December 12, 2011

Work is progressing smoothly on getting the AVL up and working.  I'm really hoping to be able to tie up the warp that was left on the beam by the end of this week. 

I recently sent an email through the site, asking for some help in putting the AVL loom together.  Based on what I had read online and heard from others, I really wasn't expecting to get a response.  Word is that the AVL organization isn't all that concerned in helping.  SO WRONG!  Not only did I get a fast response, it was from the President of the company!  Read...

From: "Bob Kruger" []

Date: 12/09/2011 12:48 PM

Subject: RE: Contact Us Form Submission
Dear Andy,

You have a Production Dobby Loom, 48", 16 harnesses, polyester heddles, 1-box flyshuttle, bottom swing beater, plain beam and raddle. The loom was made in 1981.

We don't have on-line copies of manuals for looms that old. The closest can be found at:

The Production Dobby Loom (PDL) was originally designed by Mr. Ahrens about 20 years before the founding of AVL. This was one of many different looms he designed, but it was one of his most versatile and loved. The PDL was the first design Mr. Ahrens transferred to AVL for mass production. AVL made its first PDLs in 1976 and its last in 2002. Over the years of production there have been some changes to the loom including width, depth, and materials. However, the loom operates in exactly the same way as it always has, with the exception of the cloth storage tension system. The PDL manual in our library has a much different system. Yours is actually the same as the modern A-Series system, with the exception of where we mount the pulleys.

The loom appears to be correctly assembled, though there may be some small details I have overlooked. The turnbuckle is too loose. At arm up (shed closed) cam should be rotated such that the cable comes off at its lowest point.

The treadling action you observed is correct. The weight of the harnesses is causing the shed to close automatically. However, the dobby arm will stop moving upward where it is lift by the harness movement. The left treadle is there to move the arm a fraction of an inch up, and this little movement is where the dobby gets its cue to change shed. So, while the amount of work done by the left treadle is very small, it is very important.

The shed can be held open foot-free by inserting a pin in the hole located at the lower rear of the dobby head.

Best of luck!
Best Regards,

Bob Kruger
AVL Looms, Inc.
2360 Park Avenue, Chico, CA 95928
direct: 530-893-4915 ext. 233 fax: 530-893-1372

December 9, 2011

The AVL Loom Model 00150

Here are some pictures of the beautiful AVL loom Gary and I are trying to set up.  Any help will be greatly appreciated.
 View from the right side.

 view of the rear from the left side
 View of the rear
 Plaque on the loom

 View of the right treadle, not depressed, shed is closed
 View of the harneses, shed open
 Left treadle close up, not depressed, shed is closed
 Dobby Cam when the treadles aren't depressed and the shed is closed
 Side view of the dobby cam, shed closed
 Dobby, shed closed
 Dobby, shed open
 Dobby Cam, shed open
 Dobby cam cable to the treadle
 Dobby cam cable to the turnbuckle

December 4, 2011

I've been at the Holiday Market at Grove Center in Oak Ridge this weekend.  Friday, Saturday and tomorrow, Sunday, 12/2, 3 and 4.  So far, I'm having a great show.  my best so far.  I've seen several friends, met some really great people, and have reunited with my friend Linda for the show.  She's been away for about a month. 

Yesterday and today, I gave a workshop on how to weave using the potholder loom.  In preparation for the workshops, I finally prepared my handouts for weaving with loopers and with yarn.  Here they are:

        How to Make Potholder Loom Potholders

Materials you will need:

A potholder loom
A weaving hook
18 to 36 loopers, depending on the size of your loopers
A Crochet hook is optional


1. Loopers are a by-product of sock manufacturing. Socks are knit in tubes. Once the sock has been fully knit, the machine sews a seam across the body of the sock to form the toe and cuts the sock free. The looper is the piece of the knit tube that is cut off. The size of the looper is determined by the kind of sock that was being made.

2. The number of loopers you will need to weave a potholder depends on the thickness of the looper. There is more than 1 kind of looper available: nylon, jersey, wool, and cotton. The nylon and jersey loopers are very thin and make a thin potholder. The wool loopers are thicker, but coarse. The cotton loopers are thick and soft. They make a thick potholder and are easier to weave.

3. Choose a pattern or color scheme. Take a look at the loops you have in your supply and determine if you will use them in a particular pattern or simply adopt a random approach to the design of your potholder.

4. Set up the loom for weaving.

a. String the loops in one direction onto your loom. You will need to decide first how many loops to put on your loom. If your loopers are thick, you will have a difficult time finishing the potholder if you fill up all of the pegs. I recommend that you start with 1 loop on every other peg or 9 loops per side.

b. Start by attaching a loop to a peg on one end and stretch a loop all the way across the loom to the peg directly across from the peg you started on.

c. Continue this process until two of the four edges of the loom have loops stretched between them, all the way across.

5. Start weaving.

a. Hold the loom facing you with the loops you just put on it stretched vertically.

b. Start at the upper right corner of the loom, holding the weaving hook at the right, thread it through the loops though to the left side of the loom, as shown in the picture: over 1 loop, under 1 loom, all the way across to the other side.

c. Once you reach the other end with the hook, take one of the loopers and hook onto it with the end of the hook.

d. Then pull the hook back, while pulling the looper with it, through the stretched across loops. Make sure that the end of the loop you’re not pulling gets hooked onto the peg.

e. Once you’ve made it to the other side with the loop, put that end around the peg that is directly across from the peg you put the onther end on. (In the picture, look at the first red loop for an example)

f. Now, thread the hook back through the stretched out loops, but this time go over where you went under before and under where you went over before.pick up a loop, hook it to the end of the hook and pull it through, keeping in mind to hook the other end of the loop to the peg.

g. Again once you’ve made it to the other side with the loop,m stretch the end around the peg. (In the picture, this would have been the top 2 loops going from right to left. The first one was Red and the next one was grey.)

h. Continue doing the same 2 steps until you have filled the loom.

6. Finish the edges.

a. Start in one corner of the loom and use a crochet hook to go through the corner loop and grab the second loop which you will pull through. Pull the third loop through the second loop and the fourth loop through the third loop. Continue this process all the way around the potholder until you reach the final loop. This loop will remain as a loop for hanging your loom loop potholder.

Here is a picture of a finished potholder:

How to Weave with Yarn on a Potholder Loom

Materials you will need:

A potholder loom
1 or more skeins or balls of yarn, depending on the size of the yarn
A weaving hook
A long, large eyed needle
Crochet Hook, Optional


1. To weave with yarn on the potholder loom, you need to first decide how “lacy” or open you want your weave to be. That will help you to know how many threads you will need to use together as you weave. Yarns come in different sizes. Some are very thin, others very thick. The thinner the yarn, the more threads you would need to use to get a square with no holes. To get a woven square with no holes, using regular 4 ply knitting yarn, you need to use 2 threads together. .

2. Once you have your thread ready, holding your loom vertically, tie the 2 ends of your yarn around the peg at the top left corner of your loom. Holding the threads together as one, pull them across to the right side of the loom and wrap them around the peg the is exactly opposite the peg you used at the left. Then, pull your threads back over to the left and wrap them around the outside of the 2nd peg.

3. Continue going left to right, right to left, wrapping the yarns around the outside of each peg until you have all of the pegs wrapped with yarn.

4. Now, using the weaving hook, go over 4 threads and under 4 threads from the left side of the loom to the right.

5. Place a loop from the end of your free yarn onto the hook and pull it back through the loom to the left side.

6. Run your hook back through the threads, this time 4 over and 4 under from the left to the right, hook another loop of the free yarn, and pull it back to the left through the loom.

7. Continue doing the same 2 steps until you have filled the loom.

8. Finish the edges.

Start in one corner of the loom and use a crochet hook to go through the corner loop and grab the second loop which you will pull through. Pull the third loop through the second loop and the fourth loop through the third loop. Continue this process all the way around the potholder until you reach the final loop. This loop will remain as a loop for hanging your loom loop potholder or you can sew the loop down.

9. To make a little cell phone or glasses bag, fold your finished square in half. Stitch up the small bottom and up the open side to make a vertical rectangle. Then take the yarn you used to make the square, measure out the length you want the strap to be from one end to the other. Now, triple that measurement to get enough yarn to take into account the twisting you will be doing. Once you’ve measured out the length you want for your strap tripled, measure out 3 more lengths to give you 4 threads the entire length of your strap.

10. Now, either get a friend to hold one end of the strap or tie one end to a door handle. Stretch out the length of the yarn and start twisting the yarn, until it starts to twist up onto itself. (If you got a friend to help, each of you should twist in different directions.

11. Once you’ve completed the twisting, one of you should let go. The yarn should twist up onto itself turning your 4 separate yarns into a twisted strap.

12. With a separate short length of yarn, tie the loose end either close to the ends or further up, if you want to include a piece of fringe at one side of the little bag.

13. Then sew both ends of the strap to the top of the little bag,, and you have made your own very cute little bag.

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