Wednesday, December 25, 2013

All is Calm

Is this the right Weft for this warp?
I have spent the last 3 hours winding a new warp onto Jenny, drinking cocoa and eating leftover cookies from my neighbors' boxes.  Remember, cookies have eggs and butter and flour, the same ingredients as toast.  Perfect breakfast!
  As the sun comes up, I'm ready to thread heddles, and am so excited about this new warp.  Gifts are done and being opened.  Everyone else has been thought of prior to today, and this lovely day off is mine, all mine!  When this warp is threaded and ready, I'll either start it, or finish the black Huck lace warp on Tootsie.  I might cut fleece into strips to finish the shag rug warp on Jennifer.  I might knit my new cowl.  I might take a nap.  Ah, the possibilities!  Sloth or industry?  Maybe a little of both?
  This year has been challenging for me, and I'm ready to send it off into history.  I have high hopes for 2014, lots of wishes and prayers and wonders.  Dear Readers, I hope your day is wonderful, full of love and friendship and doing whatever you want to do.
Peace and love,
Maggie, Leo, Weftie and Bella

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Time at Home

 I was so happy to have yesterday off, with no obligations, that I worked just as hard as if I'd been at work!  And make cake, bagels, soup and stock.  Yes, quite a day off!
  But I also knitted and wove a little.  I'd love to show you photos of the knitting, but it's close to Christmas and folks who read my blog would all be wondering what's for them. 
 And that's no fun, is it?  I think what I love most about the holidays is the constant wonder, of what's next, what's for whom, who's giving me what, how things I'm making will be received.  It's all lovely, painful suspense. 

 The pattern on Tootsie is coming along quickly and looking good.  I've had some problems with the proximity of her brake to treadle 3, but I've found that if I treadle softly, they can co-exist.  That should be a slogan, don't you think?  Treadle Softly and Co-Exist.  Great bumper sticker!
  As I listen to Christmas jazz on Spotify and weave merrily along, I'm surprised to see my constant progress indicated by the measuring tape, but then sneak a peek behind and find so much more warp to go!  I might learn from my friends who wind small warps and finish things quickly, but then I'd spend more time winding warps and less time weaving.  I'll just have to find more recipients for these table runners.  Any volunteers out there?



Monday, November 25, 2013

Pie For Supper

 For the last two weeks, I've been
 pre-occu-pied.
 
I've been making pies to taste, making pies to sell at the Tomato Head restaurants, making gluten free pies, vegan pies, chocolate pies, pumpkin pies, pecan pies.  Pies have been my life, at work, anyway.  But two weeks ago, some friends and I went to the Slow Foods Tennessee Valley Pie Contest. (http://tuesdayweavers.blogspot.com/2013/11/a-little-pie-in-sky.html)  Cindy and I started pondering together the idea of a supper entirely composed of pie.  Pie Supper... seasonally apt, culinarily challenging, open to interpretation.  Could be marvelous.  Could be a disaster.  Life without risk is hardly worth living, so the idea stewed in both our brains.
  At the same time, our good friend John was recovering from back surgery.  I started to write him a get-well-soon email, and suddenly, spur of the moment kind of thing, asked him if a Pie Supper wouldn't make him feel better?  He said Yes!  And I forwarded the email to my two favorite food collaborators, Cindy and Dennis.  Unbeknownst to me, Dennis had never actually made a pie.  But no matter!  I didn't know that until Pie Supper Eve!
  For the next two weeks, I made pie, thought about pie, planned pie.  Early this past week, I looked ahead for the weather forecast, and saw that Sunday, Pie Supper Day, would be frigid, highs in the 30's.  And I started thinking about my favorite cold weather supper, Highland Hot Pot.  Mom got the recipe for Highland Hot Pot from a 1970's issue of Family Circle magazine.  HHP became my favorite all-time meal, but I had to know its limits when I requested it for my birthday dinner when I was 12.  Remember, my birthday is in July.  And I grew up in Arizona.  Mom made it, but we all sweated heartily through that dinner.  From then on, it was only served in winter, when it was more appreciated.  In my late teens, it lured me away from being a vegetarian.  How could I resist its luscious tomato-enhanced, tart appliness, pork sausage and bay leaf and beef and heat-retaining potatoes?  I couldn't.
  Now the question became, How do I make HHP into a pie?  It's awfully brothy, and the potatoes in it make it very heavy.  A dinner of only pies could be a lot of dough and weight and a little too hearty, even for a frosty day.  I thought about it all week, bought most of the stuff for it, and thought some more.  I knew I was going to make my non-winning but delicious apple streusel pie, but wanted the other pie to be more savory, no sweet at all, save the apples.
  In the end, I left out the tomato juice, substituted pork tenderloin for the beef stew meat, minus the bay leaf but plus rosemary, thyme and sage.  I added caramelized onions, left out the potatoes and topped it with a cornmeal pie crust.  I put it in the oven with the apple pie, and let them do their stuff.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
My kitchen smelled amazing by the time I was able to jump in the shower.  Unfortunately, amazing would also describe the kitchen's appearance, but not in a good way.  As much as I love my house, the kitchen is not made for bakers.  I have three feet of counter top for rolling dough and kneading bread.  Things pile up, and this is usually how my kitchen ends up after a passionate baking session.  Maybe I should have moved the Christmas cactus out of the way...
  My friends are amazing cooks/bakers, fearlessly embracing Pie Supper with gusto. They made beautiful, delicious pies.  Missing, unfortunately, is Cindy's Prickly Pear Chiffon Pie, a beautiful, frothy fuchsia delight, which I also forgot to get a pie of as it went home with someone lucky at the end of supper.  Even though our friend, Pat, pie-maker supreme was invited and couldn't attend, John brought the leftovers of the pie she brought him, and it was also delicious.
  For Dennis' first pie, he made an olive oil crust, surrounding lamb and potatoes with that green relish they serve at Indian restaurants with naan.  He made his; I've only ordered take-out containers of it before.  I want his recipe!
  Cindy also brought a chicken pot pie, with a chicken coop carved in the crust.
  Pie for Supper is a wonderful idea, and we will be repeating this, but not anytime soon.  Our tummies were a little too full, our appetites a little too sated.  I had to take Bella for a long frosty evening walk when everyone left, because I was afraid if I sat down, I would explode.  And now, let the holidays begin!  I'm off to work this morning to make all the special order pies for our customers, with some extras for those who forgot to order.  Happy Thanksgiving!
 

 



Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Take My Breath Away

 You know that feeling when you realize you've done something really, really well?  There are lots of missteps and mistakes in our lives, some that just jump right out at us, some that make us feel like burying our heads in the deepest pile of sand we can find.  There are some things we do well, and they're fine, just what they should be.
  But every once in a while, we do something so fantastically well, make something so beautiful, it makes up for all our shortcomings.
  This morning, as I walked back into the library to finish pressing the hem on the Lee's Surrender, it simply took my breath away.  I've done something really, really well.  I might have overflowed the pineapple upside down cake yesterday, might have made some lopsided cakes, might not have finished training the new person on cupcakes this weekend, might not be exactly current on my bills, but THIS!  This, I did very, very well.  This, I exceeded my expectations.  This, I can be proud of.

Getting serged and separated
There have only been a few things I've felt this way about in my life:  my Tree of Life sweater, made on two flights from Tucson to Reno and back; Steve's Elm, a quilt of 51,200 pieces made for my then-boyfriend, a truly wonderful piece of handiwork that I should have taken with me when he broke up with me the second time; my son, who only improves with age.  And now, Lee's Surrender.  The red and blue are beautiful, and the eggplant one will be lovely, too, as soon as I figure out how to fix its mistake.
  The error appears to be a missed tabby throw, and I'll have to weave on in.  Not sure I can do it, but we will find out.

Until then, and for the next two days, I'll admire and fondle and marvel at the red Lee's Surrender, until I have it hemmed and wrapped up in its birthday finery for its recipient.

Monday, August 12, 2013

I Surrender!

No, not on Lee's Surrender.  That is still going well.  In fact, the honeymoon's not over with us yet.
  But Johann D's 32 has been nothing but trouble, with broken threads galore.  The sample on top is the start, where the hand was too stiff, and threads broke over and over, usually the end threads.  Sample two had a better hand, but lots of skips and many broken threads.  I realized that hanging floating selvedges off the sides wouldn't help, since it seemed to be any thread in the outside half inch on either side.
  I started over again, this time with some fine black bamboo, and I kept the warp tension only as tight as necessary to get a good clean shed.  I didn't beat very hard, only enough to contact each throw.  I checked after every pattern repeat, and got six repeats with no broken threads.
  I was happy, looking forward to getting back to it after breakfast, thinking I'd finally found the solution, but inwardly vowing to take it "one throw at a time," like an addict, thinking I could control it.
  The next throw broke three threads.  Enough!  There is too much yarn, waiting to behave and make beautiful projects!  There are too many wonderful possibilities hanging on my yarn rack that promise to make weaving fun and exciting.  Johann D.'s 32 is not the culprit, but what is?  The tencel passes its warp-worthy test of being hard to break, and when it does, there is that satisfying PING of final resistance.
  Now I'm afraid to use the other warps I have dyed in that tencel, worried about using undyed pieces of it for warp, too.  I guess it will just have to weft, but oh!  You should feel the wonderful hand of the last bamboo-tencel sample!  It's soft and drapey, and would make a lusciously warm and sensuous scarf!  I can't reverse the order, because the bamboo is lumpy and weak, too troublesome for warp.
  I will wind the tencel onto bobbins some other day.  Yard work awaits, the lawn and hedge that haven't been cut since before I went to Virginia, and I've got five knitting projects in various stages of completion on the couch.  I know exactly what goes on next, though:  a beautiful peach-orange-red dyed bamboo warp, probably in Johann D.'s 32!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Unintentional Sampling

 I was cruising along with Johann D., getting in the groove of the pattern, marveling once again that I neglected to turn the threading upside down so I could see the weaving right side up.  I wove about four inches, then noticed how stiff the weaving was.  And a couple of threads broke.  And the stupid floating selvedges weren't exactly floating. In fact, they were giving me a lot of trouble.
  So, I cut it off.  Call it a sample!  Feel virtuous!  Because I don't normally sample, but I always admire people who do.  In my advanced years, I've begun knitting swatches before I start projects, so maybe someday, I'll start planning for weaving swatches.  Today is not the day, but since it happened serendipitously (great word, isn't it?), I thought I'd just go with it.
  I cut off what I'd woven so far and flipped it over.  Lovely!  Way too stiff, so I changed the reed from a 10 dent with 3 threads per to a 12 dent with 2 threads per.  I thought briefly about completely rethreading, but couldn't bear it, especially since the lease sticks were already out.  I just threaded the floating selvedges into the tabby selvedges so they wouldn't float anymore, even if they felt like it.  I noticed a wide float from where I backed up two sections of the pattern on the sides, and inserted an extra tie down thread to keep them apart.
 You can see I gained about 1 1/2" in width in the new version.  I wove about 2 more inches and then noticed that the left side was pulling in way too much.  Stood up and took a good look and saw 3 broken threads.  That was yesterday morning before work.  I got up, poured another cup of coffee and thought.  I went to work and intermittently thought some more.  I came home and wound two bobbins of thicker black bamboo to act as guard threads.  When I went to weave them in, I was overwhelmed at the effort after a long day in the bakery.  Went to bed and last night and wondered about the effort it was going to take to get 9 yards of breakable Tencel through heddles and reed.  Woke up this morning thinking about cutting it all off and winding that beautiful fragile warp into weft bobbins.
  And that's where it stands.  I have tomorrow off with tons to do before I go north to Virginia for a week, so this dilemma will be waiting for me when I return.  I hate that a warp and pattern that I loved so much proved unworthy!  But I have many more beautiful, much stronger warps waiting, with lots of promise for good weaving relationships.  I'll leave Johann D. and the beautiful warp on the loom for the week, and maybe by August, I'll know how to save it.  Or how to ditch it.  Life, and weaving, are full of possibilities!


Thursday, July 11, 2013

It's All Too Beautiful!

The great unwashed

If you read Loomy Tunes yesterday, http://tuesdayweavers.blogspot.com,
 then you know about our dye-in at my house.  Lanny dyed a warp and a skein for me while I was dyeing wool, so the reveal this afternoon was a complete surprise to me.  And even though we've all done this quite a bit, it's usually still a surprise to unwrap everything after it's cured for 24 hours.
  Daydreaming about my rinse-out was what kept me going through scooping 630 cookies this afternoon.  Can't wait to see everything!  What's it going to look like?   What am I going to make with it all?  Oh, the excitement built to a fever pitch!
  I rushed home, but had to give Bella a bath first.  I found some new shampoo that promises to help her with itchy, yucky allergies.  Alas, I can hear her scratching now from across the house.  Sigh.
  Anyway, bath done and snuggling with fluffy towels over, I began to wash out the warps and skeins, small ones first.  One surprise led to another, and they were all pleasant.  True, I do wish the Chinese Red had stayed redder, but hey!  There's more dye and more yarn waiting for another day!

An aerial view


west-facing
east-facing






















The lime green and yellow stuff is cotton-silk-nylon blend for a sweater to be knitted.  The dark blue variegated small one is a tencel warp for a scarf.  The long blue thing is a three-part warp I dyed using all the leftovers from everyone's experimenting, and will be a rep-weave placemat warp.  The long orange thing is a warp that will probably be turned overshot in Johann D's lovely daisy pattern.  The eggplant colored thing is my last skein undyed yesterday that I just dunked in the leftover eggplant.  I think it's tencel, and will be a lace knitted scarf.  The peachy stuff to the left is carpet warp, and was originally a warp I wound for Sheila who bought my loom, Nancy.  She was so overwhelmed that I decided not to give it to her, lest she become overly anxious about it.  Now it will probably be mug rugs for Christmas gifts.  The lovely variegated green is a warp of tencel that Lanny dyed.  He was worried that he used too much monochromatic themes, but since he didn't unwind my chains, the warps became more variegated than they would have otherwise.
  So now I have all this lovely, inspiring work ahead of me, and I couldn't be happier!  Unless I could just stay home and work on it...  Someone's got to win the lottery, right?

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Doing-what-I-want-to Kind of Day

 A few weeks ago, LouAnn came over and went through my leftover knitting yarns to put together scarf warps.  She grabbed a plastic box and made a turquoise combo.  It was pretty, but a little too untidy for my a-type personality to warm up to.  I kept looking at the box of warp possibilities, thinking what a lovely sweater it would make.  Then I found some yarn I took home from de-stashing at Mom's that would stretch into an actual garment.
  Last night, my insomnia kicked in and I sat up looking through knitting magazines.  I found a pattern from several years ago that would be perfect, and one that I've always been curious about.  It's knitted in the round, to the armholes, stopped there to insert the armholes, then knitted to the center front.  The sleeves are knitted in the round from the armholes to the wrists.  It looks like fun, and you can see in the bottom left how far I've gotten in just this morning.

Unfortunately, other things are languishing.  I have a couch full of projects being neglected!  But it's so much fun!
  Later today, I will take gingersnaps to a 4th of July dinner to go with Pat's fruit salad, but for now, I will knit on!
























Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Finally!

I have finally made the time to finish the second blooming leaf scarf.  The blooming parts are woven with taupe chenille, and the body of the scarf is woven with two strands of taupe rayon.  Not sure if I like it yet, but I have felt with this warp that if I finish it, it's a success.  Nothing ventured, nothing gained, and I've had fun doing it.  We'll see what happens when it's washed and dried.  I'm sure it'll soften up, as it's a bit stiff right now, and I'm hoping the pattern settles down a bit.












The next question was what color to put in the weft next?  I played around with red, but I'd just finished the red and black log cabin scarves; then, I pondered another hand dyed weft, but it might look too much like the first one.  I love monochromatics, so I thought I'd try black.  I've got black chenille--same as what's in the warp--for the pattern weft and black bamboo for the tabby weft.  Hard to see the pattern, but I'm pretty sure I'm going to like it.  I'm just going to use the leaf part of the pattern over and over again, no separating blocks or in-between parts.  It'll just be swirly, yet subtle!
  The paper clip on the bottom is to remind me to weave the floating selvedge in when I cut  the finished scarf off.  Somehow, it was floating way above every thing else when I wove the hem!
  I need to get outside and plant those poor shrubs still in containers from two weeks ago, then it's off to Tuesday Weaving!  Must fix that last (I hope!) threading error!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Catching Up

 It's been a busy last few months here at Kittywampus Cottage.  One of the best/worst things to happen is that I lost my job at the farm.  Worst because the income has been difficult to replace.  Best because I was unhappy there and itching to move on.  I wish it had been on my terms, but it happened and I've been moving on, one step at a time.
  I've been learning new skills and making new friends, finding things out about myself that I might never have known otherwise.  My new full time job is at a place where they appreciate my baking and tell me so frequently.  My part time job is working in the garden department of a big box store, something I'd always wanted to do.  I have found out that I know much more about plants than I thought I did, and that working at a big box store is not so much fun.
Sacked out
  I've been working so much, I feel a little like Leo here, sleeping wherever we can find the time and place.  That's going to end today when I quit the garden center job.  I'm afraid of the lost income, but I need to remember what 's important in my life:  friends, family, fiber, gardening, taking care of myself so I can be around for others.
  I have a lot of irons in the fire for the future, so wish me well!  In the meantime, there's a lot to do around here.  I've got the blooming leaf scarf #2 going still, and some new knitting projects going on.  I've gotten a big donation from a friend--see today's Loomy Tunes post--that's begging for attention.  And as you can see from the rose at the top, the garden is going strong.  Peonies are popping, tomatoes are trying to set blossoms in spite of the never-ending rain and chilliness, and echinacea are threatening to take over the front flower beds.  Hollyhocks look like they might achieve their full potential this year, and the roses can't help themselves!

I see a threading error!
I wanted to post a photo of more progress on Lee's Surrender than LouAnn had yesterday, and when I did, a threading error popped out at me.  See the difference between the left and right borders?  Ugh!  Looks like I have some work to do next Tuesday before weaving on!  Good thing it's a 20-yard warp!  Oh, but the pattern is going to be so lovely, once I get it right!








And I will leave you with samples of my new baking adventure.  It's only cupcakes, but it's fun and happy and relaxing, and I get paid for it.  What more can a girl ask?
 


Thursday, March 14, 2013

First Blooming Leaf

 I've just cut off the first Blooming Leaf scarf!  I wanted to look at it overall, because my initial feeling was that it was too busy, and because I don't have anything large enough to space the fringes well.  I like it!  What do you think?  I still think it's a bit busy, and I sure hope it softens up a bit.  It's very stiff.  I will twist the fringes and give it a bath and then put it away from my furry friends to keep it pristine.  I'd like it to be one of my pieces when I try to jury into the Appalachian Art-Craft Center.  Here's hoping!
And because I think the first version was too busy, I've chosen similarly toned rayon and chenille for the next version.  I'm going to use the chenille for the leaf at each end, then use two strands of the rayon for the center, using the center repeats from Lee's Surrender.  That way, the wearer will see the leaf at the ends, with the center repeats wrapped around their neck.  I vetoed the variegated green because I'm not sure I like the texture of the two strands of carpet warp in the first version, and I thought the green-blue-yellow too loud for the black chenille warp.  I think this next color way will be more unisex.  Now, I can day dream about the third color way while I weave!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

LouElla Gets Dressed

Yesterday I posted on Loomy Tunes that I was threading LouElla, the tapestry loom.  This morning, I sleyed the reed, which is so much easier than sleying a floor loom's reed!  It's just a stand-up job, right at eye level, so enjoyable!
  What to weave next was not so easy.  I had to think about it for a while.  I busted out my new watercolors and a photo I found in Garden Design magazine of a field of poppies and got to work.  I love watercolors!  I'm not very good yet, but I do so love the way the color moves and mixes!  I had to keep Leo from drinking the water as I worked, but I had a good time.
  As I looked at the finished picture, I realized I was going to have to weave it rotated 90 degrees, because of all the flower stems.  I put the painting on a music stand next to the loom, then finished tying the warp onto the cloth beam.
  The tension seems to be holding fine, and I won't need to advance for a little while, so I can do without the part Allan is making to replace a broken part that is on the brake.  I am making a lot of this warping process up as I go along, because the only information I could find on warping a tapestry loom on line is for the Mirrex looms, or for Archie Brennan's copper pipe looms.  I see some looms that look like mine, but not enough similar to be able to copy the process.  So, I warped it like a floor loom, including spacing the warp threads with fat scraps. I used fleece strips left over from the last shag rug, and it seemed to work fine.  I finished the edge with some embroidery floss, just as Tommye McClure Scanlin taught us in that tapestry class in October.
first line
  Pause.
  Uncertainty.
  Wind bobbins.
  Wonder if I have enough colors.
I want a "frame" around the finished picture, so I started easy, with some gray.  I wove a few lines of the gray, started up the sides with some more, then plunged in with color.  I feel as though I've forgotten everything I learned, and then, bit by bit, it comes back.  I'm so worried about making a mistake that my neck and shoulders are really tense.  I've decided to stop for the day and think about it some more.

Where I stopped for the day

I've made a nice cup of tea and might sit down to knit for a while, but earlier, when I took another break from the tapestry, I wound a black chenille warp for Jenny, naked loom that she is.  I made it 120 threads, about 10 inches wide, and ten yards, so I should be able to get three long scarves out of it.  I'm thinking overshot, each scarf a different colorway.  What about this dyed carpet warp for weft?  Kind of cheerful, no? And I have a green-blue colorway that'll look good, too.  And then, maybe all those bobbins of bubble gum-mint left over from the green and purple chenille scarves.  Oh, the fun we'll have!




Tuesday, February 19, 2013

A New Chapter

Haz-Mat suit!
  Once upon a time, in a desert thousands of miles away, I dreamed a very telling dream on the eve of my 37th birthday.  I dreamed I had long, streaming silver hair and a large silver hoop in my nose, as I sat at a tapestry loom, tapping yarn into place.  In the immediate time, it made me realize that I didn't want a tattoo for my birthday, but wanted to get my nose pierced.
  It also began my weaving journey, though it got off to a very slow start.  That was the first time I'd pictured myself as a weaver.  It wasn't for ten more years that I got my first loom, a Harrisville 22 inch on loan from my mother, and it was another year before I got my first tapestry loom.  The class with Tommye, the gift of LouElla from Bonnie, and my dream is still evolving.  I didn't know I'd fall in love with floor loom weaving, and couldn't have ever imagined the community I've become part of at the Center.  But I knew I'd be happy weaving.
 



Life has taken a sharp turn, with me checking my seat belt and bracing for the airbags, but this weekend, I found haven and therapy in making my own box of crayons for my first tapestry on LouElla.  I had 13 skeins of single ply yarn, from a donation to the Center several years ago, and I ordered 6 more from Weaving Southwest.  I bought some acid dyes from Dharma trading, and read their on-line directions many times.  I suited up to protect myself from the poisonous nature of what I was about to do, and I dove in.
  I scoured all the yarn in Syntrapol.  I carefully measured the dyes, starting with "True Yellow."  Whoa!  Is it ever!  It looks like French's mustard!
  "Fire Engine Red" was next, a deep, blackened red that looks like a good bowl of chili.
  After I did one skein of "Midnight Blue,"  I started mixing it up a little.  It was a little too little, though, and I ended up with a lot of red that each looked a little like its predecessor.  I did manage to get one orange I like, so I started on green.  I have three skeins of very similar olive green from those experiments, so I think it's the blue that's the culprit, too blackened to make a true green with the yellow.
  The purples came out beautifully, and I like the "brown" I tried to make, even though it came out more rusty red.  I ran out of yarn before I ran out of ideas, but I think I will pause here to see what I can create in a tapestry.  It's 19 skeins of yarn, all about 4 ounces each, so that should keep me busy for a little while.  The colors will dictate the design, so be prepared for a fiery image!

My own box of crayons




Sunday, January 6, 2013

Welcome, Louella!

  I did it!  I took the tapestry loom from Bonnie who needed it out of her studio to make room.  I went to her house Saturday morning, and Bonnie and her husband manipulated it out of the basement and onto the lawn in their backyard.
  If you look closely at the photo, you will see that there is no way the tapestry loom is going to fit into the Subaru.  Out came the power drills and screws were undone to allow Louella to break down into more manageable pieces.
  I used the wagon to get the smaller pieces into the house, and my strong, young neighbor pulled into his driveway at just the critical moment to help me carry the main piece into the house.  He called it a sewing machine, until his wife corrected him!
  And here lies Louella!  She's in the dining room, awaiting reconstruction.  But first I'm going to sand all the wooden parts down and give them a fresh coat of Tung oil.  That will have to wait until tomorrow, since I have to work tonight, but it will be a fun project!
  Bonnie gave me the letter that came with the loom, from the man who built it, George W. Mork, to the man who ordered it, Ozzie Christensen, for his wife, Louella.
Here's what it says:

                                          Feb. 27, 1978
Dear Ozzie,
  I thought it best to write this than to tell you about it over the phone.
  Louella's loom is on its way.  I started it a few days ago, as I thought it best to have it completed before we leave on our annual trek.  I hope to have it finished in early April so you can leave it here thruout the summer or you can take it before we leave.  I have perhaps two more to make up at the lake.
  Now-- should you decide to tell Louella about it, and why not--you can give her a hug and a box of candy or some roses for Xmas!
  Now to tell you a little about it.  It is a Tapestry Loom, which it seems we both agree on as she is most definitely oriented towards the arts.  The Tapestry loom allows the weaver to view her work from a standing position the same as a painter.  Barby has confirmed this.
  Specification:

  1. Width of weaving 36"
  2. O.A. Height 72"
  3. " " Width 46"
  4. Number of heddles 400--two hundred in ea. frame
  5. Beater approx. 21" travel
  6. Reed in beater 10 dent-but any dent reed can be inserted-She might want several sizes.
Barby recommends a 10 dent but also has a 12 and 15 dents--the dent means that there are so many spaces per inch--Which spaces the warp.

  8.  The loom is completely demountable--it's held together with screws in bolts with wing nuts, so if you ever have to move, you can take it apart.
  9.  The beater which drives the weft into the warp, since it moves in almost a vertical path is balanced by 6 springs--three on each side which work on a torque equalizer which make the pull at the bottom of the stroke almost nearly the same as at the top.  I think is a new innovation.
  10.  I have included in the design a tray at lapp level for yarn, scissors, etc.  It is removable so can be set aside when she is stringing the warp.
  11.  I will also include 6 shuttles-- 2-24", 2-18" and 2-12".

As I said before it should be ready by early April as I work on it every day.  I'll call you at work when the time comes.

Sincerely,
Geo
P.S.  Here's the sketch of the two andirons I want.

So, I guess George was swapping andirons for the loom?  I don't know who Barby is, perhaps the person who helped George design the loom.  Bonnie got the loom from Louella's and Ozzie's daughter, and I would love to meet her to talk to her more about the history of the loom.  It isn't often we get so much information about our looms!
  One of the happy coincidences for me is that I now have three looms from 1978 and two from 1979.  If only I'd started weaving then!  How far I'd have come by now!  But I was a young single mom, with a lot more serious things on my mind, and I wouldn't have had time or money for weaving back then.  I can enjoy the looms from others who were weaving then, as I worried about the wolf at the door and my son's happiness!
  Photos will follow soon as Louella gets put back together and finds her home in my loom-filled house!
  


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

What do You Think?

This morning, I was reading everyone else's blogs that I usually keep up with, and saw a reply to Tina's last blog entry (http://farmsteadstudio.blogspot.com/) from Bonnie.  She wants to part with a tapestry loom someone donated to the center.  There's no room for any more looms at the center right now, nor was there then.  I was bitten with the tapestry bug after taking Tommye Scanlin's class this fall, and have been pondering where to set up my very large Navajo loom.  It's just so big!
  So, I emailed Bonnie and asked her the dimensions of the loom, and if she really wanted to part with it.  She said yes, sent me the dimensions, and now, that's all I want to think about!  Look at it!  It's a beauty!
  But do you know what kind it is?  Does anyone have any information on this kind of tapestry loom?  It takes up about half the size of the Navajo loom, so I know it'll fit, but once I get it, will I know how to use it?
  You might just read about a new loom at Chez Davidson next week!  If you have any answers, just let me know!