loom and the DVD.
Love the trees! Its been an age since I last did S&W and you have inspired me.

Sure wish you were here to critique my latest project. It seems to change daily and at each step along the way.
It's been loaded twice, threaded and sleyed twice and I haven't woven an inch yet!

Back to the beast....

Lynnette said...

Hi Sue,
The draft for the Christmas trees is on 8 shafts with 14 treadles, so it makes it perfect for a table loom. You can find the original draft in Handwoven Magazine November/December 1984. I will also be posting it when I get the cards finished and mounted and beaded....

Life Looms Large said...

Thanks for the scoop on the trees Lynnette - in case I get motivated for Christmas early! The only loom I have with 14T is my giant Toika. It will be a while before I work my way up to weaving something that complex on it.

(And it seems overwhelmingly large sometimes - so the idea of doing little bookmarks with those trees on that giant loom is sort of funny to me - even though that's what I want to make with those trees!)

Gwen said...

I love the step by step pictures - they are especially helpful for a beginner like me! Thanks! And the Christmas tree pattern is great! (But I can't believe you are getting ready for next Christmas in January... Yikes!)

Bruce said...

Your description of the warping process is easy to follow. I've watched Susan working with her "Jane", but she usually doesn't allow me to get very close while she's doing these things. It seems that there is some sort of magnetic anomaly hovering around me that causes mistakes to occur in her work.

Naming one's tools can be problematic. I have no doubt that there are times when you might want to change the name of your loom to suit the mood. For example your loom's name might be changed from "Jane" to "Calamity Jane". But that's just speculation on my part, isn't it?

Artemis Russell said...

thanks! I learnt so much from your blog...really inspirational!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful pictures of a lovely loom! I've been considering the Jane for its portability. And, being a Louet, it has so many thoughtful details. How do you feel using table loom in a workshop (as opposed to having one with treadles)?

Lynnette said...

Hi SpinningLizzy, Like any loom the Jane has limitations. It is almost impossible to get a drum tight warp (for rug samples), so it feels a bit spongy when you beat. This loom is also not able to take a hard beat (for overshot) and my friend Susan said there were problems doing some pick up techniques too. But, all these things considered, its a lovely light weight 8 shaft table loom. I would purchase the stand with it (I did later on) and that makes it a great workshop loom as you don't need table space. Would I buy it again....absolutely. It's quiet, easy to warp and does all it really needs to do as a sample loom.

Dee said...

Just want to thank you for mentioning the SIZE of the warping rod you use. Nowhere do any of the Jane Loom (or Erica) directions mention what size rod to buy - and I’ve gone through every set of directions I could find. Now, when I go to the hardware store,I’ll know what size to ask them for.

Personally, I think if they are going to post instructions using a rod, a rod should be provided with the loom. I’d be willing to pay an extra ten bucks to save myself the aggravation of finding and cutting my own. 😀

Thanks again.