Tuesday, October 30, 2012

I am soooo warped!

The 'naked loom' with the new warp beginning to be tied on the top beam

I ran out of warp doing the Nativity tapestries. Not literally, but way too close to it for comfort! I had about 10" from the top of the final hem to where the warp tied on to a dummy warp. I have used a 'dummy warp' for years - a warp that just stayed tied on to the top beam, and I rewarped by tying onto the dummy warp, saving a few steps and time in the warping process. But I had a bit of tension frustration with the Nativity Tapestries, which was probably due to weaving two tapestries at once, more than anything else. Anyway... I decided to get a total fresh start, so I removed the dummy warp and have warped the loom with enough to weave three or maybe even four Calendar tapestries. (I have six left to weave.)

Warp tied and wound on top beam, and through heddles and reed

Did you notice the caption on the photo above that says the warp is through the heddles and the REED?  You may or may not be aware that a Shannock loom, wonderful as it it, has no reed. It has a spacer-thingy  attached to the top beam, but that is really too far from the weaving to do any good in helping keep the warp evenly spaced. I have compensated over the years in various ways for this lack. But I saw in a post on Rebecca Mezoff's blog that James Koehler had someone make him a reed support for his Shannock.

I happen to live with a fantastic woodworker. So I posed him the problem of something to hold a reed horizontally on the loom for me. A few days later, I had the beautiful and solid oak addition to my loom that you see above!

As you can see, it looks like it is an original part of the loom. It is beautiful, and I can hardly wait to weave with it there to keep my warp perfectly spaced! My 'adaptations' have left me with a very small open shed over the past umpteen years, and I don't know why this solution didn't occur to me sooner. Every Shannock should have such a reed holder; every weaver should have such a spouse! I am quite a lucky person, don't you think?

And a new warp! So fraught with possibilities! Like a clean canvas, an empty journal, or a new sketchbook.... just waiting for something wonderful to be created to bring it to life.


Jan said...

It's beautiful, lucky you to have such a wonderful and handy husband!

I adore a fresh new warp, so full of possibilities!

Rebecca Mezoff said...

I took a second look at that photo before I read the text. The reed attachment is beautiful! James' was (is) metal and it fits well with the rest of the loom, but yours is beautiful and it will work. Looks like you're ready to roll again. Happy weaving!

Vera L Hazelgrove said...

Yes! I love my reed too, it really makes things so much easier. and yes, very lucky to have such a handy husband, his solution is beautiful!
Happy weaving on your new warp! Vera

lyn said...

Hi Kathy!
I've been reading your posts through Google Reader & so haven't visited your actual blog in awhile... I love the "new" look!

Is your husband interested in making & selling the reed attachment? I, unfortunately, do not have a husband who is good with wood (there is a story about a hurricane-proof birdhouse that was built once, but we shouldn't go into that here). He is good at many things, but not woodworking! I cannot tell you how plagued I have been by twisted warps while weaving this big bird!

K Spoering said...

Lyn, I'll check with him. He's pretty efficient and has a lot of wood, so maybe. I'll email you about it after I've talked with him.

lyn said...

Thanks, Kathy! If you don't want to glom up your blog with this, you can email me :D

Anonymous said...

Wow that is a very lovely addition to your Shannock. Your hubby is a keeper. Love your work.

Alex Lear said...

I happen to own the Shannock loom that was James. I love it! I love the reed however it is very difficult to exchange the reed so I am sett at 10 epi but the heddles are 8 epi. After trying so many configurations I had to work at 8 epi. I have a heddle kit so my next piece will be at 10 epi. I have a friend whose husband promised to make a reed holder for her Shannock. I'm going to forward your web site to her.

Alex Lear said...

Hi Kathy, I love "October". It reminds me of my Falls in New England. I love your reed attachment. I own James' Shannock and love it. However, the reed holder attachment is welded on so changing reeds is near impossible. Luckily the reed is a 10 epi but the heddles are currently 8 epi. I bought a heddle making kit and after Reverie is cut off I plan on making 10 epi heddles.