So I’ve been playing around with my new 4-shaft countermarch loom this evening. I’ve tied up the shafts, the heddles and the lamms, but I’m stumped on the treadles. The draft that I have looks something like this:
The “X’s” represent the shafts that will move down when treadled. These are tied to the upper lamms. The “0’s” are tied to the lower lamms and will go up.
There are 6 columns in the draft, each column represents 1 treadle. There are 4 rows per column, each row represents 1 cord. These cords go through the holes in the treadles and are connected to the lower lambs and the shafts.
The upper lamms are connected directly to the shafts, the lower lamms to the jacks. I have the first “Y” cord from my jacks going down behind the first shaft and behind of the first upper lamm then through the middle hole of the first lower lamm, the second cord behind the second shaft & second upper lamm and so on (when I say first I am looking from the front of the loom). I have three cords hanging from each upper and lower lamm ready to connect to the 6 treadles (the three cords from the upper lamm hangs behind the corresponding lower lamm).
My understanding is that I should only ever have to untie and retie the treadles when changing the pattern, but I could be wrong.
I’ve ordered a bunch of books and a DVD by Peggy Osterkamp, The Magic of Handweaving by Sigrid Piroch, Learning to weave by Deborah Chandler but it looks like they are going to take a month or more to arrive! I can’t wait that long to try a simple weave!
When I tried to tie up the cords as per the pattern for the first treadle (actually it was the 6th treadle as I started from right to left) I ended up crossing cords and I just wasn’t sure if this was the done thing or am I supposed to rethread all the cords through the lamms so that this doesn’t happen somehow?
The other thing that has me boggled is how tight to do the 4 cords in each treadle. The treadles have to be on an angle, now the front cord would need to be shorter then the back cord. One source I have says that you should (using the texsol cords by the way) have the first cord taught, the second and third cord one “hole” away from taught and the fourth cord 2 holes away from taught, it goes on to list the holes for each cord for up to 12 shaft loom so I’m not even sure that I’ve got that information quite right yet.
The treadles are hinged at the back, so they have to be angled away from you, how high off the ground should they be? I’m guessing it can’t be too steep and angle or otherwise how can you press on the treadles with your feet? The Glimakrausa instructions say that “the distance from the lower lamms to the treadles should be about the same distance between the upper and lower lamms”, distance at which point?
Treadles of Countermarch loom
This is the photo the original owners took. The lower lamms are on a downward angle (which is wrong according to everything I’ve read so far). They had the cords looped around bamboo sticks pushed through O-ring things screwed into the wood, the had gotten loose so those coloured things are hair ties. I’ve removed the screws and the bamboo and re-drilled the holes so that the cords thread nicely through the holes and can be secured from underneath, much neater if you ask me.
I was hoping that making this post would actually clear up a few things for me and the answers would jump out, they aren’t so if anyone else with a 4-shaft countermarch loom is reading this I hope you can give me some insight please. For now the boys have finished cooking a roast lamb for dinner, then back to scouring Dot
blogs for more tidbits of information.