Thursday, April 10, 2014

The Weaver's Delight Cams and What They Can Do

Hopefully some of this information will be helpful to someone else with a Newcomb Weaver's Delight loom.  I realized I never wrote about the cams when I was doing the restoration of my loom, probably because I didn't know anything about them at the time.

My loom did not come with all the cams available, but only the basic ones.  The basics are four No. 1-2 combinations, two No. 8-9 combinations, one No. 7 and one No. 10.

Shown at the left are two of the four cams for plain weave.  They are numbered I and II and are reversible.  The left one is I and the right one is flipped over to be II.  Four are needed to weave a simple over and under plain weave.
The four cams would be alternated like this on the cam shaft.

These cams are also used in other weaves besides the plain weave.
No. 7 can be used either side to be a 7.
No. 8, with the notch to the right.  The reverse is No. 9.
No. 9, (No. 8 flipped to the other side).  Sorry I couldn't put this one in the same orientation as the others.  My computer is acting up and won't show them the way they are in my file.
No. 10  can be used with either side facing forward.
 Combinations of four cams are installed on the loom to create different patterns.
The cams are held in place by a heavy nut that needs to be tightened securely.
This short wooden bar, shown in its non working position needs to be raised to an upright position to install the cams.
It holds the four weaving shafts up so the cams can slip on the hub.
The cams will not stay in position unless the square key is in the notch on the cam and the hub. Getting all four cams installed may require pulling the beater forward and back to rotate the cams.
They are easier to install when they are in the lower position.  Here are the first two, controlling shaft 4 and 3.
Three are installed.  Pulling the beater forward will rotate those three until the open spot is toward the bottom.

The above instructions are used if there is already a warp on the loom.  If the loom is empty, it is easier to install the cams because the shafts can be lifted out of the loom to get them out of the way.  It's a good time to add some oil to them everywhere the metal rubs on another metal part.  Do the same for the cams.
Several patterns are included in the Weaver's Delight manual.  It only shows a very small amount of how the pattern will look.  I made a drawdown that shows 16 times more than is shown in the manual.

I made cards with instructions on how to install the cams for each one of the designs that are in the manual.  This is the first one and the rest are below.  Each card shows which cam goes on each shaft, the position of each cam when the key is in the upper left position, which shafts are up and a small drawdown graph of the design.

This is one of my favorite patterns for rugs.  It was suggested to me for my first warp on the loom and I received many compliments on how the rugs looked. It isn't from the WD manual but can be found in the book Rag Rug Handbook by Meany and Pfaff.
This is an example of the Chicken Tracks or Double Seed pattern.
When doing my experiments with weaving cloth on the WD, I used three of the above patterns.

The stripe arrangement is the thread count for the Wanstall tartan.  I didn't weave the tartan since it is for Wanstall family members.

I got four generous sized towels from the warp I was experimenting with.

This one at left is woven with the Kersey Twill pattern, which is just a 2/2 twill.  Click on any photo to make it bigger.
This is a close-up of what Bird's Eye looks like.
The pattern above the yellow line is Union.  It makes a very attractive towel.

With my next towel warp, I will try the other patterns.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

More Projects Completed

Rather than tie up one of my floor looms for just a plain weave project, I put this prayer shawl on my rigid heddle loom.  I used 8/2 cotton for the warp in five colors to go with the rust weft.  It is sett at 12.5 epi.  The odd number is because it is a European loom that a friend from Germany gave me.  At 20" wide, it is the perfect width for the shawls.  The weft from my stash is an acrylic boucle.
This was my choice of yarn for a prayer lap blanket.  I was looking for something suitable for a man.
I think it was a nice choice and will be nice in the chemo room where it is quite often cooler than comfortable, especially when sitting there for hours.  It was given to my neighbor.

The colors are sort of muted in the photo.  The skein captures the actual colors a bit better.  I skipped twisted fringe on this blanket and wove enough for hems with the 8/2 yarn I used for the warp. The threading order is 4-3-2-1 for plain weave.  This was done on my Leclerc Fanny floor loom, since I needed a 34" width.  It is sett at 16 epi.  Both this blanket and the shawl above are not beaten while weaving but just gently placed.  It makes a nice lightweight cover that is still quite warm.

With the remainder of the blanket warp, I chose to weave one of the twill treadlings on page 6 of Marguerite Davison's book, A Handweaver's Pattern Book, version XXXV.
 The patterns in the book are written for counterbalance looms, so I was able to tie up the loom as shown.  If I had been using my jack loom, I would have tied up the spaces instead of the x's.
This is for my almost three year old granddaughter.  Our son says she loves playing with her dolls and blankets.  The warp, as I said before is a teal 8/2 cotton.  The weft is this super soft acrylic and mohair blend and various colors of 8/2 cotton for the dots in the pattern draft.
It isn't very big, but fine for a small child to wrap around her babies.

Now to get back to weaving.  Next to show will be the towels woven with the stripes for the Wanstall tartan.