Saturday, July 12, 2008

Look what Aaron made for me!

Aaron's been busy, and now I have a new fiber toy!

It's a loom for tablet weaving, and maybe for rigid heddle weaving. There are a whole bunch of tablet weaving classes at Pennsic, but we're going to be so tight on space that I didn't want to bring my inkle loom along. Aaron built this one so it would collapse down into a bunch of flat pieces of wood.

He more or less followed the Henry Loom design, but with holes added so the uprights fit together with screws. The description on the webpage doesn't exactly create the loom pictured on the webpage - we're still fiddling a bit to try to make it work.

The project on the loom is my attempt at this Birka-style woven band. I'm using Louet Gems Pearl, having taken full advantage of Five Skein Friday at River Knits! The weaving isn't going as well as I hoped, for several reasons:

  1. I forgot just how insanely long it takes to set up the warp.
  2. The warp take-up board doesn't work so well. The drawing is really unclear about which way the notch should go. We've concluded that the board needs to be wider than the loom, and that the notch should run horizontally. I think.
  3. The cloth take-up really doesn't work. I don't know what's wrong, but I can't maintain tension at all. The mechanism seemed pretty simple - except that it doesn't work at all. The plans say that the first part of the band is more difficult, so I'm going to keep going and hope it improves.
  4. I'm very tired. I spent all day in a First Aid/CPR class, so had to get up insanely early in the morning. I'm just too tired to weave. Every time I got interrupted at all, I'd lose my place in the pattern and couldn't figure out where I was. I started over, but I've done something wrong and haven't figured out what yet. The worst part is that the class may prove useless - I took it so I could volunteer as a first aid provider at Pennsic, but they've made so many changes to how things are done that it may be too bureaucracy- and annoyance-laden to be worth it. The good news about that is it will leave more time for tablet weaving.

And more time for knitting, which I'll need. I may even need more time for spinning. I've been knitting every day for the Tour de Fleece, but most days have just been a token effort of a few feet. I'm halfway through my 10 yards of red yarn. I also need white, and enough of the greyish-brown background color to actually knit something. But the Tour de France is a long ride, right?

Want to see a seriously cool thing about my new loom? Here it is with a skein of Gems Pearl draped around it. It's almost like having my own swift! Pretty nice for a loom built almost completely with scrap lumber, eh? Having Aaron at home has been great for my hobbies.


Blogger Tarazed said...

Congrats on the loom!

I'm actually one of Henry's apprentices, in tablet weaving :) I'd suggest writing to him about any issues you have, as he's super nice about answering.

Yeah, the tension can get a bit messed up, as you're dealing with set lengths of warp as measured around the board at the end. As you weave a bit more and/or your warp tightens up as you weave, things should improve.

Try playing with how you wrap the band around the take-up pieces. I know with silk, I usually have to bring it back up around the bottom piece and through again.

Awesome bottle design!! It looks a LOT like a design I've seen on a website for teaching how to make those, but I think I lost the link. If that's where he got it from, could you/he be so kind as to share it with me? I'd greatly appreciate it.

Henry will also be at Pennsic this year, although I'm not exactly sure where. Again, could try emailing him and maybe you two can meet up to talk weaving while there.

:D Tara

6:24 AM  

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