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Tipping the Loom


Of all the steps in the weaving process, and there are many many steps in the weaving process, the part I like least is doing the tie-up.  That usually involves crawling around on the floor so you can attach the treadles to the harnesses.  Even if you have no idea what I'm talking about, the aspect I deeply detest is crawling around on the floor.

When I was younger, actually much younger, I could crawl around on the floor with the best of them.  My knees were strong and happy.  My abs, if not flat, were strong.  I could happily sit cross legged for hours.  I could crouch without discomfort.  None of that is true anymore.  This single part of the weaving process is why I spent a small fortune on a computer controlled loom.  I love the Louet loom but if I enjoyed the tie-up chore I would have bought a much less expensive loom.

I have been weaving a long time.  I have lots of friends that are weavers.  But some of the best tips, tricks and hacks don't get transmitted from weaver to weaver until someone, often a beginning weaver, asks what they think might be a foolish question or gets the conversation going with a simple statement.  Someone on the Four Shaft Facebook group was talking about using her gardening knee pads when she got down on the floor to do the tie-up.  She had figured out that attacking the treadles from the back of the loom was easier for her.  Two of my weaving friends jumped into the conversation.  Diane Ferguson suggested tipping the loom forward onto a chair so the treadles were far enough off the ground that you could sit in a chair rather than be on your knees, with or without gardening knee pads.  Then D'Anne Craft said that was the way she always did her tie-ups.

Well, geesh!  What a fabulous idea!  All of the conversation on the Facebook group concerned a much smaller loom, the Schacht Baby Wolf, but why would this not work on my larger looms?  The only consideration was the weight of the looms.  I couldn't tip either of my looms forward onto a chair by myself. 

My husband, Ron, always a trooper, came to help.  I finished the tie-ups on both my floor looms in only moments with no back pain, no knee pain, no worry about whether I would be able to get myself up off the floor.  All in all, a huge success.

Peggy and I talked about it.  Turns out she always does her tie-ups from the back of her loom.  That was a new idea for me.  I gave her a new idea about tilting the loom forward onto a chair.  Peggy's Schacht Standard loom is the same size as mine so I doubt she will be able to do it by herself but she has a husband who is also a trooper and will be happy to help.