The idea that I could weave came about quite simply but over a long dash of time. Exposure to all of you weavers helped but it came down to an awareness that in changing my life has room for more.
Spinning flax, hemp and cotton helped the scales fall from my never-going-to-weave eyes. Each yarn evokes a memory of cloth I grew up with, know and love. Woven all.
The Great Wall of Never finally broke down last year. I quietly wrote & saved 1 line: my goal is to learn to weave before I am 40. In what has been essentially uncertain times, I needed that space & focus.
Commission knitting and backstrap weaving both dovetailed in the past year. Not only could weaving enhance any business purpose but I love the rhythm. This work challenges me in entirely new ways.
In the days before the Sarah Swett Workshop my slow search for a floor loom crystallized. Beth very kindly let me know that her Schacht Mighty Wolf was for sale – all 8 shafts of it. We discussed all the terms ahead of the trip, and I did my best due diligence on what the local market had to offer. So many (including Beth) helped us come to a decision. Margaret, Nancy, Cheryl & Sasha in particular listened to all the options, and gave such solid advice.
Melvin was very much involved in the long-overdue paint job for this room. It had to happen & it had to happen quickly! Hence my silence last week.
As you might have heard me say on Twitter, I was worried that a primer coat would not be enough! Man, did I hate that wall colour! It’s finally gone.
After researching on-line, I chose Benjamin Moore’s HC-173 called “edgecomb gray.” This room gets full sun in the morning & barely any after noon. Some colour cuts the glare, and with the deep blue living underneath, I may just have achieved a neutral gray.
The main contender in my deliberations was an 8-shaft cherry Norwood listed on the Toronto Craigslist. It came with 30″ weaving width. The sellers were absolutely wonderful about answering my questions, and were very flexible for a potential viewing.
Last Friday, N & I went to pick the loom up, spend the afternoon with Beth & have dinner with friends on the way home. So, biggest piece of equipment ever & still feeling completely right! She’s a 1988 loom, originally owned by Jillian Moreno. I am the 3rd in her life of going from one friend’s home to another. No storage time for this baby – she has been woven on & loved. Thanks to the workshop, we were all together when I told Beth YES, please!
The major pluses as I saw them were its folding x-frame, that the loom is still in production, and the extra 6″ of weaving width. I would be lying if I didn’t also tell you that the loom’s history, and patina played a big role. Schachts are desirable but not that common in our area (LeClerc country as I like to call it). It really was sitting at her bench that Saturday night that let me know this was the best loom that I could afford.
This is my combination 11th anniversary & birthday present. More than all of that it’s a milestone – I did something big for myself and have my work cut out for me. Family, you all made it possible. As I told the agent at the border, “Crazy that a Jamaican would be getting a loom today!” It is, and so many of you readers are to thank for helping me get there.
Thank you, Beth – for extra time, my first boat shuttle being so pretty, and extra everything. I will work hard at learning how to weave on this great loom.
One Must be Generous with Fibre
Also at Beth’s were these 2 mason jars of walnut dye liquor. A wonderful gift from She Who Cannot be Named – Thank you, M!
Other spinny elves have been equally generous to me as well.
Sasha averred on Twitter the other day that, “One must be generous with fiber.” Both gifts are making me very happy. On the one hand, I get to spin my first Southern Cross Fibres on Martha thanks to an elf. On the other hand, I have 15 oz of the Border Leicester/ Corrie cross that is beautiful pin-drafted roving from Morrow Fleece Works thanks to another elf. I started to spin it lightly with my Forrester Akha-style spindle.
In exchange for the pin-drafted dream, I snuck out Melvin’s most favorite fibre ever – Cheviot roving that P. Hinton donated to our Guild. A word on my sample findings for that Cheviot…
… not only is it popular with the cat but it didn’t much like my high-twist hiding experiment on the CPW. Just so you know, I forgot to mention that my dear!
(edit to fix picture)