In Which I Build a Loom

So you may remember me mentioning that I actually bought a second loom. Yep. This is the girl who owned 0 looms this time last year. Now I own two. Is this a problem? Nah!

Besides, for the second one, I truly could not resist. My local guild was trying to get rid of a 45″ Nilus Leclerc. Get rid of? Well, it was in pieces. All the pieces were there, but it had been living disassembled in in somebody’s garage for awhile. But they were selling it for $200. With a bench! You can’t even get just a bench alone for that much! How could I say no? Plus, my first loom was a 36″ Nilus Leclerc, so its not like I wouldn’t have a “living” model to help me put it together… You can see the “before” photos below.

It wasn’t in perfect condition, and a few pieces needed to be replaced (one of the shaft heddle supports, and the brake tension spring, and the aprons were pretty rough). But even though it took me nearly six months, I really enjoyed putting this loom together. Honestly, it was a learning experience about all the interesting bits of a loom, and how it all works.

Now that its all together, this loom is a truly beautiful piece of work. It is old, but still strong; it’s still got plenty of years left in it. My favorite thing is small, but its a whim I’m glad I followed through on. Check out those “after” photos!

As I said, the aprons were pretty rough looking. And I have nothing if not tons of scrap fabric at hand. And I thought, well, why are aprons always plain white? Why not have a patterned apron? And I found this lovely fabric. Its a line art sketch of butterflies and botanical plants. It fits the color and mood of my fiber studio, while really bringing out the lovely grain of the wood of the loom. I feel like this print just “fits” the loom, and gives this old loom a wonderful bit of unique character that I’ve never seen on any loom before.

I absolutely love the effect of a printed apron. I’m thinking about trying to convince other people to maybe try it out. Not much of a business potential, I guess, as people rarely change their aprons. But, well, you never know. Maybe this fad will catch on, and I’ll be able to claim that this loom started it all.

The first project I started on this loom is a simple rag rug. I got some good sturdy cotton warp in a nice green color, and it seemed appropriate. Then I had some scrap fabric lying around that had been tie-dyed in some bright blues and purples and.. more greens. It seemed like meant to be, and a fun easy first project to test the loom’s capabilities.

rug

The rug is going great, and I couldn’t be happier with this second loom. And yet… I see more shafts in my future. There will come a day when I wont be able to resist, and I’ll have to give up one of these beauties, and invest in an 8shaft loom. Four shafts can take you a lot of places, and you can do most anything on them, and certainly use them well and beautifully… but…….

A New Space

In the last few months I’ve lost two roommates, and gained another one. This has meant lots of shlepping furniture, rearranging and cleaning, and not a whole lot of time or space for any sort of sewing or reading. Now, however, that’s all changed…

The end result is a spare bedroom, which I have now claimed as a hoity toity fiber studio. Ooooo, Ahhh. I’m so excited, I’ve never yet had my very own space dedicated to crafting etc.

Its a smallish bedroom, but I’ve still managed to fit both looms, a boxy shelf/drawer/thing, a book shelf, an ironing table, a large warping board, and a large glass-top desk. Any any sort of room is better than stealing and cluttering up the downstairs dining room.

Oh, wait, “both looms”? Yes…. I bought another one. I already knew I’d have a spare bedroom, and then this LOVELY 45″ Nilus Leclerc was at the local weavers fall sale for $100?!?! How could I say no? Of course, the reason it was so cheap was because its currently in pieces. It even comes with its own bench though! And underneath the dust the loom is in good shape! I’m so excited. It’ll be a learning exercise to put all the pieces back together.

I already feel good in this space. The back wall has two windows, hidden by the sliding panel style ikea curtains. I can’t wait to play with various fabrics layered on each other, or weave my own intricate curtain panels (I’ve already got some great ideas there). I also managed to hide a desktop computer, and a monitor that can move back and forth between the desk, and an out of the way shelf corner. That way this is also my computer/gaming room, and I can binge watch netflix while crafting things, or rock out to music. The shelf above the desk was a “picture ledge” according to ikea. I took one look at it and thought that’ll be perfect for thread!. And it is! It fits perfectly, and is organized and close at hand, and even looks good! We also took the door off the closet in the back corner so that it still works as storage, without giving up square footage for the door to open.

Having the space be comfortable and highly functional really contributed to a ton of excellent christmas presents I’ll show off soon.

Clasped Weft Scarf

This is a clasped weft scarf in soft wool. I’d seen a similar effect on pinterest somewhere, and just loved the way it looked. Almost like a sound wave pattern, or a city skyline. I read up about it, and discovered the concept of “clasped weft.” Its really quite simple, but so striking, and varied depending on how you use colors. I want to do a tutorial for it, once I have another project that needs it, but for now I’ll leave you with this cool gif I made.

claspedgif

I know, I still think gifs are cool, sorry. πŸ˜‰

It was a fun project, my first done without a specific purpose or person in mind, simply because I wanted to experiment. Now that I know what it looks like, I suspect you’ll see more clasped weft projects soon. Its definitely slower to weave, but I’ve got some good ideas on how to use it. You could encode binary messages using one colors as 0 and the other as 1, hehe. You could weave in a section of music you really love. You could imitate a specific city’s skyline, or measuring carefully get some cool sine curves. It’s also a pattern that lends itself well to weaving in some LEDs or conductive thread, not that I’m getting too excited or anything.

Anyways, proof that my loom as been busy in the last six months. Very very busy as you’ll find out next time.

Birthday Present for Myself

So, for my birthday I bought a loom. Yep. Get prepared for lots and lots of weaving pictures, because this is what my life is going to be.

The loom is a 36β€³ Leclerc Loom. Its a brand thats located in quebec, and has been building basically the exact same loom since 1764. Its a beautiful piece, and I’m excited to see what I can create with it.

Last night I celebrated with a glass of mead while warping up my first overshot pattern. That’s what its called when you have patterns where large areas of thread β€œfloat over” the base weave. That’s a horrible description, but if you’re really curious, you can google it. You can kind of see what I’m talking about in the final picture of the β€œreverse” side, where the blue threads float above the white for long portions. I’m still learning a lot, and it is far too fun.