When I finished my second rug last week I decided it was high time I made an effort to understand the workings of my Toika Jeena countermarche loom. I’m ashamed to say I’ve never properly balanced my loom, or rather I must confess I don’t know how to do it! I knew that proper weavers do this before beginning any new project, particularly if they’ve had to change the treadling tie up. When I have changed a tie up it’s been rough and ready guess work to get a decent shed for each of the new treadle lifts. But with the advent of a more serious / dedicated approach to my attempts to weave rugs I felt now was the right moment to ‘understand my loom.
I’ve spent some time this past week reading, thinking, experimenting, making many diagrams with the intention of explaining to myself (convincingly) how the countermarche loom works and how to balance it. Many of the those generous weavers who help each other on the Weavolution website reckon you must first put some sort of warp on the loom before attempting to balance it. So I did. A very small one in jute (see above!) . This is a fibre I particularly want to work with some time soon – makes the hands a little sore though (but I have the right hand cream . . .). I made a particularly point of not drawing in the warp by allowing more than usual space at the selvedges – correcting the mistake I’d made in the early stages of my second rug. I think this warp should have been at least twice the width, but it’s served its purpose.