Saturday, May 10, 2014

Yet More Fiber

A couple weekends ago, my parents-in-love dropped off the last installment from my friend who passed her fiber arts collection to me.

A loom.

Not just a sweet simple little lap loom like I originally expected. Oh no.

This is a Loom.

A 4 shaft Mighty Wolf from Schacht. (the link shows a picture of a newer one- and it's an 8 shaft, but similar)

Originally, I thought I would set up a little fiber corner in the family room for me. It's where my sewing machine was; so I added some shelves, had hubby put my warping board on the wall, and got all ready.

But when the Loom arrived, I quickly realized that was not where I wanted it- because it's a big loom and it's a very expensive tool; and the family room is where the kids play crazy wrestling/Star Wars/ninja games. The Loom would seriously cramp their style.

So I spent the last 2 weeks moving my youngest out of his basement room into his oldest brothers room, rearranging (and repainting sections) the family/schoolroom.

The Loom has been in my new craft room for about a week. I confess I didn't touch it until yesterday because it intimidated me so much.

It's big.

Yesterday, however, we had an unusually peaceful Friday- and today was equally mellow. Totally odd around here, but I thought I should take advantage of it, and started trying to figure out the Loom.

I got to start the easy way, as there were some warp threads already measured and ready to be cut and put on the Loom included with all the supplies. So I didn't have to make the warp myself yet. That probably saved me an hour and a half of figuring, calculating, measuring, and wrapping. So I got out the book, and began.

 This is the very beginning of the process- called sleying the reed. Basically, it's just threading the yarn through the "beater" or reed. 288 threads. Took a while.
 Finally got them all in. It needed a picture. That was an accomplishment.
 Then, all 288 threads had to be individually threaded through tiny metal movable things called heddles. Which are attached to "shafts" which move up and down in the weaving process. Oh, and they must be threaded in the right order! That took about 2 hours all by itself.
 Finally. Reed sleyed and heddles threaded.
 Tying on. Attaching the warp threads to the back beam.
 Warping the beam. (wrapping the warp threads around the back beam to keep tension.)
 Tying to the front apron. 
All these fun new vocabulary words! Basically, now that most of the warp is on the back beam, you tie the front ends to the front beam so they are snug and evenly tensioned, so you can weave and wind the fabric onto the front beam.
 At last! Weaving! Cloth! This is my play-around, not actually making anything piece. Learning how the different shafts make patterns, and how hard to slam the beater (that is the fun part).

Then I put a stick through the warp to create a space and started trying to make something specific. In order to do that, I had to wind some bobbins. The one tool that I don't have (so blessed! Can't believe all these things were a gift!), is a bobbin winder. I could do it by hand, but I have no patience and sore arms. So I got to thinking....

 And got my power drill out, used a little pipe cleaner to make the end thick enough, and made an automatic bobbin winder.  It works really well! I wound both of those bobbins in less than 15 minutes. There's a lot of thread on those!
And now, I have cloth! Wound onto the front apron beam.I think I made 2 feet of cloth in less than 45 minutes. I already utterly love this. I have so many plans.....

1 comment:

Fran said...

OMG! That is so amazing and exciting!