Wednesday 2 January 2013

Another loom...

Saved from the waste tip - last year I bought some spinning equipment from a man who was clearing out his mother's house, as an after thought he mentioned there was an old loom that he had been going to take to the tip, but could drop off at our house instead.

We think this was made to the plans in David Bryant's book, also available from his Craft Designs website. It is probably around 30 years old, same as the spinning wheels I bought at the same time. The owner had clearly been a keen spinner and weaver and taught the crafts - I also have yet to sort out a bag of homemade rigid heddles, stick shuttles and backstrap loom pieces.

We have had fun caring for this loom, it has been taken apart, all the wood and metal re-finished, got new supports for the beater and rubber stops for the beater on the castle, new aprons, new shaft springs. A couple of nights ago I rubbed the shafts with candlewax to help the heddles slide along them.

I like the metal ratchet and pawls and the way the shaft levers lock in position. I like the solid wooden frame, it's rather beautiful. However it has sat on our living room floor in the way of my piano for six months and it is about time I got a test warp on it to check the shaft action as there is now a weaver ready and waiting for a loom, so if she likes the look of it and I find that all is working well it can go on to a new home - and then I can play my piano again!

Postscript: two blog posts in the two days of 2013: I shan't keep it up, you know!

Tuesday 1 January 2013

A Day in the Life of My Loom

This is an annual 1st January event started by Meg where weavers around the world post photos of their looms on New Year's day. I expect most weavers have cloth on their looms, due to a series of foot/knee/ankle problems my floor loom has not been in used for weaving for some while. With the aid of an excellent physiotherapist that should not be the case for much longer.

What is on my loom here is - on the back beam,  a collection of recently spun skeins of yarn that I washed to set the twist a couple of days ago (a range of coloured merino and alpaca blends) on the top bar a few woven bands (right), a couple of skeins of handspun white Portland and a beautiful stole I have been wearing woven by one of my weaving friends, Mavis Lakin, in plain weave and showing Mavis' incredible talent for putting together yarns and colours. The warp is a Collinette boucle yarn, I'm not sure of the fibre content, and the weft is a darker varigated wool yarn. It feels wonderful and drapes most elegantly.

Behind the loom are boxes and bags of fibre and yarn and a box with a few spindles (on the left).

Work in progress today includes spindle spinning a merino and silk blend (one of those from the New Zealand spinning wheel makers, Ashford) and a knitted cowl from my own handspun yarns (the pattern by Elizabeth Lovick is in YarnMaker no. 12). The red wool in the cowl is left from a scarf I wove for my Mother for Christmas 2009.

Best wishes to all for the New Year - 2013!