My Happy Place

At long last, the new sectional beam on the 56" Macomber is up and running!

I ordered the beam back in August. I also ordered it with a friction brake, but as I reported here, the master craftsman at Macomber recommended a ratchet and pawl brake, as it was, according to him, less of a pill to install. 

I should never allow anyone to talk me out of what I want. EVER.

Based on these instructions, which accompanied the beam, and a couple of conversations with Macomber, we were able to attach the beam to my loom.

However, it did not work well at all. It lurched when engaged and ruined about $85 of linen warp I was going to use for wool rug...

I was sick about it and upset with myself for not sticking to my guns and insisting on the friction brake I originally ordered.

Fortunately, Macomber worked with me (their customer service is excellent!), and we were able to switch out the ratchet for a brake drum to hold the cable brake. This arrived earlier this week.

With the handsome husband's help, we were able to install it in less than an hour using far superior instructions, which happen to be dated October 1, 1956.

The friction beam involved drilling one more hole into the loom than the ratchet system, but the diagram provided measurements on where to drill, which the ratchet brake instructions completely lacked. I cannot imagine why the Macomber person asserted the friction brake was a bear to install.

Of course, the husband and I have added a cable brake system to two Leclerc looms prior to doing this one, but the diagram made it so simple and easy.

In any event, I finally getting over the annoyance of the ratchet brake fiasco.

As soon as we had the loom back together, I began warping it for 10 yards of tea towels.

A couple of years ago, I made a batch of Peaceful Rhythm towels with which I was very pleased. Enough time has passed, that I did not mind making more. Also, the warp was solid natural 8/2 cotton, so it would take no time to prepare the spools. As my sett was 20, I wound 20 spools with enough thread for 9 towels, plus waste.

Friday night, I warped the beam and began threading the heddles.

Saturday morning, I finished the heddles, sleyed the reed, and tied up the treadles.

By noon, I had lashed on and was weaving!

The first photo way above shows my lime green waste thread closing the gaps and testing my thread pattern. The actual towel is in red; however, when the younger daughter popped in to check on me, she noted how much she liked the color combination.

Several inches in, I decided to add a decorative stripe on one end of the towel, which will be repeated at the other end.

I am so thrilled to be weaving again!!

Also, I wanted to share my new favorite accessory. I have long used tape measures when I weave, but the ones I had found were plastic and did not hold up well to repeated pinning to the fabric. They tore and routinely caught the weft threads, which bugged me.

I had searched several times for a cloth tape measure, but came up empty.

However, someone on Instagram posted a photo of one she had found in the UK. I tracked it down to Esty and ordered THREE of them!

They came in the other day, and the one I am using works beautifully!


Tape measure link here.

Why three?

Well, I have two floor looms and a rigid heddle...although, the second floor loom is not here yet.

The 32" Macomber that I bought several weeks ago has been picked up by the shipper, but I have not yet received a delivery date, although I hope it will arrive by the end of the month.

As she has a plain beam at the moment (I did order her a sectional beam with a FRICTION brake, which should arrive in late April, early May), I prepared a special warp for her on the mill. The previous owner had a warp and cloth on her when I made the purchase and assured me she is in good working condition.

This is a 10-yard warp of 10/2 cotton that will be threaded in various point twill patterns. I cannot wait!

Hope everyone had a lovely Valentine's and Chinese New Year's!


Popular Posts