Monday, December 5, 2016

Looms Are Tools

Looms are tools and making them work efficiently is important to me.  My dear husband, Mike is working at removing the large warp beam from the back of the Structo Artcraft loom so that we can replace it with the smaller warp beam with a much finer gauge ratchet wheel.  The warp beam we are removing in the picture is really meant to be a sectional beam,  the sectional pegs were turned inward to make it into a non-sectional beam by the previous owner.  This giant looking warp beam with the cast iron ratchet wheel is original to the loom.

I am not a fan of this big warp beam at all, the ratchet wheel has very large sections in it and make fine adjustments in warp take up almost impossible.

This is the smaller warp beam we installed on the loom - it is original and came with the loom.  Notice the finer gauge ratchet wheel, this will make my weaving life much easier as it is able to be adjusted easily.  The white webbing was added by the previous owner, it is replacing a very old canvas apron.  I will remove the white webbing and replace it with heavy beam texsolv cording, no aprons for me I detest them.

Mike added some lovely solid black walnut blocks to the front of the uprights on my loom and re-installed the beater bumpers on them.  The reason for adding the walnut blocks to the front of the loom is very simple, while weaving my fingers would jam into the first shaft when I attempting to pull the beater bar forward.  Adding space between the beater bar and the first harness means I can weave faster without jamming my fingertips.

In this shot you can see that a good 2 1/2" was gained for my fingertips to hold on to the beater.

Here you can see a portion of the lower harnesses/shafts - if you look closely you can see the harness clips.  There are four harness clips on the bottom of each harness and four harness clips on the top of each harness.  I really hate this!!!  Trying to come up with a solution that will let me get rid of the harness clips that will work.  Thought that replacing all the old clips with a the modern version harness clip would mean I only need one clip on the top and one clip on the bottom of each harness.  Darn it all this solution won't work, the harness bars are too wobbly.  Not sure there is a workable solution to this problem.

I detest the harness clips so much that I am seriously considering selling this very rare loom.  The loom is beautiful and very rare but she is not making me happy.  Decisions will need to be made.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Holiday Hand Woven Towels

Nice dark forest green mercerized cotton towels with a fun border of snow white stars make a lovely guest towel for the holidays.  This set would be the perfect hostess gift to bring with you to all those holiday parties you are invited to.

Seems like I weave these towels every year for my Etsy shop.  This year I changed the green border to a design instead of the plain weave I have used in the past - I like it much better this way.  Going to have to try and save one of these towels for myself.

EDIT - All of the towels woven on this warp sold out in a few hours after posting in my shop.  I am am a very happy weaver!

Happy Weaving!

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

Sunday, October 30, 2016

A Rare Beauty

My new to me loom, a Structo Artcraft Floor Loom, model 816, serial number 80-253.  Structo stamped their manufacturing dates on the reeds that went with their looms.  The original reed is
stamped 9-27-38 which means she is at least 78 years old.  Just think all the history this loom has seen, everything from two world wars, the space race, the beginning of the computer age and much more.

I do love her tiger stripe rock maple wood.  I just finished putting her together and wiping her down with some Howard's Wax and Feed, she is glowing.

The Structo catalog from 1939 shows this floor loom for sale, but it was no longer available in the 1941 catalog.  It has been speculated that these floor looms were only made for a very few years and possibly that they were made to order.  Confirmation of this information and the lack of these looms in today's market leads one to believe that they might have not been a stock item, unlike the famous metal table looms that are still in demand today.

There have been a few modifications made to the loom, the treadle chains were replaced with texsolv for ease of tie up.  The sectional beam was adjusted so that the pegs are now on the inside of the beam, I don't sectionally warp so this is a plus for me.  Cotton webbing was installed on the sectional beam so that a rod can be inserted into the webbing for holding the warp on the beam.

The loom also came with a plain beam and a hex beam.  The hex beam holds the famous Structo metal warping spools.  If you look at the picture of the back of the loom you can just barely see the green hex beam sitting above the sectional beam.  Note the size of the cast iron ratchet wheel - the beam circumference is one yard.  

The original spools have some grungy white cotton wound on them.  I won't be using these spools at all, but they are interesting to look at.  Suppose someone with one of the Structo table looms might be interested in buying the spools.  It is my understanding that the spools are super hard to find.  

I took the canvas apron off the front beam and replaced it with brand new heavy beam texsolv cording and a nice oak bar for tying on.

Proof positive that this loom is a Structo Artcraft Loom is the original name plate and even more proof is on the cast iron take up handle - it is engraved with the word Structo.   Yes, Structo really did make floor looms but I would venture to say they are as rare as hen's teeth.  There is only one other loom like this one that I am aware of and it belongs to a weaver in New Mexico.

I believe I am the 5th weaver to own this loom, although that is not set in stone.  It is a wonderful loom and I am very lucky to have found her.  The weaver I bought her from did a wonderful job of bringing her back to life, thank you Tom!

Happy Weaving!

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

Friday, October 28, 2016

Christmas Towels On The Loom & More Studio Changes

My Gilmore 8 shaft jack loom is busy weaving some wonderful cotlin Christmas towels.  I think these towels are the perfect hostess gift.

You might recall I bought this lovely 12 shaft LeClerc Colonial I a few months ago and thought she would be my perfect loom.   Well...not so much.  Decided I really did not need a 12 shaft loom and would much rather find an 8 shaft jack loom that would fit my needs a little better.  Yesterday, a lovely new weaver came to the studio and picked up the loom.  I was happy that a brand new weaver was excited about having so many shafts to play with.  

Once again my studio has a hole in it waiting for a new to me loom to come and play.  Stand by, this weekend I am bringing home a very rare loom - she is a beauty.   I am looking forward to taking her for a spin.

At this point in my weaving life I sort of feel like I have tried just about all the looms out there, with the exception of the highly expensive computer and jacquard looms.  With all this experience under my belt I am very happy to weave with jack looms that are within the 30" to 46" range in width.  A girl has to know her limitations.

Happy Weaving!

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

Monday, October 17, 2016

Wild Ireland Series

While I was weaving this set of towels the colors reminded me of wild Irish moors, thus the name of the bespoke series is Wild Ireland.  The GOTS certified yarns I used to create this series are available in beautiful colors, all of which I love to work with.

The variety of treadling and color changes in each towel keep me from getting bored while weaving.  Happy to say that within on hour of posting this set of towels in my Etsy shop three of them sold.  Hurrah for the upcoming holiday season!

Happy Weaving!

Back to the looms.

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

Friday, September 16, 2016

Turning To Fall

The weather around here is beginning to change with hints of the lovely cooler fall weather yet to come.  Working on a series of fall related towels in cotton and cotlin yarns.

Happy Weaving!

Back to the looms.

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

Friday, August 19, 2016

Lots n' Lots Of Bobbins

Why is it I never have enough shuttle bobbins when I need them?  I love to see the colorful little guys all lined up on my Gilmore loom's overhead tray.  Lots of colorful cotlin to play with.

Playing with all those colorful bobbins lead to this ---

My Shop Supervisors are giving me the "we want to go out" eye.

Jack is starting to fill out a bit and look much healthier.  Pepper is still her same skinny little self, must be all the running she does trying to get her brother to play with her.

Happy Weaving!

Back to the looms.

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