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Saturday, May 16, 2009

A New Toy

There's a new gadget in my weaver's toolbox, something I've wanted to find for some time now.



This is a Boyce Weaver's Knotter, made in the 1920's and used in industry to knot and trim warp ends. I wanted one to facilitate the process of tying a new warp onto an old one, either to reuse a threading, or in the case of a jacquard loom, simply to avoid having to rethread all 1000+ hooks. The worse the arthritis in my hands gets, the unhappier they are about tying a gazillion knots, especially with fine threads, so the knotter will be very useful.

This is the second knotter we bought. Mike first found one online at an auction house on the East Coast. It was listed as "in good working order" with several photos, which showed a not-too-worn unit with an intact leather handle, a minimum of gunk and lint in the inner workings, and a clearly visible serial number. When it arrived, we realized immediately that the unit sent was not the unit shown, primarily because the serial number wasn't the same. Also, it wasn't "in good working order" and in fact, could not have operated correctly because either it had been taken apart and reassembled incorrectly, or parts were bent so they wouldn't move properly. Not only that, the leather handle was not intact and the remainder was very worn. So back it went, with a grumpy note about false advertising.

The second knotter Mike found on eBay, for a lot less money than the first one. When this one arrived, all it took was one click of the trigger to know it had a MUCH better chance of working than the first one. And in fact, after a few tests to determine which way the yarns should be laid into the works, it made knots and trimmed the tag ends to a half-inch on every attempt, with several different weights of yarn. Hooray!

14 comments:

Laura said...

Cool! Hope the knotter helps your hands.

Cheers,

Laura

Leigh said...

Very interesting. I didn't realize there was such a thing. Looks very helpful!

Bev said...

Oh, wow!!! I've been trying to snag one of these on ebay for years but finally gave up. I also tie onto a dummy warp on one of my looms and think this would make it so much faster. I guess I'll go back to looking again.

rlynde said...

I think that I might have had one of those once in the left-overs of a "dead-weaver's sale" (no disrespect intended) and I had no idea what it was. Now I hope that it is still around somewhere. I'd love to try it.
Robin
http://www.meridianjacobs.wordpress.com

Deanna said...

Love this post! I eyed a couple of these on ebay a few years ago, but... she who hesitates is lost..... I'm really glad to hear how well yours works.

neki desu said...

being the gadgeteer i am i'd love to get one of those.

neki desu

shirleytreasure said...

Oooooh! I want one!
Does it help heaps on your hands? Is eBay the only way to aquire one of these? and approx how much does a Weaver's knotter cost?
Shirley

Holly said...

Which size did you get -- I saw the the maker's website that there are three sizes.

jenish said...

where to buy this knotter in india please reply me on this mail id jenishlilawala@gmail.com & mukesh15955@yahoo.in please reply as soon as possible

Joyce said...

I realize this is a really old post so I hope you will still be able to help me. I just acquired 2 of these. One has a "B" stamped on it and the other has an "O" stamped on it. I assume these are the sizes. What size is your knotter?

I can only get the B knotter to work, and only with stuff the size of sewing thread. I can't get it to work with, for example, #10 crochet cotton. It simply jams when I try.

The "O" size knotter isn't working properly at all. I tries to make a knot but doesn't complete the sequence. It appears someone took it apart as the cover is missing.

At any rate, what size is your knotter?

Hector L. Vazquez said...

Hey I have one for sell

Hector L. Vazquez said...

Hello.. Weaver knotter for sale from 1926 in perfect condition for sale

Hector L. Vazquez said...

Hello.. Weaver knotter for sale from 1926 in perfect condition for sale

Hector L. Vazquez said...

Hey I have one for sell