What's on the Loom for 2018?
It seems odd to me that I only have two floor looms. The Saori loom and the Baby Wolf loom are long gone but it still feels strange to only have two weaving projects going.
I have always been a monogamous knitter. I start one project and work on it till it's finished. Then I start another project. Except sometime over the last year I started a second project before the first one was finished. Egads! Have I become a knitting slut? Yes. Yes, I have.
In direct opposition to my monogamous knitting approach, I always want to have as many weaving projects going as I have looms. Three looms makes me happy. Two looms just doesn't seem quite enough. I went to look at a walking loom last fall thinking that might be my third loom but it didn't quite work out. That loom has a large footprint and coming off having a 60" Cranbrook it was just too big. I would have had to make several sacrifices to give it the room it needed and I wasn't interested in making those sacrifices.
I was over at the Lone Star Loom Room picking up some rug warp yarn and mentioned the walking loom to Tracy Kaestner. Tracy is an amazing weaver in addition to being a Louet dealer and being the best weaving yarn resource in the world. She suggested I look at a Louet Spring before I made a decision on a new loom. The Spring is a countermarche loom like my old Cranbrook but in a normal looking size. The Cranbrook always looked like it was on steroids with its tall frame and huge warp and breast beams. I sat at the Spring and treadled it a bit. The treadling is so gentle. It doesn't feel like you are lifting anything at all. It is a sleek and easy to use countermarche. That's a real possibility.
Peggy has a full size 45" Standard Schacht floor loom that she loves. That would be a great addition to my room of looms. I love that size and I could pick the low castle or the high castle with the shelf. Maple or Cherry? And they are offering a free weaving bench with every full sized loom ordered between now and January 31st. I love Schacht products - that's the main reason we sell them. Another very real possibility.
But for now I have the two looms I have. The Gilmore, usually my linen face cloth and kitchen towel loom is currently on it's second run of rugs. Peggy and I had dyed up some jute cored wool yarn a while back and it's been sitting here nagging at me. I also bought some cotton cored alpaca yarn that's provided the additional nagging voice. By God, they just need to be woven off! I have several projects waiting in the wings and am currently about half way through my 12 yard warp.
And then there is my Louet Octado. It has been out of commission for some time now. The various pieces of the loom are connected and controlled by Texsolv cable. Texsolv is nearly impossible to break but it can be worn down if it repeatedly rubs on something sharp. I think that's what happened to the control line that operated the harnesses. I was weaving along and heard a "snap" and the treadle stopped working. I couldn't figure out what went where so called on Tracy. She talked to the Louet North America people and got me some photos of how the line is supposed to be attached. I've looked at the photos and they seem easy to follow. But somehow I haven't been able to make myself work on it. If I don't touch it, I won't make it any worse. Of course, if I don't touch it I won't be weaving on it either.
So, this is what happens to me. I wrote the paragraph above and thought maybe, just maybe, it was time to get off my rear end and fix the silly loom. It took me about a half hour and it seems to be working perfectly now. I carefully paired the new section of Texsolv with the old section, minus the area ripped apart. It was complicated but not at all hard. I just needed to pay careful attention. I'll start weaving on it tomorrow. The warp was getting closer and closer to being a dog on the loom. This is what I did for the "Wholly Lace" Swatch Swap that we exchanged way back in April. I've woven several more towels on this warp since April but there is still enough warp for a couple more towels. Yes, it needs to be woven off now!
So, no decision yet about which new loom will be right but I am weaving. The rugs are looking great and I hope to have the blue/blue/white kitchen towels woven off quickly. For now I'm very happy with both my looms.