Sunday, June 5, 2011

New Tricks For An Old Loom

My dear sister was here for a whirl-wind visit last week.  She drove all the way from Kansas to relieve me of my very old and very loved 4 shaft Kessenich loom.  The Kessenich loom was my very first loom, bought when I knew absolutely nothing about weaving or anything about looms.  The weaving goddess was smiling on me way back then, the loom was sturdy, well built, easy for a weaving newbie to figure out the ins and outs of learning how to weave with the help of the Chandler book.

My sister, Sarah is a very accomplished weaver, she owns a lovely Toika countermarche loom she calls Eva.  Sarah learned to weave in Vermont, she has had opportunities to learn from some of the best known Swedish and traditional weavers our country has to offer.  As you can imagine I love to pick her brain when she is visiting, sort of a built in weaving instructor and all it costs me is room and board (unless you count the loan of my Kessenich loom as payment for lessons).

This weekend I learned a much improved method of warping with my valet.  Here is the warp being tied on to my back beam, learned I need to shorten the cords that hold the rods to my loom - who knew!  Had to laugh as Sarah was intrigued by the way I attach the rods together, I think of it as larks head knots between each group of threads - she thought it looked like blanket stitching - interesting.

Here you can see the straight run of the warp threads going from the back beam through my raddle and lease sticks - the warp is running parallel to the floor.   This is very new to me and let me tell you how much I like seeing everything nice and neat and under tension.

Above is another shot of the warp threads extending straight through the loom - all under tension and all in perfect order - my sister is a genius!

Notice the warp goes over the back beam and then swings under the foot board and then on up to the top of my valet - over the bar and then the warp is attached to some 2 pound weights I have just for this purpose.  This is so cool!

You can see most of the valet - Sarah does not attach the "legs" of the valet to the loom - she showed me how to brace them against the knee board inside my loom.  Way simpler than the way I used to do it with clamps.

You did not think I would let her get away without threading the loom did you?  Here she is starting the threading.  I sit inside my loom to thread.  I move the harnesses to the back of the loom and climb in, this was a surprise to Sarah - wow, I got to teach her something new.

A happy weaver working inside my loom.  Don't I have the best sister of all!  

Thanks Sassa (Sarah's name in Swedish) for all your loving help.  Please come back soon, I am certain I will forget a few steps and will need to you to walk me through the process again.  
Love you, Marta (my name in Swedish)

Happy Weaving!

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