It does have its limitations, however, as it’s a counterbalance loom. That means that the harnesses really have to be in balance. On my 4-harness loom, that means 2 harnesses up and 2 harnesses down. Pick 2, any 2. But it can’t do unbalanced weaves – those that require 1 harness up and three down (or vice versa).
Therefore, once I figured out how to understand the directions for doing doubleweave, I had to figure out how to do it on my loom. Doubleweave requires 1 harness to be raised at a time, and that’s not in the nature of counterbalance looms.
Now, I know that there are some companies that make counterbalance looms that can be fitted with a shed regulator – a device that makes it possible to get get a clean shed on an unbalanced weave. So I went online and looked at them, trying to figure out what they did and if one would work on my handmade loom. The best I could determine was that it’d require modifications to the loom that I didn’t know how to make, nor was I sure I wanted them made. (Plus they were fairly costly.)
That was the bad news. The good news was that it appeared to me that the primary thing the shed regulator did was to raise up the entire harness. Could I figure out how to do that on my loom?
Well, since I’d already changed all the cords critical to the loom’s operation to Texsolv, it was a simple matter to shorten the top cords and give it a try. It works! YAY!
Now, it’s true that I don’t get a big shed, so when I’m doing doubleweave I have to work slowly, and I have to advance the warp frequently, but it works!
(For you non-weavers, I’m going to put together a post with weaving terminology, and will explain them with photos.)
I’m not suggesting that this would work on every counterbalance loom, but it works on mine. I wouldn’t do unbalanced weaves all the time, but for the baby blankets, it’s ok. It reinforced once again the lovely, little poem that one of the loom’s prior owners taped to it’s main balance.
My simple pleasures,
my gentle joys
weave a lovely pattern
of contentment in my life.