The Enchanted Mountain Weavers Guild has given me the courage to go forth and Weave! Okay so I joined the guild and they have been teaching me tips and tricks to improve my rigid heddle weaving. I obtained a 10″ Ashford Sample It Loom, and I was promptly intimidated, I did try a test project but it did not go as smoothly as I would have liked. With the guild’s help I managed my first scarf and had the courage to go forth and start my second scarf. This is scarf made with Red Heart Acrylic Yarn, containing a simple pick up pattern. I am really pleased with the eye scorching results. The yarn is fluorescent so it looks even neater under a black light!
It has been a while since I have had time to craft and therefor post about crafting. Life does take funny turns, good and bad often intertwining until you are not certain which way to look. I have completed my second piece on my rigid heddle loom, but have no pictures yet. It was an experiment in selvedges, beating, and color. I have not had an opportunity to wash the piece so once it is finished by washing and drying I will declare it a success or failure, probably a scarf really!
The bad, mom is going to need surgery and they consider her a high risk candidate. We will do everything we can to keep her as long as she retains a good quality of life. Prayer is about all that will help. The good is a student going to the community college I work at had a large metal Jack Floor Loom she was not certain of what she was going to do with. Upon hearing of my interest in weaving she offered me that loom in addition to a rigid heddle loom. The rigid heddle loom is beautiful it needed a front apron bar and probably a new heddle. I am very excited to have received this loom. I am in awe of my floor loom. I will confess, I am very dismayed at the state. It could be a lot worse and there is a basic frame to work with but it needs a lot of work before I would consider putting my clean yarn on it. Especially if you consider how long it takes to warp a loom, there is no point in warping on a dirty loom.
It was a physical therapy loom created by the G.E. Miller Inc. company out of Yonkers, NY. They are still in existence today though I do not think they make looms any longer (I plan on calling or e-mailing to find out). Here are a few shots of what my loom looks like now, I meant to get some of it assembled but I was so excited to get started I forgot and had disassembled the heddles before I remembered. You can see the loom, the paint is rustier in person; the heddle frames. The heddles and their rusted shafts in a bucket with my work gloves, and the identifier sticker on the reed frame. It looks good in the pictures and fortunately the basic structure is sound. I look forward to getting it in perfect order again though it will take a ton of work.
Recently Ashford came out with a 10″ Sample-It Loom. Previously they had an 8″ Sample-It Loom I was thinking about getting, the 10″ was only $7 more than the 8″ and already comes set up for a double heddle experience, I could not resist. I have not taken any real classes on the rigid heddle loom and, since there is not as much information available on the Kindle Unlimited plan, I have not read as much as I would like on the subject. Despite these limitations, I managed to watch a few movies and am in the middle of reading “The Weavers Idea Book” by Jane Patrick, I did weave a piece of fabric that I enjoyed creating. The warp was my Corriedale in Summer Days along with a bit of a wool mixture I carded up. The weft started with some crochet cotton then I used a commercial blue yarn. The picture below is before I washed the piece to finish it. Once I washed it the energized yarn that made up the wool mixture activated the twist causing the fabric to ruffle a bit. I like the effect for a beginning piece and can imagine how it could be used as a weft to finish off the edge of a piece or in the warp of a much larger piece.
My new Spinning Wheel a Schacht Ladybug, and the fiber I’ve managed to turn into singles already. With my tax refund I managed to order this Ladybug. It was so simple to put together I was through almost before I had started. I took it for a brief test run last night, going against everything that we are told to do and starting with some fiber to spin with. It worked like a dream. I need a different chair so I can sit comfortably while I spin, and I probably need something to act as a dropcloth but those are just details.
I have some exciting news on the weaving front as well. A friend of mine, a non-traditional student that goes to the community college I work at, is going to be moving out of state and she has a couple of looms she wants to get rid of. She gifted me with my first rigid heddle loom earlier this week, the heddle is missing a few bits but I think it is a Beka 24″ heddle so I can order a replacement. I am thinking about trying to warp it up and play with it, but I do not think I can tear myself away from my wheel for any length of time in the near future, except for laundry…I have to do laundry tonight!
Happy Crafting, more on the spinning and weaving front to come!