For the last few months, weaving has mostly been about samplers. Samplers from summer school. Samplers from the 4-shaft weaving class. Sampler for my rigid heddle workshop.
I’d like to weaving a thing. It’s been ages since I tackled a new project. So I’ve been on a bit of a finishing drive. I had an 8ply cotton warp on the AKL since my workshop, for a demo that I unwove later. To weave it off I decided to do spot bronson, following the instructions from my class. Lucky nobody got to that in class, because my info sheet turned out to be wrong! It was wrong because there is an omission in the book I based the instruction on: it doesn’t say the heddle should be in the down position when picking up the warp ends for the pattern. I hadn’t noticed when weaving my sampler for the class because what you get looks kind of right. But it isn’t, so if I do another class (unlikely for a while thanks to Covid19) I’ll have to reweave the entire sampler. Still, I did manage to weave off the warp with the correct spot bronson method, and free up that loom.
Next I turned my attention to the Lotus loom. Last year I’d put on enough warp to weave five tea towels, but only got three done in time to sew and gift them for a Christmas present. To keep things interesting, I tried another tie-up – a pattern I’d liked when I made the long Strickler sampler a few years ago. I didn’t know if the fabric would become plain natural coloured tea towels, a table runner or a garment. Eventually it was done, and I decided on tea towels.
That warp was my first on the Lotus. I’ve encountered a few idiosyncrasies of the loom, and resolved most of them, but the one that worries me most was that the tension brake keeps slipping. Maybe only because some of the oil I used on the wood got into the wire groove. Maybe not. The guild has one of these looms, and it has a ratchet and pawl on the back beam in addition to the tension brake. Mine does not.
This could be a big problem as I want to weave rugs. I could keep the Osborne for rug weaving, but I don’t want two floor looms.
Well, the slipping seemed to reduce over time. When the loom was free I decided to take the remaining warp from the rug weaving workshop off the Katie and put it on the Lotus. Then I wove with tshirt rags and then rug weft, beating hard. After a handspan of weaving built up I was satisfied that the Lotus was capable of handling rug weaving, even if it meant occasionally getting up and tightening the warp from the back.
So I’m now free to sell the Osborne. When it’s gone I’ll be able to spread out a little better in the craft room. More room for sewing. Enough space to set up the Bond knitting machine. Freedom to try other crafts.
After all, there’s a reason why this blog is called Creative Fidget.