Tuesday, 18 December 2007

An improvement, thanks to Peggy Ostercamp.

This is the view I normally have had of my reed while sleying. As you see, the rounded wooden bar that clamps the reed into the beater dominates the view. You can see the heddles on the shafts behind, but not the threads running from the heddles to the reed. To see those, I have to lean over that wooden bar and look behind it. I have to see those threads in the heddles in order to select and count the next group of threads to pull through the next slot in the reed. Once the threads are in the correct slot I hang onto them with one hand until I have another group, then I knot them (with a slip knot) in front of the reed to make them secure.

This work has been rather laborious and hard on my back.

As I told you in my post of 8th December, I have bought two books by Peggy Ostercamp and am learning a great deal from them. The biggest thing I have learnt, that I learn with every page I turn, is to ask more questions. To always think, is there another way to do this? Is there a better way, or is this the best way?

I had not thought before that there might be a better way to work when sleying the reed than the method I have described. Not on the loom that is, I have heard of people sleying the reed before they put the warp on the loom. But Peggy suggested tilting the reed away from you. Well, my reed was in the beater and it doesn't tilt like that, so I just turned the page and read something else. Then I thought, hang on a moment, what about removing that bulky part of the beater that clamps it in place?

When I was next needing to sley a warp in the reed, I undid the wing nuts that hold the top in place and put it to one side. The reed didn't fall out of the beater, it just tips usefully to one side. This is such a time saver, and back saver, that I actually enjoyed what had previously been painful and tedious. I think the pictures below explain why:

With credit,and great thanks, to:
Warping Your Loom and Tying on New Warps, Peggy Ostercamp, 3rd edition, (self-published) ISBN 0-9637793-5-4. See pp. 55-57


Cally said...

Now that's interesting - I always tip my reed forwards when sleying! Usually I slip it right out of the beater and lay it across the front of the loom supported on two lease sticks, but in either case I pull the thread through from top to bottom rather than from bottom to top. Isn't it fascinating how many ways there are to do things?

Peg in South Carolina said...

Another thing that might help you is using a longer sleying hook. The one you are using is quite short. Getting a longer one would mean you would have to lean over even less.
I occasionally think of trying Cally's technique. Logically it seems the easiest of the possibilities. Guess I'm just being obstinate!