Spinninglizzy's Weblog

Falling down the slippery fibre slope

Beauty Is In The House

Out of the blue, DH announced this morning he would help me bring my Bergman loom indoors, even if he had to hold my hand every step of he way.  Was I appropriately grateful and adoring?  Sorry, I was not. I think I snarled at him (the first time, anyway).  I have been overwhelmed with helplessness in the matter of clearing out a space, because this is what I had to face:

This room is so frightening that I could never bring myself to do anything about it, and so it has been in a spiraling nosedive beyond control.

But, my husband is a saint, and an expert donkey handler to boot. So, I spent the day cleaning, throwing away, and looking for new hiding places for things.  DH miraculously whisked away some large items I couldn’t figure where to put, and miraculously found some other places for them.  Once I knew I wasn’t alone, it became easy, and the cleaning was very liberating.  I still have lots of things to sort through, and a huge mountain of spinning fodder to stash (it’s piled in the living room at present), but I feel so enabled to take on the next steps.  Here is the “after” picture:

When everything is opened up, the bench abuts a landslide of boxes and stuff, but it will be something I’ll have to get to another time.  Not the model home yet, but at least I can start playing around with the treddle tie-ups and start spinning the cording needed for it.  (Yes, I know that if I were very good, I would do more cleaning up first rather than playing, but remember who is the saint in the family.)

With all the looms I have (I’ll share in another post), Beauty is my favourite, and the one I’m most anxious to start weaving on. I have to find some wood restoring oil (any suggestions would be appreciated!) and touch up some worn spots, but at least that no longer feels like a difficulty.  I feel so delightfully unburdened; I’m so happy I could fly.


8 September 2008 - Posted by | General, Weaving | ,


  1. That’s a real accomplishment. Hooray for you! You’re on your way!

    As for the landslide of boxes, I swear by IKEA shelves/storage as a stopgap. We end up buying a storage piece pretty much every time we move, as we fit ourselves into ever smaller rentals. Used-stuff shops and craigslist tend to not have much in the way of shelving or cupboards (people hang onto them!), but at IKEA there are enough different sizes of things, I can usually find something to fit the available cranny. Also, I don’t have to feel totally committed. I can say, “Well, I’d rather not spend the money, and it’s not my style, but at least it will get stuff off the floor, and then I can sell it on craigslist when we don’t need it anymore.”

    Someone who has used linen loom cord left an interesting comment on my cord post, by the way. http://trapunto.wordpress.com/2008/06/15/some-countermarche-nitty-gritty-size-sheds-and-texsolv/#comments

    Comment by trapunto | 8 September 2008 | Reply

  2. Congratulations on making space for your project! It’s wonderful when the chi starts flowing in your home, isn’t it? I love how you appreciate your husband and work as a team. Hugs 🙂

    Comment by Littlefaith | 9 September 2008 | Reply

  3. YAY!!! How wonderful that now you are feeling lighter and unburdened by the clutter and can begin to focus on loving your loom(s) and getting on with the business of weaving. It’s so nice to have “a room of one’s own” as they say, and this one looks perfect for Beauty.

    What a great guy you have, and how nice that he appreciates your fiberness and lent such a great hand.

    I’m a fan of scrubbing everything down with Murphy’s Oil Soap to start, then what I would do, would be to phone a good company like Schacht (they’re really nice!) and ask to chat with someone who could advise you on how to repair/restore your loom’s finish.

    Can’t wait to see Beauty dressed!


    Comment by Jane | 9 September 2008 | Reply

  4. Thank You for all the lovely, encouraging comments!

    Trapunto: I’ve done a little research, and have decided to try spinning ramie instead of linen, as it has some advantages over linen, such as a longer staple length, yet is still a natural bast fibre. It’s not very expensive, and I purchased it in already combed top form. I’ve picked up a lucet to try out, but I think I may end up making a cord using kumihimo techniques. As to Ikea, you’re absolutely right (even my husband has asked me to go there)– I just have to get over my hangup about getting lost in it — I usually have a pretty good sense of direction, but whenever I’m in there, it takes a while before I can find my way out, and I hate having to walk through the entire store just to get to the cash registers… Are you referring to the Woolhouse Tools? What great tools they have! I may end up calling them yet.

    LittleFaith: The idea of chi is very apt. I’ve certainly been blocked by my inability to face the messes — more mental than physical.

    Jane: What a marvelous idea to talk to a loom manufacturer like Schacht — I was planning to call them for other questions anyway. Have you used Murphy Oil Soap on untreated, dried wood? Since water is an ingredient in it, I worry about getting moisture in areas that have lost stain or a protective barrier, since the water wouldn’t absorb evenly and cause other problems down the line…? I’ve heard that raw tung oil was a way to go.

    Comment by SpinningLizzy | 9 September 2008 | Reply

  5. I always pick up a map at ikea, so I can find the secret shortcuts! (I also make a point of hitting the As-Is section before I go upstairs.) Actually, I was referring to Sue’s comment –the Glimåkra-owner who complained about the unraveliness of her linen loom cord and said she wouldn’t recommend spinning it. But it sounds like you’re a woman with a plan!

    Comment by trapunto | 10 September 2008 | Reply

  6. Thanks for the tips. It’s true, the unspun linen and ramie I’ve seen just want to fray everywhere. I was just going over some finishing notes last week, and there was some mention of boiling the finished single for an hour with something (gelatin maybe?) added for sizing. Anyway, have ramie, will try to make cording. At least I know who to call for texsolv!

    Also: I went to a store that only carries specialty paints because I knew they had raw tung oil for restoring wood. The very knowledgeable staff steered me toward teak oil instead, since it has several advantages over the tung oil, like drying in 12 hours, rather than 4 days, between coats, and creating a stronger wood as it does. I know I really should have done this before, when the loom was outside, but I wasn’t motivated then…

    Comment by SpinningLizzy | 11 September 2008 | Reply

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