Monday, 12 May 2014

Sometimes I think the loom is smarter than I am

A couple of years ago I replaced the old cords on my 4 shaft loom with good strong loom cord.  Maybe it wasn’t as strong as I thought, or maybe it’s just been used a lot but now the cords have started breaking in the middle of projects and rather than doing it properly and replacing all the cords again, I just do a cord transplant, inserting a short length and being careful to avoid the pulleys.  On Saturday night I was busy weaving some scarves, 3 done and the fourth half done. Early next morning we were due at the local Hawthorn craft market and I had the delusion that I would just finish the 4th scarf, wet finish all 4 and in my spare time finish the hems on the remaining tea towels.  It was only 10.30 pm, plenty of good weaving time left before bedtime and the wet finished scarves could dry overnight.  The loom clearly had other ideas and snapped a cord.  I admitted defeat, had more sense than to fix the cord which is best done lying on the hard wooden floor with poor lighting.  I cut off the 3 finished scarves and wet finished them, hemmed the tea towels and went to bed at a reasonable hour. 

We had a good day at the market, more sales than usual and Gayle brought her small 4 shaft floor loom with her.   She got to work on some wrist warmers, at the same time demonstrating just what is involved making something handwoven.  We managed to set up the loom in the limited available space without encroaching too much on our fellow stall holders and we were surprised how much interest there was.  Sales of the charcoal and white tea towels were brisk and there are now only 6 left.

I didn’t quite meet my aim of making 15 different tea towels but I did manage 14 tea towels and a bread cloth before I ran out of warp.  
Here are towels 6 to 14 and the bread cloth: 
6 had elongated crosses,
7 just stripes,
8 long rectangles,
9 medium rectangles with squares within squares,
10 squares within squares alternating with plain log cabin squares,
11 stripes with small squares set closely,
12 crosses (and not sure what happened at one end which I’d hemmed before I noticed the mistake so that’s one for my tea towel drawer),
13 narrow columns with horizontal bars,
14 stripes with narrow horizontal bars
and finally the bread cloth,
same pattern as towel 1 from the previous post but using slubby yarns in grey/green and cream as I’d used all the charcoal cotolin after towel 13.

When I looked at our stock in the market bag I realised that there was very little to offer to our male customers so the next project after the tea towels was to make some scarves to appeal to men.  I set up for a simple herringbone in dark grey and red random stripes in fine wool.  The first had a camel weft, the second medium to dark blue and third red.  The last two were in silver grey and in black and they’re all a little longer than usual.

They have a great handle and drape but I’m not sure that they will only appeal to men, suspect that unisex might be a better description. 
Our next outing will be an expedition to Cross Pollination in Colac at the end of June and our next regular Hawthorn market is the first Sunday in July

The morning after the market I fixed the cord in a few minutes and got back to the 4th scarf, I hope I will be able to find time to fix the cords properly before I end up with another new project on the loom

1 comment:

  1. The scarves are excellent. And the tea towels totally rock. Bravo!