Running repairs

Some things are so easy to fix, and yet I have managed to go nearly seven years avoiding this one! When I bought the Megado from Ans, she pointed out to me a little area of Texsolv which her cat had chewed on. It was the cord that runs from the dobby treadle to a small block, which swings into position under the main treadle to stop the weaver attempting to open the shed when the dobby chain is mid-move. It has remained a little frayed but intact ever since, and only gave up the ghost on Saturday when it suddenly unravelled.

It took me, oh, whole minutes to unhook this piece, measure out a new piece to the length it used to be, and attach the new piece to the loom.

You can see the block at the right hand side of the photo above. The new cord, being unstretched, is a wee bit shorter than the old one, so I had to twiddle the duck under the treadle to give it a bit more slack and swing the block out away from the treadle. As the cord stretches, the duck can be gradually tightened up.

I realise I have just used the phrase “twiddle the duck”. Louet use these wee plastic widgets for fine adjustments to cord length, and they have a bit of black plastic that goes through the holes in the texsolv and it looks (to me) like a duck’s head with a beak. To make the adjustment, you turn – or twiddle – a cylindrical nut so that more or less of the duck’s neck is showing. Simples.

Other weekend activities included a two-day class on overshot, where I cracked the whip until my students had produced all of this:

I love making other people work hard! They did so well, and brought loads of energy into the studio which was wonderful.

This coming weekend is Open Studios, and I have also started work on the first marking mountain of 2017, so it is not just the repairs which are running right now… But I must stop to say a big thank you to Alice, Barbara, Janice, Sally, Stacey, Susie and Vibeke, who all contributed images for me to use at Pecha Kucha Night last week. It was a great night, and I enjoyed the atmosphere created by the other speakers and the friendly crowd, so by the time I took my turn I was no longer feeling nervous. That was before I knew that, in addition to the 400 folk in the hall, it was also being streamed live on Facebook! I’d have invited all of you, had I known about the livestreaming, but in any case a video will be posted online some time between now and the next event in May, so I will let you know when that happens.

Oh, and I am in the news today! It’s always interesting, and a bit disconcerting, to see my practice through the eyes of someone else, especially non-weaving eyes. I hope it will encourage a few folk through the doors at the weekend, so they can see my low-tech tech for themselves.

Running repairs” was posted by Cally on 9 March 2017 at

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7 Responses

  1. Martha

    Very nice news article Callly! Love the term “twiddle the duck” – very original 😉

  2. Perry drevo

    I enjoy your blog and pics thanks. What do you. Have underneath your Megado loom? My Megado does not have a block that swings out. Can you post a picture of the The Twidle the duck? Don’t think I have any of those either I have semi clear plastic hooks that you can move up and down the texsolv

    • Cally

      Mine is a mechanical dobby, so if yours is a compudobby it is very likely different. As the duck is under the treadle and only a couple of inches off the ground, it is a hard one to photograph – I should really take pictures of the flock of ducks on the Delta – but I managed a sort-of-selfie with it here. A bit out of focus.

  3. fancythreads

    I saw you at the Pecha Kucha night and thought your talk was really interesting! And, you were wonderful during the technical hitch, too. So, well done.
    Your students samples are lovely.

    • Cally

      Thanks! You know what was best about the mic fail? It wasn’t my fault!

  4. Lillian

    Love the pic of our work Cally. I’ve pinched it to show friends – I hope you don’t mind. I wonder if it would be ok to put it on my facebook page? (I’ve forgotten how to get pics from my phone to the computer!!)


    • Cally

      By all means, share away! You did the work 🙂 Glad you enjoyed the weekend.