This is a new to me 8 harness Spring loom. I had been pondering for a year getting a new loom that would treadle easier than my current Kessenich 8 harness jack loom. But if I was going to get a new loom I wanted to have more harnesses and greater design capability. At Convergence I explored AVL and Louet looms. I sat down and wove on their different models, both computerized and not. A computerized loom was not in my budget, so they were eliminated. I narrowed my search to a Louet Spring loom or a AVL Home loom.
On my birthday this year I gave myself permission to get a new loom.
Thanks to Ravelry where someone had listed in the Warped Weavers Marketplace group “find of the day” a Craig’s listing for a used Spring loom in San Antonio. I had persued 2 other used looms, but neither had worked out. After making contact with the seller I drove 3 1/2 hours to San Antonio the next day to see the loom. It was an older 8 Harness Spring loom a little dirty but in good shape otherwise. It came with various shuttles, an Ashford bench, a couple of books and some other items I won’t keep. It would not fit in my Ford Escape, which I knew when I went. The following weekend we borrowed our neighbors Suburban and picked up the loom.
My husband helped reassemble the loom. The front and back beams needed to be removed to get it out of the previous owners home. The wood simply required a wipe down. The texsolve Heddles and tie- ups all got washed, now being sparkling white. Removing, washing and restringing the 800 heddles with the loom is something I don’t want to repeat.
My goal is to weave on the loom to get used to it, then add another 4 harnesses. I also would like to add a Temple Treadle to the loom. More about Tempo Treadle in my next post.
This fella I saw on my morning walk. It’s hard to get close enough to get a picture before they’re spooked and fly off.
If this shawl had been started after the awards ceremonies earlier this month it’s inspiration could have been all those beautiful metallic gowns worn by the celebrities attending. But my inspiration was from a previous project, a scarf woven in this pattern with a different metallic yarn.
The warp is an 8/2 Tencel sett at 20 epi. The weft is a gold metallic sewing thread sold for quilting.
The shawl is off the loom and having the fringe twisted and beaded. My fringe twister broke on finishing the previous shawl. One of the two alligator clips broke. It surely broke from over use. Luckily a second twister had been bought when the other had been misplaced for a short time. I could not live without this must have tool.
Normally I will weave a lot at this time of year. I have been distracted by preparations for my daughters upcoming wedding. Distractions also came in December from having a water connection break in an upstairs bath which proceeded to rain downstairs. Repairs from this will begin in a few weeks. This has meant moving my large loom to the center of our living room to initially dry carpet underneath. Soon it will be moved temporarily to an unknown space so new carpet pad Installed with carpet relaid and cleaned. Painting will also be done. I’m planning a project for a bateman study group. Hopefully that will be on the loom before long.
On the loom are more towels that I’ve named Fire II. I used the colors gold, pumpkin and cayenne in the warp and burgundy in the weft. The gold looks lighter in this photo. The pattern came from A Weavers Book of 8-Shaft Patterns, Edited by Carol Strickler. I consider this book a must have for anyone with an eight shaft or harness loom. This is pattern #520 found on page 144.
Next up a pumpkin weft color gave a much different look. Nothing changed in weaving but the weft color. I also plan to weave a couple of towels using a different tie-up and treadling. other weft colors in some towels.
We finally made it to Quintana Beach. First time this year. It was worth the wait. No seaweed on the beach or masses of people. An added bonus, an abundance of shells to collect.
I’m weaving scarves. With spring in the air , one day hot, one day cold, they will need to be light weight. A 10/2 tencel warp with a 20/2 silk pattern weft and a 30/2 silk tabby weft fills the bill. This is a miniature overshot pattern. ” Hooks and Eyes” (design 71)”, is found in the book: Weaving Designs by Bertha Gray Hayes. These miniature overshot drafts work nicely in smaller formats like scarves.
Planted two new roses this year to replace some that had died. This is a Neil Diamond Tea Rose. Smells wonderful too. Now to continue weaving.
As a child did you sit in fields of clover and make braided crowns, bracelets, and necklaces. I have fond memories of doing this with my sisters and childhood friends. We even gave my Mom a necklace or two. My active mind saw these braids as beautiful jewels and so I could become a princess, till they withered away.
When my daughter was young we found clover in a neighbor’s lawn and I showed her how to braid jewels for herself. I hope she has fond memories and will someday share this gift with others.
Rep Weave- Warped faced
My warp from the Rosalie Neilson‘s Rep Weave workshop put on by the Contemporary Handweavers of Houston guild, has been woven and is off the loom. It’s been a few years since I’ve woven Rep.
The workshop, “It’s in the Warp: Color& Design in Rep”, is worth taking. Rosalie explained in a precise manner how this weave structure works. The 4 yd warp let one explore the design possibilities of this weave structure. Except for the trials caused by the sticking harnesses on my 8 shaft Baby Mac loom this was a great workshop that I would highly recommend. Below are the pieces woven as I explored the possibilities of weaving rep.
You can see other workshop participants rep weaving by clicking on this link: http://weavehouston.org/reppin-with-rosalie/. The 15 weavers could choose from different pattern threadings so there is a variety of Rep patterns produced. .
Began weaving another color way using the same turned twill setup for the previous coral towels. These are probably my favorite colors to weave with. I just love a bright blue (royal blue). These will be made with 22/2 cottolin, from my stash. Alas, there is very little of the purple and turquoise remaining after warping.
I Belong, 2014
Mixed media, structural weaving
Attended “Craft Texas 2014” at the Houston Center For Contemporary Craft, on Saturday. This piece saddened but delighted me that an artistic use was found for some thing I use regularly to create art. The artist used two shafts or harnesses from a loom and numerous heddles which would normally hold the individual warp ends on a shaft to create this work of art.
It’s getting harder and harder to walk at night with the sun beginning to set at 7:15pm central time here in Texas. I’ll have to come up with a different time / place to walk soon.
Posted in 8 harness weave, cottolin, Handwoven towels, Travels, Twill Weave, Uncategorized
Tagged Craft Texas 2014, Fiberart, Hand weaving, handweaving, Handwoven Towels, Houston Contemporary Craft Museum, weaving
Boott Cotton Mills 1920’s weave room
After attending Convergence I spent a few days with my husband traveling. One of the stops was to Lowell, MA. I’ve been fascinated with history as well as textiles most of my life. Of course a stop at the Lowell National Historical Park was necessary. The park provides an up close view of textile production in the 19th and 20th centuries.
Trolley Car at Lowell NP
First we rode the rails, on a reproduction Trolley car from the visitor center to the Boott Cotton Mills. The walk would have been about 15 mins, but the free ride was much more fun. A part of the former mill now houses a working 1920’s weave room, and a museum with interactive exhibits and video programs. The 1920’s weave room shown at the top, features operating power looms. These are restored Draper Model E. looms (ca. 1913 ). When running they create a racket, so ear plugs are supplied. One can only imagine how noisy it would be with multiple floors of looms all running at the same time. No wonder so many textile workers became deaf. Some of these looms were weaving dish towel fabric sold in bulk or as finished towels at the gift shop. These towels could be found in most American homes at one time. The towels are being woven plain or with different stripe colors and number of stripes. I now have 2 of these towels in my home. Reminders of the trip.
Another Draper Loom weaving dish towels
Sadly the Boott Cotton Mills closed in 1954. The photo shows a Draper E loom weaving cotton towel fabric at the Bootts Mill.
I walk almost everyday to a park near my home. It’s such fun to see the water birds. This Yellow-crowned Night-Heron didn’t like it when I tried to get close enough for a picture with my phone. They stake out their own little space on the shoreline. He’s hoping a fish will swim by.
Continuing threading the loom with the silk painted warp. About 1/2 way thru the process. Hope I’ll be weaving by mid-week. The trick will be to stay focused.
Next on the loom is a Honeycomb weave. It’s funny in to have chosen this, since it is also know as an undulating weft effect and my previous post was on an undulating twill. The inspiration for this project came from shopping for a bargain at the local “Big Lots” store. Here I found in the craft aisle jute cord meant for kids jewelry.The rainbow colors struck my eyes as the perfect color combination to be used for a runner. The jute is used in the weft for creating the outline for the cells. The warp and weft yarn for the interior of the cells uses a single ply linen.
In the Shuttle Craft Monograph #9 – Undulating Weft Effects by Harriet Tidball, she states that the warp should be fairly fine and elastic, while the weft should be the same as warp or finer. The weft outline should be thicker and soft and elastic. Linen should not be used for outline weft due to it’s stiffness. A soft cotton yarn would be a good choice for outline weft. My yarn choices could be considered to be poor choices. The Jute yarn required some hand manipulation for the cell outline and the linen yarn in the warp and weft is anything but elastic. I experimented with the number of linen wefts in each cell and settled on 8. The finished weight is wonderful for a table runner. I need to do the finishing and then will share a picture of the finished project.