Sunday, July 24, 2016

Hand Made Love and New Beginnings

Yesterday my talented woodworking husband presented me with a new desk for my studio.  He designed and created this mission style desk using quarter sawn oak a bit of swearing and a lot of hard work.   The desk is a true work of love and I am so delighted by this wonderful hand made gift.




A new member was added to our family this last week, his name is Jack.  Jack is an 18 month old Standard Poodle tripod dog.  Jack's right front foot is deformed by a birth injury but that doesn't stop him from running like the wind and playing with his new big sister Pepper.   Jack is a rescue dog who deserved a loving home and family but was never given the chance.  Everything in his life has changed - now he is in his forever home and doing well.  



As you can see Jack was given the typical rescue dog hair cut at the rescue facility.  In time his lovely apricot fur will grow out and he will look more like a Poodle instead of an over grown terrier.


We are in love with this silly boy and are so happy he is part of family.

Welcome Home Jack!

Happy Weaving!

Back to the looms.

Please visit my  Etsy shop  --  Thistle Rose Weaving by clicking here:





Sunday, July 10, 2016

Up And Running


Hester, my new Leclerc Colonial 12 shaft loom is up and running.  

It has been a long road of adjustments, tweaking and figuring out the best way to accomplish various tasks to get my loom ready for weaving.  Hester is a big girl and several tasks I do easily on smaller looms are not as easy to do because of Hester's width.

Started the session by using my warping trapeze to get the warp on the loom and all went smoothly, thank goodness.

Next up was threading, how was I going to get close enough to thread the brand new texsolv heddles?   Decided to remove both the breast beam and the cloth beam and sat "inside" the loom to thread.  Worked like a charm, learned to do this with my Swedish looms and it works well.

Problem three, how and when to tie up the treadles.  Usually I wait to tie up treadles when I have the warp threaded, tensioned and tied up to the front of a loom.  This time I thought I would tie up treadles while I had the breast and cloth beams off the loom thereby giving me enough room to work comfortably.   Have to admit it was strange to tie up treadles before the warp was tensioned.  All went well, although I did have to do a few adjustments (seems I can't count anymore).

 Problem four, the friction brake had to be adjusted so that when I release the brake at the front of loom my warp beam doesn't go crazy and release all my warp to the floor.  After several hours of going back and forth between the front and back of the loom everything is adjusted as it should be.


Properly tensioned warp waiting for the first pick to thrown.  Ah, that moment of truth...have I adjusted everything properly and will this lovely girl weave?   Yes on all fronts! Huzzah, we have a working loom.


Because I am forever looking to make my weaving set up fast and efficient I took off the old very hard to use clips on the end of the treadle springs and added some nice new stainless clips that are a breeze to use.  These will save my thumbs and make attaching treadles easy-peasy.

I have read in several sources that when you hook the treadle springs to the treadles on the Colonial it can make for heavy treading.  I am having no issues, the treadles are responsive and easy to use.  Hurray!

Happy Weaving!

Back to the looms.

Please visit my  Etsy shop  --  Thistle Rose Weaving by clicking here:



Sunday, June 26, 2016

Red Letter Day!


Yesterday was a red letter day for me.   After a lot of buying and selling looms over the last two years in order to make enough money to finally acquire my dream loom the weaving goddess smiled on me.

Meet Hester - a great name offered up from a fellow weaving friend, Theresa.  Hester is a circa 1989 Leclerc Colonial I, 60" 12 shaft / 14 treadle rock maple counterbalance / jack loom.  Bought the loom from a lady in Missouri who had partially set it up 5 years ago and never wove anything with it.  The original owner had purchased the loom and sorry to say passed away before she could ever use it.  Poor Hester sat in a bedroom unused and unloved for many years.

So, I am the very lucky and ever so grateful owner of a brand spankin' new 1989 Leclerc Colonial!  I am beyond the moon happy!!!!

Here are a few beauty shots of my new girl.


Front View 


Look at all those marvelous shafts!


Back view.

Welcome Hester, you have been long awaited.  I can hardly wait to get started on a new project.

Happy Weaving!

Back to the looms.

Please visit my  Etsy shop  --  Thistle Rose Weaving by clicking here:



Tuesday, May 17, 2016

New Lease On Life

This post is picture heavy and might not be very interesting to non-weavers.

I bought a 1970's era Toika Lissa that needed some love, so I got to work to bring her back to her former glory.  


Beams and foot rest loom parts badly in need of sanding and refinishing...


Piles of lams, harnesses and treadles needing cleaning and new texsolv.    Note - all the harness bars had to be redrilled on our drill press to make the holes big enough to accept texsolv cord.


Back and front cloth beams with very old and dirty cloth aprons in need of replacement.  You can see the famous blue metal cogs on the beams.  These blue metal parts help to indentify the loom's age.


Post sanding and finishing.  The original 1970's name plate and the addition of a magnet to hold scissors within easy reach.



Looking from under the front beam you can see I replaced the old apron with brand new beam cords. All the texsolv cordage and heddles on this entire loom are brand spankin' new.  



Looking from the back of the loom you can see the treadles have a new addition of toy wheels that we carefully drilled the centers from to fit on the treadle bar.  The wheels keep the treadles separated in half inch increments making treading much easier.  You can also see the harnesses have new texsolv to hang them from the jacks.     I you look closely I added some Glimakra rubber feet to the loom.  Also added Glimakra's shaft holders and pins to make set up much easier on the weaver.


The lovely golden color of the loom's birch wood was discovered under a lot of dirt, grime and duct tape residue.  After sanding and refinishing with Danish Oil and a several coats of feed and wax the loom is smooth and beautiful again.


After almost two weeks of hard work I have a completely restored this 50" Toika Lissa - she has 10 shafts, 12 treadles and has room in the jack box to make her into a 12 harness loom.


Happy Weaving!

Back to the looms.

Please visit my  Etsy shop  --  Thistle Rose Weaving by clicking here:



Thursday, May 5, 2016

Making Room For One More

Notice the big empty space in my studio?  

This space won't be empty for long - this weekend we are taking a bit of a road trip to northern Indiana to pick up a new to me 8 shaft countermarch Toika loom.  Those of you who know I have been on the hunt for months to try and locate a nice Macomber loom are aware that they are like hen's teeth around this neck of the woods - none to be found around in this area.  I decided to give up on my Macomber search and rethink what I want out of a loom. 

 After owning two Glimakra Standard countermarch looms and selling both of them because of back problems I decided that it was time to try a Toika.  Scandinavian looms are my true love and the thought of never weaving on one again was not sitting well with me.  My dear sister has a lovely Toika that she adores and I have been smitten with it for years.  I have woven a bit on her loom and have not noticed any back problems  -  so I began the search for a Toika loom.  After a bit of a search I found one.  It is an older model 8 shaft Toika Liisa countermarch that is in great shape.  

Can we say "Huzzah"!



Moving looms around in my studio to make room for the new loom, so far I am not sure I will keep this current set up.   My studio it feels a bit too "close" set up like this so I will try a few different layouts and see how I feel about them.   Thankfully I have plenty of room to move the looms around.



Working on a new taquette warp on my Gilmore, it is interesting to see how various colors in the weft shots can mute or brighten the overall look of the weaving.

It always surprises me how many daily chores this time of year get in the way of my weaving time!  I would much prefer weaving to choring any day of the week.  Ah well, the chickens need feeding, our 3 acres need mowing, the herb gardens need tending and the vegetable gardens need to be set up.  Can I just make a double of myself who could do the chores while I weave?

Back to the looms!

Happy Weaving.
Please visit my  Etsy shop  --  Thistle Rose Weaving by clicking here:




Monday, March 28, 2016

Mischief Managed

My wonderful Gilmore loom needed a bit of TLC this weekend.  The front and back tie-on bars are attached to the loom via webbing that has metal fasteners.  These metal fasters have rough edges that have created some scratches on both my front and back beams.  This will not do at all!  I like my looms to stay in good condition so I decided to do a bit of clean up.


The beams have been sanded with very fine sand paper to remove the scratches on them.  A bit of the patina was sanded off in the process, couldn't be helped.  Bought some Watco lacquer which is what Gilmore uses to finish the wood on their looms.  Two coats have been applied.  First coat went on last night and today I applied the second coat.  Tomorrow I will buff the beams with 0000 steel wool and wax them with Johnson's Paste Wax.  Plan on placing them back on the loom and letting them cure for a week before I put another warp on.

As for the metal fasteners I will cover them with some thin felt stick on pads to protect the beams from new damage.  Hopefully this solution will manage the mischief my loom has gotten itself into.



In case you are wondering about the oil paintings in the background...  The Navaho boy was painted by my Great-Uncle back in the seventies.  This painting was hung in my Grandparent's resort cabin for years, it was willed to me.  


The second painting was painted by me several years ago.   It is the Seul Choix Light in Michigan, built in 1892 and is still active.



This lighthouse was also painted by me, although it is a composite piece not an actual existing light.



A lovely bouquet of spring tulips brings a bit of cheer to our home.

Back to the looms!

Happy Weaving.
Please visit my  Etsy shop  --  Thistle Rose Weaving by clicking here: