|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.