Tuesday, December 27, 2016

2016 - A Year Of Looms

2016 was the year of looms coming and going in my studio - all in the quest to find that perfect for me loom.

I started the year with a lovely Glimakra Standard Loom - sold her in January.

Replaced the Glimakra Standard with this Schacht Standard 46" 8/10 - sold her in April.

Replaced the Schacht Standard with this Toika Lissa 50" 10/12 - sold her in June.

Replaced the Toika Lissa with this Leclerc Colonial 60" 12/14 - sold her in August.

Replaced the LeClerc Colonial with a Structo Artcraft Loom 42" 8/10

I would love to **Trade** this Structo Artcraft Floor Loom for a small Harrisville, Baby Wolf, Baby Wolf Pup or LT, or a small floor loom in very good shape.

Located in Metamora, IL  Pick up only, no shipping.

Lots of looms went in and out of my studio and I am still on the search for the perfect for me loom, I will find it it is only a matter of time.

Happy Weaving!

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

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Monk's Belt Table Runners

With the holiday season weaving done for the year I felt like it was a great opportunity to weave some table runners that reflect my love of traditional salt glaze pottery.  The monk's belt draft is woven with the bottom side up making for easier treadling.

Warped up another set of these table runners with slightly different colors, they will go on the loom next.

Happy Weaving!

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

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:

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:

Friday, March 11, 2016

Busy With Bumberet

Bumberet has been on many weavers looms lately and I thought it looked like a good weaving draft to stash bust in my studio.  Although it takes a bit of work to warp the end result was worth the effort and time to get it on the loom.

Isn't fun to see how different each towel looks with a simple weft change?

Pepper at her favorite window keeping watch over the back yard. 

Back to the looms!

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