November is giving us a small but appreciated respite from our demos and educational events. Even though our December events are creeping up on us, this is a nice month to catch our breath and regroup. We're taking advantage of the time and catching up with some much needed Guild related administration, equipment purchasing/cataloging, library expansion, and (of course) meetings!
Last week, I (Kerry) rescued a loom from a nearby weaver who was down sizing. The loom is a LeClerc Minerva. She had a coat of mildew on her, some nastily rusted/warped harnesses, and in general need of some serious time at a spa.
Erin, our resident Weave-expert has been heading up the loom-rehab program.
The reed was quite rusty and needed some TLC, which Erin provided. A Dawn/Vinegar solution helped polish the metal and remove any gunk that had built up over the years. We had an impromptu guild-night on Friday and, with the help of our friend (and guild-member) Stephanie, we straightened the badly warped harnesses and removed any far-gone heddles and prepared the loom for warping.
One harness did not survive and Erin was generous enough to loan a harness until I can make arrangements to purchase one. Heddles are all working - though they will need to be replaced in the future as some are rather bent and disagreeable.
The castle is a bit warped and I will have to contact LeClerc (or a supplier) to get some must-haves for this loom. But all in all, it was a nominal price for a loom which, after a bit of TLC and a few new parts, will be in full working condition.
While this a piece of personal equipment, this loom will be one of our guild's teaching-looms.
Donated Equipment and Supplies:
Stephanie kindly donated a lovely Schacht warping board and some cone yarn. Both of which promptly got put to use. Thank you, Stephanie!
The Guild received via donation several vintage square knitting looms and a stick-shuttle.
Also, we were able to add three new books to our weaving library. (Library list to follow at a later date.)
On Friday, I headed to Tuesday Morning and found some super cool Flecked Cotton cone yarn for a great price and also some fun complimentary colors. I snapped them up and when we finished with Loom-Surgery, I started counting my warp. I envisioned a pretty plaid with the colors I had purchased and Stephanie's cone-yarn donation allowed me to expand my color selection even further. I warped out 170 ends at 4 yards per and the goal is 2 placemats.
Saturday brought about Thai food and getting the loom warped. The reed was sleyed and heddles threaded with only minimal cross-overs (etc) on my part. Erin said I didn't mess up too badly for my first attempt at threading heddles. I am doing a twill pattern so it was a very simple tie up and threading - I'm thankful of that for my first project!
Despite the late hour, we did get some weaving done and both of us were quite pleased with how pretty the fabric was.
Sunday was a bit more weaving and some education. I love being able to ask our Guild's Weave-Master (that'd be Erin!) all sorts of questions as I try to understand the "why and how" of what I'm doing in each process along the way.
The fabric is coming out beautifully and I'm SO excited about the plaid that's developing.
Public Service Announcement: Weaving is highly addictive. I'm already planning out my project. I believe my knitting is going to feel quite neglected!
This weekend Erin finished a lovely mixed-fiber table runner sampler. It was a gorgeous use of her stash-fibers and she got a chance to work on barberpole plying fibers and then using those in her weaving. She learned that weaving was a really good use for barber-poled yarns as it allowed the colors and fibers to show off in a different way than knitting or crocheting would
When that project was done and sufficiently ooh'd and ahh'd over, she began counting her warp for her current project: some waffle-weave dish towels in vibrant and beautiful blue shades of cotton.
I believe this is a kit from Halcyon yarns and the colors are just amazing.
Her reed is about 3/4 sleyed at this point and there could be weaving by the end of the night! GO ERIN!
Yes, there was a hurricane. Sandy came and she rained.
Tidewater flooded (as per usual) and there was a run on toilet paper, bottled water, bread, and milk.
No wheels or looms were harmed during our Hurricane encounter. (Thank goodness)
And, while we were lucky and fared well, we know that our fellow spinners/weavers in New England perhaps were not so lucky. Our thoughts are with them during this time as they work to get their communities, lives, and fiber-arts back on track after the devastating storm.