The Magic Dobby is due for a couple of outings this week. It is well designed for outings, since the loom and stand are each quite portable.
However, the Magic Dobby also has another excellent feature: several possible locations for warp and cloth beams. In common with many table looms, the default positions for the beams are quite cramped, making it tricky to put on a warp of more than a few metres. Alternative slots on the stand rather than on the loom itself give you much more space. (There’s quite a good image of the extra slots on the cover of the instruction manual.)
When I recently dressed the MD for the first time, I used the beams just as they were provided to me: installed on the stand. The part of my brain that knew I’d done this was working entirely separately from the part of my brain that then planned to take the loom on the road… Because, of course, if the warp and cloth are attached to the stand, the loom is not going to be quite so readily detached from it.
This particular penny finally dropped yesterday, while I was packing up my work for Tea Green. So I dragged S down to the studio for an improvised loom bodge.
Fortunately, yet another independent part of my brain was planning to use these various slots to hold more than one warp beam, so I had already purchased a second one but not yet installed it. Three beams are an excellent number for bodging with. We were able to install the new warp beam in the conventional location, then crank the warp forward, clamp the end between two lease sticks (just to be on the safe side) and gently transfer it to the new beam. Once it was wound on again, we could turn the old warp beam into the new cloth beam and make the transfer at the other end. And I still have one spare beam on the stand.
I should really have taken pictures, but got a bit too absorbed in the process. There weren’t too many Moments of Jeopardy – moments when dropping it all on the floor really would be fatal – and with four hands to do the work we got it done in about 45 mins.
And then spotted my mistake. I’d passed the cords for the front apron rod right under the loom instead of threading them through the gap between the breast beam and the cross piece. I did take a picture of that, although it is not at all clear:
We contemplated this for a while, as you do. Then decided the simplest option was to unscrew the cross piece and reattach it below the cords. The path of least jeopardy.
So now ’tis done. Bodged and ready to hit the road.
Oh, and I did take a few pictures of the work I was packing up, but the camera battery went flat and is currently charging.