WeaveMaker User's Manual — Dobby Menu
Some looms have electronic devices built in which permit them to be connected directly to a computer, which then controls the lifting of the harnesses. The Dobby Menu has the commands you need to directly drive various dobby looms.

With WeaveMaker, you can use your computer to drive your loom at the same time someone is using your computer for an entirely different purpose. Details on the loom controls and simultaneous use of your computer are on the following pages.

There are three entries in the Dobby menu which give you tools for controlling the loom:

These are considered here in reverse order.

Use Dobby Port to indicate which port on your computer is connected to the loom: modem or printer.

Use Dobby Type to indicate how your loom operates. The loom hardware expects to receive information from WeaveMaker in a certain form.

This menu item lets you instruct WeaveMaker in the proper proto-col for signalling information to your loom. Dobby Type is more fully covered in the following section.

WeaveMaker drives AVL, Macomber, and SLIPS dobby looms.

Once you have Dobby Port and Dobby Type set properly, use Dobby Weave when you are ready to start weaving. You can weave from either a peg plan or a tie-up design.

Courteous v. Fast (Dobby Type)
With WeaveMaker, you can use your computer to drive your loom at the same time as someone else is using other software on the computer. So, for example, you can sit at your loom When Dobby Weave is set, this heavy bar appears in the Peg Plan to mark the active pick. and weave while someone else does word processing or plays games on the computer. Or, if you are the one doing word processing, you can weave using WeaveMaker while you wait for a long document to print. If you want to do this type of simultaneous use, select “Courteous” mode in the Dobby Type menu. This tells WeaveMaker to share computer time with other applications you have launched.

A difficulty with courteous mode is that sometimes the computer will be busy doing something else when you are ready to treadle the loom. In this case, you have to wait. If you have exclusive use of the computer, there is no need to be courteous to others, and you should select “Fast” mode in the Dobby Type menu. This directs WeaveMaker to take over the computer com-pletely, fully devoting it to com-municating with the loom, which eliminates the delays which can arise in courteous mode.

If you select Fast mode, WeaveMaker will not update the computer’s display screen as you weave (it puts all its energy into keeping up with the loom). In courteous mode, however, WeaveMaker keeps the screen updated. Depending on what you are weaving, you might want to select courteous mode just for the fact that you can visually track what you are weaving.

SLIPS is a set of rules which describe how a computer and a dobby loom communicate. Several manufacturers use SLIPS. The discussion which follows centers on the Baby Wolf loom from Schacht Spindle, but any SLIPS-com-pliant loom will follow the same general outline of opera-tion. For Schacht Spindle Looms, such as the Baby Wolf, set the Dobby Type (Dobby menu) to SLIPS.

There are two basic strategies for using WeaveMaker with a Schacht loom. If you wish to weave rapidly (more than 15 picks per minute, say), make sure Fast is checked and Bell is not.

If you do not weave extremely rapidly, select Courteous mode. This lets other applications run on your Macintosh even while you are weaving, and it provides better screen updating, so you can easily and accurately track your weaving by consulting the screen of the computer.

Suggestion: on SLIPS (e. g., Schacht Spindle) looms, turn on your loom electronics before putting WeaveMaker into dobby weave mode (if you do it in the reverse order, the start-up signals from the loom are seen by WeaveMaker, and these look just like a normal “gear” button signal, which fools WeaveMaker into advanc-ing to the second pick. This does not cause any damage, but it is inconvenient to then have to put WeaveMaker back into pick 1).

Dobby Bell (Audible Go-ahead)
WeaveMaker has both a visual and an audible way to help you while you are actually weaving (that is, when you are Dobby Weaving).

The audible signals are provided in case you cannot see your computer screen from your loom (there is no need to take your eyes off your work to look at the computer).

Normal Treadling
The normal cycle of treadling consists of hearing the computer beep, then treadling the loom (see illustration below).

When you release the treadle, the harnesses return to rest, WeaveMaker calculates the next lift. You then hear the beep which signals you that you can once again treadle the loom.

Abnormal Treadling (Incorrect lift)
There are several reasons why normal treadling can fail. The computer may not send the lift information to the loom fast enough, static may interfere with the communication between the loom and the computer, or the dobby mechanism may fail to engage properly.

To recover from an incorrect lift:

  1. Press and release the Gear button before releasing the treadle. The computer will give two short beeps, telling you that it is going to repeat the lift. Now release the treadle, wait for the computer to beep (start of a normal cycle), and then treadle the loom normally.

  2. If you do not or cannot use method (a), you can use the up or down arrow on the keyboard to move forward or backward one thread (depending on the direction you are weaving). The computer will then beep to signal the start of a normal cycle.

Reversing Direction
If you are using a Schacht Combby unit, you can reverse direction at the start or end of any normal lift (that is, at any time when the harnesses are in rest position). Simply press and release the Gear button. You will hear two long, slow beeps, at which point you can start a normal treadling cycle. To repeat a lift, press Gear while holding the treadle down.

AVL Looms
AVL Compu-Dobby looms can be driven directly from WeaveMaker, or you can trans-fer information about your peg plan from WeaveMaker into an AVL cartridge, whereupon you can dobby weave without having your computer con-nected to the dobby unit. The immediately following section deals with directly driving the loom. If you are interested in AVL cartridge operations, please proceed to the section entitled “Open AVL Cartridge” below.

AVL Dobby Weaving
Make sure you set the Dobby Port menu item to correctly reflect how you have cabled your computer to the loom. AVL users can ignore the earlier discussions of “Fast” and “Courteous”—either mode works well with AVL looms.

AVL Loom Switches
AVL Compu-Dobby looms have six push-buttons located on a control box mounted on the right-hand side of the castle (near the black dobby box). WeaveMaker responds to these buttons during weaving (if you are weaving from a cartridge, the buttons have somewhat different meanings).

SKIP Switch
Skip the next pick.

Reverse the direction of weaving.

Go to pick #1 and set the weaving direction to forward.

SAVE Switch
TABBY Switch
These are all ignored.

Open AVL Cartridge
Dobby looms from AVL have a cartridge (a box the size of a pack of cigarettes) which stores up to five peg plan patterns. Storing patterns in the cartridge lets you weave without having your computer connected to the loom. WeaveMaker fully supports AVL cartridge operations.

When you ask to open the cartridge, you will see a window like the one shown below. The five cartridge storage areas are represented by the five rectangles on the left of the screen.

Here, only the first storage area is in use; the others are all empty.

You move information between WeaveMaker and the cartridge using copy and paste. Clicking on any of the five storage areas blackens it. Use Copy to pick up information from the cartridge and then use paste to put it into a WeaveMaker design. To put information into a cartridge, reverse the steps.

Close AVL Cartridge
Tells WeaveMaker that you are done reading or writing informa-tion to the cartridge. Remem-ber: no changes actually occur in the cartridge until you click “Save” in the cartridge window.

AVL Soft Reset
Sends a “software reset” command to the loom. This is helpful in switching the loom’s dobby device between regular weaving mode and cartridge read/write mode.