First, I’d like to take care of a little business, please bear with me and read this through. This has been an expensive and trying week. I have been writing this blog for more than 10 years. Many of you enjoy it and have subscribed so you’ll know when I post. I have about 800 subscribers. Know that I do not ever send an email to any of my subscribers unless I have posted a new blog, which is what you signed up for. I don’t sell or otherwise share the email list. Unfortunately, there was a handful of you, 17 to be exact, Google knows who you are, that for some reason, innocent or whatever, labeled my subscriber notifications as spam. I know for some, there is a habit that you want to clear the inbox, maybe want to read my post later, don’t want to trash it, so maybe store it in the spam box. My own sister admitted to that. Or maybe you aren’t interested in my posts anymore. Cool. It is easy to unsubscribe. Really, each email from me has that option. PLEASE don’t ever mark something as spam that isn’t. See, Google keeps track of this and shares info with Yahoo and all other providers. And when they reach a certain algorithm of reports, they blacklist the entire domain. That means that orders from my store don’t get to inboxes, they go directly to spam. Orders from my store go directly to my spam box so I don’t know you ordered. Post notifications that you subscribed to go into spam. I know this because, well, I can’t say how I know this but this came from head of Google security and that’s all I can say. I know someone who knows someone. If you don’t want something that you subscribed to in your inbox, please unsubscribe. It was a challenging and expensive week to undo this, having to pay my tech guy for assistance, and I know none of my readers would intentionally cause me this much grief. Please watch what you label as spam.
Now, onto the good stuff…
First a side story. Most of you who have been with me awhile, know I collect Tools of the Trade looms. I think I have 13 down there in the studio? They find me… My first one came in 1978, I bought it right out of college. And if you Google Tools of the Trade looms, my name comes up, probably because I mention them regularly in my blog posts. So I get all kinds of queries, such as, “I bought this loom on the internet, and I don’t think it is working properly, can you help?” I do my best, and usually, with photos I can get looms up and running or identify the problem. Since I have just about one of everything Art made back in the 70’s – 90’s, I can provide a picture of what it should look like.
So I got this email from a woman in the Michigan or Minnesota area, somewhere up there. She found in a closet a second warp and back beam for a Tools of the Trade loom that she had ordered. She forgot she had it, sold the loom long ago, and came across the beam in a downsizing move. Fortunately she googled and reached out to me, and asked if I wanted it, for the price of postage. She shipped me the beams. I figured it would go with one of mine at least. Oddly enough, when I opened the box, it was for a 30″ width loom. I didn’t know he even made looms in that width. Mine are 25″ and 45″. And I have a rare 16″ in thrown in the mix. So I put it in my closet and forgot about it.
Last year I got a call from someone in New England who had a Tools of the Trade loom she didn’t need anymore, Googled it and got me. She just wanted to find a home for it, my daughter drove to Massachusetts, and though the woman wasn’t expecting to get money for the loom, I think we offered her $400. It was only fair. It was a four shaft floor loom and get this. It was 30″ wide. Turns out it was one of the original looms Art made, stained with a cherry color, including the bench. The loom was pretty lightweight, built off the small floor loom specs, but we threw a linen warp on it and my daughter decided to weave some rag rugs.
You have to know my daughter is a pretty strong kid, having hauled around 800 pound cows in college in her animal science program, a loom is nothing. This particular loom’s warp beam winds backwards than our other Tools of the Trade looms, and had a ratchet and pawl brake, as opposed to a friction brake. About 15 minutes into her first rug, she overtightened the beams, in the wrong direction and split the warp beam. With about 10 yards of linen on it, I was not a happy camper. Clearly the loom was too lightweight for rugs, but we had to wait for the heavier ones to be cleared, for the great studio redo that happened last fall/winter, and for a time we could address the issue.
She was able to carefully weave a few rugs off the loom, but it was clear that we needed to transfer the warp onto one of the heavier looms so we could repair the beam. So we did. By putting two looms breast beam to breast beam, it is easy to transfer one warp from one loom to another.
Once the warp was safely transferred, I could address the split beam. I thought originally that the 30″ second beam could replace the ratchet and pawl warp beam that split. The original beam was so long that it went through a huge hole in the side of the side supports, so in reality, I couldn’t substitute. I thought maybe the heads on the two beams could be switched. They weren’t drilled the same. Disappointed, I repaired the split beam, wood glue is pretty solid. and put the beam back together. My daughter and I spent a long time in discussion and we realized, that though the loom wasn’t drilled for a second warp beam, we could, using the same templates as our other looms, drill it ourselves. Though we have some woodworking equipment, we don’t have a drill press. So I called a really good craftsman friend who is a fantastic woodworker, who lives in the next town, and dismantling the entire back of the loom, marking the side supports well, she donned a mask and headed over there this afternoon and got Gary to drill four holes through the rock maple.
And now, this lovely original loom, has a second back beam and I know exactly what I’m going to put on it. I love when the planets align and things find their way home. I can’t wait to set this loom up and get it working again.
Meanwhile, my garden overfloweth. In anticipation of the storm Tuesday (devastating storm, for some bizarre reason my street did not lose power or internet, but the rest of NJ did) we harvest a lot of basil. This is the second go round this summer, I have a freezer full! Now it is even fuller! I make basil pesto, freeze it flat in little freezer bags and break off what I want.
And I’ve worked hard all week to finally clear a loom, which has had a scarf run on it way too long. I think there are six 2 yard scarves on this loom, and I just have to hemstitch the last one, pull the fabric and wash it.
And the fabric called Summer Rain is beautiful. I’m really happy with how it looks. Will be interesting to see it finished and find out how it washes up but for now, this was a lovely use of the yarns I got to try from Silk City Fibers. This fabric features their new Nile cotton tape, and their new Cotton Bambu yarn, along with Linen 14, Bambu 7, and a couple from my own stash, rayon slubby Saphira and Skinny Majesty variegated. The weft is Bambu 7. The specific yarns are all listed with links in my previous blog post.
And just as a tip, I find that using heavy carabiners on the two last selvedge threads, whether they are floating selvedges or not, really helps keep the selvedges tidy. I have lots of these and I use them on everything I weave.
And today, I had my tech guy come and run an ethernet cable to the new garage studio, so when I do zoom meetings or live demos, I can be hard wired in the studio instead of using WIFI which can be unstable. I now have two ethernet cables coming from the ceiling. Why two? You never know…
So remember, unsubscribe, don’t label things as spam that aren’t spam, and use weights on the last two selvedge threads. You’ll have better selvedges!