Friday, June 7, 2013
The New Kids on the Block!
Its been a crazy-busy few weeks for us in the Loom Lounge - but at this point, that seems to be the State of the Union for Erin and I in 2013. I'm loving it and being this busy has me sleeping really well at night.
As Erin mentioned, we spent Memorial day weekend on a whirlwind road trip all the way up to PA and then back in 24 hours.
On the way up, we got to visit the Mannings Studio where in my nerdy way, I felt compelled to hug a giant antique barn loom.
The loom was from between 1800 and 1830 and had about 99% of its original pieces still intact and functional. The reed had been replaced as well as a few of the joining pegs. But considering our modern looms lose parts like kids lose teeth, I think that this loom's condition continues to impress upon me the value of antiques and quality craftsmanship.
Obviously if a 180 year old loom is still going strong, those guys knew what they were doing.
My new loom (currently dubbed "Niles") is a 4 harness 6 treadle Nilus by LeClerc with a 36inch weaving width.
(That's Erin in the corner. She's reading the instructions for her new loom, a giant Macomber Loom --currently dubbed "Mac" or "May" depending on how cheeky we're being.)
On the floor in front of my loom you see several cones of cotton. I ordered cotton directly from Supreme down in NC - great customer service and phenomenal pricing and shipping times.
Its from the 7th or 8th Century and was found by historians/archaeologists near York England. Historically, these would have been made from linen instead of the cotton I'm using. I love the tie to history in these towels. This is a 4 yard warp. Some of these towels will be gifted as a wedding gift to a childhood friend. The rest I will sell.
Erin's new loom is pretty bad-ass.
She currently has 4 harnesses on the loom, but it is expandable up to 12 harnesses. The thing is massive and heavy. By the time we rolled up to the driveway at 2 am, I barely was able to haul MYSELF up the stairs to her house, so carrying her loom up was nearly impossible.
I'm still not sure how we would have gotten it into Erin's house had her hubby not been home and kind enough to help us. YEAH for Kent!
I am sad to say, however, that I failed in my friend-duties and didn't get a photo of Mac. I did, however, get a great photo of her sleying her new loom with it's first project :)
And here's Erin's rescued and rehabbed older loom, BamBam. She's currently beamed with an overshot warp we're using as samples for our Fall teaching course. Erin's beamed with 5/2 cotton and using sock-yarn as weft. This was a really cool test weave for her as she had an "Ah Ha!" moment when the overshot just didn't look right to her. After some reading, she found out that the pattern weft (sock yarn) was just not the right weight. She ended up doing a little stash-busting to double-up her threads and the problem was solved.
We're going to wind a second of these warps to test the 8/2 cotton with sock yarn as pattern weft and see if that's a better fit for our class. :) Here's hoping!
And since I'd like to prove that I DO, In Fact, Spin:
This is a photo of the bobbin on my Canadian Production Wheel, Millie. I'm spinning white Shetland (with grey tips) from the lock. The locks are scoured, but I'm not even flick carding them open. I'm getting a semi woolen spin and its just sooo pretty. :) I've since plied this into a 2 ply - hopefully photos to come. This yarn is not yet destined for anything in particular.
While on our road-trip, I convinced Erin to pull over at a local antique mall called Old Sled Works . It was a good place to stretch our legs, but would have been more fun if we weren't on such a time crunch.
Erin picked up a hand woven table runner.
And I saw this lovely tag:
The tag read "Old Loom $400." I walked away laughing so loudly, Erin came over to inspect my mental health. *Sigh* Muggles. :-/
So that's pretty much the state of the union around here.
Our Spring class is winding down -our students have done wonderfully and we'll say goodbye to them in just 2 days! But we've got some weaving demos and workshops this summer to keep us busy and in the teaching mindset.
I'll be participating in the Tour de Fleece here in just a few weeks. I hope to stash bust some of my embarrassing amount of Fiber.
And, meanwhile, Erin and I have enough projects to keep the looms going non stop. Darned that work and spinning and knitting getting in the way!!