The Feisty Studio

This is a post I have started several times, but each time I did not think my space was "picture ready." Things were not as neat or organized as I would like them to be. I still had projects (like a proper bench cushion) to finish. There was more editing and winnowing out of extraneous items. It felt too cluttered. It just was not right.

In the end, I decided this room, much like the remainder of my house, looked like it was lived in because that is what we do, we live in our house. We do not live in a museum, and I certainly do not weave in one.

So, here it is, just as I live in it.

At 12 x 13 feet, it is a small space with 156 square feet; however, it is my favorite place to be.

Originally, it served as a bedroom for one of our daughters, while I had a room easily twice its size upstairs. However, the younger daughter eventually needed more room, and we switched. This was actually a very good thing because after that, I got into weaving and bought the 56" Macomber loom, affectionately referred to as "The Beast." He weighs well over 400 pounds. There was no way we were getting him up a steep flight of narrow stairs.

In July, I finally painted the room a serene blue (Behr Ionic Sky) with an eggshell finish. As it was formerly a child's room, it had a bright grassy green in a semi-gloss on the walls. (Here is a photo of the 36" Leclerc loom taken May 2017, which features the prior wall color prominently.) Since then, I have gone through and edited what I wanted to keep.



The pie safe to the left used to house all of the knitting samples for my designs. It was completely full, and I rarely opened it. 

Now that I am spinning, too, I needed a place to store my fibers. 

I pulled everything out of the cabinet and divided its contents into piles on the floor. 85% of the items found new homes. With the remainder, I folded them into a space bag with sachets of lavender and used the vacuum to suck the air out of it, then stored them. 


I played around with placement of the looms, but eventually moved them back to where they were, as it was the best use of space. 

Below, the bench has a foam cushion encased in a pillow case. That is temporary. I have woven fabric with which to construct a proper bench cushion. It is on my list of things to do. 

The pictures are taken with only the torchiere floor lamp on, as I like the abundance of natural light in this space, although, I usually have the little lamp on the loom on while I weave. I slide the bench from one loom to the other, as needed. 


My wonderful husband made these three shelves out of wood reclaimed from the younger daughter's tree house. He also made the book case, which houses my swift, spool winder, ball winder, and all of my 8/2 cotton, as well as some Maysville Rug Filler.


Across the very top shelf, I keep all of my 8/2 tencel, as well a bit of 8/4 cotton in natural, and 11/2 cottolin, also in natural. There is a basket full of spare shuttles.

On the shelf beneath it, I have some hemp and 5/2 mercerized cotton, along with the 8 oz head to my spinning wheel and extra spools. 


Lil' Miss is all cleaned up from her recent upgrades. I have been working on twill block towels on her.



Surprisingly, the Beast is sporting a plain weave at the moment for some fabric for sewing. This does not happen very often.


This next shot is about to change a bit. The plate will come down, as I need a place to mount a couple of brackets to hold the skein winder attachment to my spinning wheel. It is an odd shape (photo at the top of this post) and I have not a clue where else or how else to store it. 


Behind the door is my messy corner. The spool rack tucks nicely there, in front of several project bags and my yoga bolster. I still use the room for yoga, as well!

Of course, the sweet Havanese CoalBear is my constant shadow. He managed to miss every shot prior to this one.


When my younger daughter was born in 2000, my mother-in-law gifted her a beautiful antique chest with hand carved pulls and accents. It was well over one hundred years old and had fantastic hand-formed dovetail joints.

Unfortunately, in 2006, our house was struck by lightning and burned completely to the ground. As we were trying to save things from a burning building, I remembered her birth certificate and baby book was in the drawer of this chest, I grabbed it. This drawer is the only thing that remains of that chest.

After we rebuilt, the drawer sat on top of my kitchen cabinets, as reminder of my mother-in-law (who died the month after the fire) and because it was just a beautiful piece of the past.

While redoing the studio and trying to figure out how best to store my weaving threads, I first considered mounting the drawer to the wall to hold these half-pound tubes of 8/2 cotton and cottolin, as well as 8/4 cotton rug warp; however, I was loathe to alter the drawer in any way. Eventually, I decided just to stand it on one end.

This was a perfect solution!




In addition, I purchased two shelves from Hobby Lobby, which the husband attached together and mounted to the wall. This holds my 10/2 mercerized cotton, as well as providing an opportunity to display my prized Howell Little Man Rug shuttles.


This shelf with hanging bar was also a Hobby Lobby find. All three items were purchased during one of their half-off sales. 


Missing from the studio is the Glimakra warping mill.

It is currently in the dining room, along with the Leclerc Colonial 60" loom, which belongs to our dear friend. They are supposed to begin construction on their new house next summer, so the loom will be with us for another year or so.

To be honest, we really only use the dining room during Thanksgiving and Christmas. Last year, we swapped positions with the table and the loom, which allowed the table to extend into the foyer, but it worked beautifully. Everything else in that room is tidy, so it does not look like a dumping ground.

I have thought about selling the warping mill, as I much prefer to warp sectionally; however, keeping it, as both my looms also have plain beams, keeps my options open. Thus, I will probably end up keeping it, finding a box to house its parts safely, and break it down for storage, pulling it out as needed, if needed. It is a good, solid piece of equipment, and a part of me hates to see it go.

There is also something else missing from these photos.  Any guesses?

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Yeah, the spinning wheel does not live in this space.

Spinning is more social than weaving. Thus, the wheel is usually in my bedroom or the living room.

When I need the space, I tuck her under the shelf with the hanging tea towels to keep her safe and out of the way.

Would you like to share details your favorite space?

UPDATE:

The fabulous husband mounted the brackets for me, and the skein winder attachment has a safe place!!


Comments

Susan Reynolds said…
Hi,
Thank you for posting this! It was very helpful for me this weekend when I decided to move my Leclerc 45" floor loom out of my foyer and into my home office. Enjoy your posts on Instagram and your blog. Thanks again for posting and sharing all your knowledge. I did have a question - my loom's back beam is adjustable. IS it ok to fold this up when not in use? I have a warp on it. Not sure what the rule is on how far to extend. Did find out you have to adjust the brake for the different settings.
Thanks,
Susan
Feisty said…
Hi Susan!!

I have a 60" Leclerc Colonial in my dining room at the moment. When we need to use the table in there, I folded in the back beam and secured it with straps while it had a warp on it with no problem. With other Leclercs I have had (Artisat and Nilus), we have actually moved each of them folded with warps on them to their new homes. As to the brake, on two of the three Leclercs, we have swapped out the circle brake with cable brakes with good results. There is some information in this post: http://feistyknitter.blogspot.com/2017/06/putting-brake-on-belle.html

If it is just slipping a bit, try putting a large rubber band between the circle and the drum. It will help it catch and lock with no slipping.

Good luck!

Thank you for reading and let me know, if I can help with anything.

Christina
Susan Reynolds said…
Again, thanks for the additional information! Mine is a Nilus and has 5 different notches I can anjust the back beam to and a 6th one to secure it closed. I’ve been using the 3rd notch. When I acquired the loom they begged me to take the huge stash of yarn which I gladly complied! It ended up in 10 huge plastic bins. Some stuff I’m still trying to identify. Lots of rug warp, cones of cotton, linen, rayon and a lot of acrylic and acrylic wool blends. I ended up using what I hoped was 8/2 white cotton for the warp for dish towels. Finding it was not the best choice as it is old and I’m getting breaks - but a great learner project! Have found your blog very helpful. Thanks for sharing all of your info. Your stitch markers are adorable and I’m tempted to try making some but need to stay focused on a few other projects including bins of my alpacas fleeces I need to skirt for rug yarn and a recent ‘gift’ of Jacob sheep fleeces. Thanks again for your reply!

Susan

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