Saturday, October 8, 2016

One can never have too many looms...

I remember it, as though it were yesterday, instead of some two to three years ago. My friend Isabel asked me if I were interested in weaving, as she had three or four looms and, at least, one too many.

I laughed and asserted that I had no interest in weaving.

She initially said "Okay," but added, "I can drop one off and let you play with it, if you like."

I declined, but over the next few months, I kept thinking about it.

Then, I did a little research, and I was intrigued.

So, I bought the extra loom from her.

It was a Schacht 25" 8-harness table loom.

When she brought it to me, she put together the warping board and showed me all the pieces and tools that came with it.

As she was preparing to leave, I remember feeling a tad bit overwhelmed. She smiled as she left and said: "Good luck. I want you to learn how to use it, so you can show me."

Here is the original loom, as she looked when I received her.

I had forgotten, but I anointed her Lady Vanessa Schacht because she was intimidating as hell.


A couple of weeks after Lady Vanessa arrived, Isabel, my younger daughter, and I took a Rigid Heddle Weaving class, which used little Cricket Looms.


That was a fun class and a nice introduction to weaving, but the rigid heddle was very different from the Lady Vanessa. 

We were allowed to keep the looms for a week or two after the class. In that time period, two dozen projects fell from it, mostly scarves.

A few months later, two friends posted about a loom for sale for another friend, and I acquired a 36" LeClerc Artisat with 4-harnesses:


By the time the LeClerc arrived, I was very comfortable with warping and weaving Lady Vanessa, so this one was a breeze. Because the treadles make weaving easier because your feet move the harnesses and not your hands, weaving actually goes much faster. 

I spent a lot of time of the LeClerc.

However, I finally had an idea of what my dream loom would be.  I was thinking something along the lines of a 46" Schacht floor loom with 8-harnesses. Brand new, they are very expensive. At the time, I could not justify buying a new loom, when I had two perfectly good ones at home.

Fortunately, I had two friends interested in weaving and they each took one off my hands. The LeClerc is residing just up the road, about 90 minutes from me.  The Lady Vanessa has made a voyage all the way to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia where I believe she has a table runner warped on her for Christmas!

The day after the last loom left my house, I found a Macomber 56" floor loom with 4-harnesses, but with the capacity to house up to 10-harnesses! Within a week, the husband and I collected her from the East Texas woods and brought her home.

At around 400 pounds, I simply call her "The Beast."


The Beast and I are getting along famously!

She produces the most beautiful tea towels, rag rugs, and blankets.

However, over the summer, I realized I might need a smaller loom for quick projects.

Enter Isabel again. She had a 10" Cricket loom with three different sized heddles she was willing to part with because she wanted a wider one. I bought hers from her and have used it to teach the ladies at work how to weave.

Three of those ladies were immediately hooked and wanted looms of their own. In looking for options for them, I realized one of my favorite Etsy shops (from whom I have purchased raddles, shuttles, and spool holdlers) for weaving supplies now carried looms.  Handywoman is a lovely lady based just north of Houston.  She has different sized rigid heddle looms available.The ladies from my office each ordered 16" looms, which use Ashford Heddles.

Both of these photos are from her Etsy shop:



She offers them with acrylic or wooden ratchet and pawl systems.

I was so impressed with the 16" looms my friends received, I contacted her about making me a 24" one that would house 3 heddles, as I have been reading that three heddles on a rigid heddle loom can weave 4-shaft patterns.  Because I love to make 20" wide tea towels with 4-shaft patterns, I thought this smaller loom would be a good addition to my stable, which would free up the Macomber for large projects.

This lady makes beautiful items that are also really affordable.

My new loom arrived yesterday, and I immediately put it together and warped it.



I also opted for the wooden ratchet and pawl. I think it is beautiful!!

I did not warp it for multiple heddles, I just wanted to knock out a quick project.

More to come, I promise!

3 comments:

Handywoman said...

Wow great post and I am amazed that you are already weaving in your new loom I'm so jealous! Btw thanks for the shout out and can't wait to read more!
Janet

Handywoman said...

Wow great post and I am amazed that you are already weaving in your new loom I'm so jealous! Btw thanks for the shout out and can't wait to read more!
Janet

Anonymous said...

The LeClerc has its own room. It lives with a Singer and Spinner.