Actually, in spite of an epidemic of empty looms again, this was a fantastic week so far. Like the planets aligned… You know when you work on something really really hard, and finally, finally it comes to fruition? I had a whole bunch of things finish up and birth themselves right into the stratosphere in the last 48 hours.
First off, last October I mentioned that I had shot a whole string of videos for Threads Magazine for their Insider subscription service. Actually it is a great service, $19.95 a year for unlimited viewing of their archive of videos on sewing and fit related topics. My group will slowly be added that archive over the next few months, but the first one was released yesterday. I watched it today and it was really spot on. I did a good job. I covered everything that needed to be said about the topic and the editing was smooth and clean. This video shows how to cut and piece bias strips. You can subscribe to Insider and view it here. Thank you Threads!
Also released yesterday was the latest issue of Heddlecraft Magazine. Many of you know how hard I worked over the last few months on this 30 page article. I felt like I had done a Master’s Thesis… This lengthy article is on a topic near and dear to my heart, one I explored in my early days of craft fairs back in the 1980’s, called Doup Leno. It is a way of crossing threads back and forth to create a loom controlled lace fabric. Heddlecraft Magazine is available in digital format only. You can subscribe here.
I needed to get an image of the piece I am submitting for the summer faculty exhibit Making Matters: Fresh Perspectives in Fine Craft at Peters Valley, by the weekend. The work doesn’t have to be finished by then, but you can’t take a photo of that which does not exist. So my 36″ 8 shaft Tools of the Trade loom is now empty and the fabric is drying… This is a mixed warp in a combination weave with supplemental warps, some of it is hand dyed, and the yarns are mostly cotton and rayon. The weft is 3 ply worsted wool from my stash.
My new rule in the house, with so many looms, is that once a loom has been cleared, whoever cleared it has to oil/wax it (I use Howard’s Feed and Wax) and tighten all the bolts and screws. My loom looks so happy and refreshed…
Also due this week is a scarf which I promised to donate to The Shakespeare Theatre of NJ for their Annual Gala silent auction. I adore this organization and gave them one for their fundraiser last year, and I’ll be attending the gala this April and am pleased to donate another scarf. Which meant I had to weave off all five. Which means another loom is empty. But it is also very happy because it has been cleaned and waxed and all the bolts and screws have been tightened. It is looking fresh and cheery for another warp. (There are only four scarves in the photo because I made it to the post office with five minutes to spare, the fifth one is on its way to The Shakespeare Theatre.)
And last night, I sat by the fire and finished a lovely cable knit vest, I had been worried I wouldn’t have enough yarn, but I knit as fast as I could and turns out I beat the yarn fairies… This vest is Berroco Artisan Merino and Silk. I picked up a half dozen skeins last fall at Sievers, on sale because the yarn is discontinued. The yarn is butter smooth and so pretty. The vest is one I’ve made before. It is a Drops Design, 123-10 waistcoat. It is actually a free pattern from Garn Studio. I started this vest last fall, sometime after I taught at Sievers, so again, it is funny that I finished it last night as well. It is still drying on top of the washer.
And about 10 days ago, my lovely daughter went on a mission to pick up yet another loom. They are finding us. I don’t know why. If you Google Tools of the Trade Looms, my name comes up. Probably because between my daughter and I, we now own 10. I bought my first one back in 1978. I mention them a lot in my blogs. They aren’t made anymore, but it is a solid versatile jack type loom that has stood the test of time, solid rock maple, unless you find one in cherry, and you can’t kill them. I sent my daughter down to Bedminster NJ to pick up a lovely 8 shaft 25″ wide table loom, a great teaching loom and perfect for workshops. She (the loom, not my daughter) joins two other looms that size, one a four shaft and the other a fraternal twin in cherry. I had to do some tweaking, restore some of the parts, and I’m about to add heddles to the back four shafts, but it looks in good working order and it seems happy with the crew. Incidently, I have received word on two other Tools of the Trade looms that are needing homes and my daughter is all over it. I do not know where these looms will all fit, it is clear that we are building inventory to open some kind of school or teaching venue, but that’s far down the road and I can’t even fathom that right now. I’m happy meeting my deadlines. FYI, between us right now we own 29 shaft looms. 15 Structos three of which are 8 shaft, two Leclerc 10″ 4 shaft looms, a 12 shaft Leclerc Dorothy, a folding Ashford Table Loom, 8 shafts, and of course, the 10 Tools of the Trade Looms. We win…
10 Tools of the Trade looms divided by 2 weavers = 5 each.
Totally reasonable by my estimations.
Got the Heddlecraft magazine today and your article on Doup Leno is AWESOME! I was totally sucked into wanting to learn more about it and maybe even try it. Looks absolutely do-able. Congrats on saving the Tools of the Trade Looms — it would be a good idea for you and Brianna to consider opening a teaching school and have students come to you! What fun and a legacy you could create!
I’m so jealous! I would love to have a Tools of the Trade Table loom. As I age, I am struggling with my vision and floor looms are getting harder to thread. I have discovered, in general, Table looms seem to be (more) open, therefore more light and less angle so visually easier to see and thread.
Getting old sucks big time! I’m still waiting for the “Golden” part….. tee hee hee!
Daryl, you never cease to amaze me with all you accomplish!
Thanks so much for the tip on waxing and cleaning the looms. I ordered the wax from Amazon and can’t wait to shine my old Dorset and tighten the hardware. Do I need to oil the hardware too? or just tighten the bolts and screws?….. I could just ask Mark very nicely to do it for me…HaHa
A link you might enjoy http://brucesterling.tumblr.com/post/183846773738/five-thousand-year-old-egypian-linen-dress-the “the world’s oldest known woven garment”
Loved your article on Doup Leno in Heddlcraft. I must try it now!
I googled “Tools of the trade” and your name came up, sure enough! I am a beginning weaver, and the loom I was fortunate enough to buy (knowing nothing at the time about any looms) was a 4 shaft Tools of the Trade with no number on it. It only has one reed. How do I find replacements? Is there a specific brand that will fit well?
Anne B… The loom takes standard 4 1/2-5″ reeds, carbon or stainless steel. As long as the reed isn’t wider than the trough in the beater, any reed will fit. I bought used ones over the years, as they were much cheaper than used. Carbon steel reeds are cheaper but will rust if unused and in damp environments. I found the older reeds though to be sturdier. The push now is for stainless steel reeds, but I’m finding that the gauge of steel on newer reeds is less than on the older carbon ones. Anyway, pretty much anyone who sells… Read more »