Spinninglizzy's Weblog

Falling down the slippery fibre slope

Hi And Goodbye

Shiori, (the founder of our Eastside Spinners’ Guild, which I found through the internet) and I have been discussing logistics for taking private weaving lessons from Syne Mitchell.

I had to get ready for this event, and I needed a portable sampling loom (nevermind that I haven’t actually woven on a loom with harnesses yet), so I purchased a table loom, ignoring the fact that Shiori has often told me she would lend me a simple one of her own.

It’s a solid, study, no-nonsense, 22″ weaving width, four-harness loom with a 15-dent reed.  It barely fits into my completely-emptied car with one seat down.

I purchased it yesterday morning, only an hour before Shiori came to my house.  I don’t know why I was in such a hurry; I guess I wanted something of my own.

This is the simple loom Shiori brought over:

It even has a removeable raddle!  They look huge in this closeup, but the pins are actually half an inch apart.

It’s a Dutch Master box loom, 10″ weaving width, with eight harnesses that are lifted like rigid heddles.  It’s so beautifully manufactured, it really spoils me for anything less.  I think it would also make an excellent tablet (i.e. card-weaving) loom, and you have the option of popping the entire harness/beater assembly out if needed.  (Look, Honey!  It will actually save me money because it’s two looms in one!)

Shiori even brought gifts of yarn to weave with it.  Isn’t it amazingly beautiful???!!!  She had prepared a seven-foot, 50/50 wool/silk warp complete with cross and hand-painted it in a recent weaving workshop with Judith MacKenzie.  I think the weft was dyed with logwood at a natural dyes workshop that I also attended, and it is the same 50/50 wool/silk as the warp; Shiori said it is a Finnish yarn.

I am just overwhelmed with the generosity of Shiori’s gifts and time.  She spent three hours with me, handing me one end at a time, while I threaded them through the heddles.  I learned to embrace painter’s tape as a friend, and also learned that I didn’t have to take each end out of the cross when threading heddles/sleying the reed.  How did that important fact escape me before?  That is, before I spent fourteen hours warping my rigid heddle loom!  Shiori is coming by again tomorrow to bring the reeds to pick from and sley.

The first 16 ends threaded.  We are using the modified twill “Eight Thread Herringbone” pattern from Marguerite Porter Davison’s book, “A Handweaver’s Pattern Book”

Isn’t it nice to have friends who insist on helping and telling you what you need to know even when you’re too blockheaded to know when to pay attention?

My own loom is perfectly serviceable, but now I feel so blasé about it.  (And I haven’t even used it!)  I’m going to resell it for what I paid, and save up for something with more gravitas.  Since I will spend hours warping it, it really should be something that I love.   I guess I should have known better: while I was probing my instincts for whether to buy it or not, no name came to mind.  Shiori’s loom, however, I can immediately name.  (No, I am not trying to name these looms; how can I help it if they introduce themselves to me?  My Lendrum spinning wheel doesn’t have a name.  Thinking, thinking, staring at it… nope, still no name.)

I had a marvelous time yesterday.  Shiori and I had lots of time to chat about life, friends, family.  Doesn’t get any better than that!  Warping goes so much faster when two work together on one loom at a time, although nothing approaching warp speed, har har.  Shiori thought it would be good to do this on a regular basis — having warp party get-togethers.  Now I know what it must have been like to live in a small town where women had quilting, sewing, or knitting bees.  Isn’t it amazing how the internet can help bring about friendships and small communities in a big city?!

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6 August 2008 Posted by | Weaving | , , | 2 Comments