Tuesday, 1 January 2008

My workshop

These pictures didn't come out as clearly as I'd hoped, I think there's just too much too see in each image.

They both show the part of my workshop where I have my handweaving loom. The loom is very compact. It's an eight shaft Toika Norjaana, countermarche with an overslung beater. It is 5' 1" tall (155 cm) (I am 156 cm tall!), 45 3/4" (116 cm) wide, and 4' (122 cm) front to back. This just fits in under the sloping ceiling, leaving a space where I can stand in front of it without banging my head on the roof beam - but I have to warn all my visitors to mind their heads!

Behind the loom you will see my latest purchase of 12/2 cottons from William Hall & Co.*, I haven't found anywhere else to put them yet. On the right of this picture there's a pile of plastic boxes with yarn stashed in them.

I get lovely daylight through the two roof windows, one behind my loom and the other over my work table (right), however, in these photos taken after dark, you can see the beautiful light from a special flourescent tube, chosen for it's wide spectrum light (Polylux XL F58W/835). I have a more "daylight" type flourescent (Polylux F36w/860) over the worktable, which gives a rather bluish light. Both give enough good quality light that I can use them for photography without additional flash.

Here is a side view of the loom, I stood on a chair behind my worktable to get this view. Weaving books are piled up this side of the loom on top of a structural beam. Beyond my loom bench you can see a very useful set of shelves on which I pile all the odds and ends I need to hand, shuttles, pirns, scissors, temples, sample folders, etc., and my reeds and raddle are leaning against the wall.

On the floor behind the loom is a tray of dyed wool waiting to be spun.

This loom was my first loom, and it has proved a very good purchase. I sometimes think it would be useful to have a table loom as well, because they are portable and work differently so you can use them for weave structures my countermarche loom isn't suited too. Then, I also have days when I dream of drawlooms, or more shafts. The truth is - there's no space for even a small second loom and no room for a loom that is any bigger than this one. Other work spaces that you can't see house my two Timbertops Leicester spinning wheels and stash of fibre for spinning, and a writing desk.

I have found out that I could (affordably) get more shafts and treadles for this loom, get a 2nd warp beam for it, and a "shaft switching device" to enable fancy patterned rug weaving. All these have their temptations - but I must weave more (and reduce the yarn stash) before I can justify to myself the spending money on extra weaving equipment.


* William Hall & Co., 177 Stanley Road, Cheadle Hulme, Cheadle, Cheshire, SK8 6RF, England.
0161 437 3295 (no website).
Suppliers of handloom weaving and knitting yarns, plain & fancy, including their own plain and mercerised cottons, also suppliers of yarns from Holma-Helsinglands A.B. and Borgs Vavgarner A.B.

Toika Norjaana loom, bought 2nd hand, but originally supplied by the very helpful Don Porritt, of The Studio, Leathley Road, Menston, West Yorks, LS29 6DP, England (no website), tel: 01943 878329 and 874736, who has supplied me with reeds and other equipment.


callybooker said...

What fabulous lighting. My studio is north-facing and in winter I have the lights on almost all the time - you've inspired me to look at my bulb choices more carefully!

Peg in South Carolina said...

I agree with Cally about the lighting. Thank you for posting the pics. It's always fun to see how other weavers live. I had a studio in Georgia, but here I am spread out with my loom and books in one area, my yarn in two areas, some of my stuff in the family room, and other stuff in my sewing room. But it all works out. Question: what happens when what you want is in the bottom plastic case..............?

Leigh said...

It's absolutely fun to see other weavers' studios. Lighting is my biggest concern too. Fortunately I have a big window to put my loom near. I confess that I don't do anything with it after dark. I'll have to keep your lighting recommendations in mind.

Helen said...

Thank you for taking photos of your studio.I always find that where other people work fascinating. I was particularly interested in the light bulbs you used. Are these easy to get hold of?

lesley said...

Dot your studio puts me to shame. I have the space but it's a total mess! My only excuse is that animals have to come first on the farm but even so... when I see what a beautiful space you have it really makes me determined to do better. You really have made use of every space. It looks so inviting!