As in, countermarch loom! Yes, the big Glimåkra loom that I've had for several years and have just warped up for the very first time. What drove me to do it was an impending birth in the family and I thought that a baby blanket would be just the right gift. When that bright idea first entered my mind there was enough time to knit one, but ohno...I was going to WEAVE that blanket.
My research uncovered quite a few cute baby blanket patterns, including quite a few in famous rug weaver, Tom Knisely's new book on baby blankets. The one I liked was too wide for my "little" loom, so I pulled up my big girl panties, ordered the yarn, and started to wind the warp. That part was relatively uneventful. Getting the warp onto the loom was no big deal as I have the Vavstuga warping trapeze, and....this was a pretty short warp.
Apparently, I don't have a photo of the trapeze in operation with this project (it's on the other loom for another warp), but it's simply genius and geniusly simple. And it works.
The problems started once I began threading the heddles. Pretty fine yarn, and white on white....ugh. I got to the end and, of course, there were a bunch of threads left over. Not good. So, back to the beginning to find the mistake(s). Yeah, they were very soon into the threading, so another two days spent on pulling threads out and redoing. 824 times. Now, it went better, but there were still 4 ends left. I think this is something I'm doing wrong when counting on my warping mill, because I always end up with 4 ends too many! I just pull them off the back and hope for the best.
The countermarch part of the loom was the scary part. I've woven on countermarch looms at Vavstuga, of course, but haven't paid enough attention to certain parts of the process. It was not fun. Well, until the lightbulb moment occurred. I used the Vavstuga Tie Up system...again, positively ingenious....and after much angst, it was ready to go! (I actually like the countermarch and Vavstuga tie up system so much, I might install the countermarch that came with my little loom. The previous owner had never used it, and I certainly hadn't, but might consider it in the future.)
The tying on to the bar at the front went pretty well, although the cords around the cloth beam seemed a bit sketchy to me, and with good reason. The first time I tried to advance after doing some sample weaving, the bar started to go off square! I finally had to acknowledge the reality that it wasn't going to be okay and stop to fix the cord (do not know what the previous owner of this loom was thinking) but it seems to be on an even keel now. Oh, yeah, and just to keep me from being too prideful, there were FOUR warp breaks on the left side within about five minutes. Not one, knock wood, since I got out the temple and put it on!
One of the many issues I faced in this project is that the pattern is what I call an "American" pattern. Inside out and backwards, compared to Swedish weaving drafts. Some things were easy to figure out, some things not so much, but I have finally put all my fears of these patterns to rest and hope for clear sailing in the future. I still prefer Swedish drafts, but now I can deal with the others. One problem, though. What I'm seeing on my loom looks NOTHING like the photo from the baby book! I found a version of the pattern in another weaving book and....same thing. No resemblance. I am following the treadling pattern line by line with a little clipboard I rigged up, so no mistakes there. It just doesn't look anything like the book photo. I hope that the release of tension when this comes off the loom, and the tightening up that occurs after washing and drying, will all work their magic or I might be doing some last minute shopping for this shower!