The way things look now, it will be summer before the studio opens for classes again. That will be over a year. I remember being sad when they said that when Broadway opens again it will have been 444 days - over a year. And now I am facing this too.
The past month I have been working on finishing my 3 commissions. I would like to have them all mailed out before Christmas. #2 has to be done by then, so that is the one that I am most worried about.
#1 is the rugs, these are the core-spun alpaca that I have been doing for years. We had a problem with me not being able to get to the bigger looms at the studio. That is often where I weave these rugs. This order had a 3' x 5', but the home Macomber is 40 inches, so I put on 25 yards of warp and got to work. I put a 2' warp on because most of the rugs were that size and I hung extra warp on the sides for the first rug to be 3'. I kept weaving and weaving and I ran out of warp! Its like the "bumps" of weft just kept growing and multiplying when I was not looking. I put on an additional 25 yard warp (I just barely had enough yarn) and I kept weaving. I ended up with 18 rugs and I have hemmed most of them. They are getting close to a finished commission.
#2 is the blankets. The closed studio really made this one hard. She wanted 40" x 60" blankets and as you know, you need to weave about 20% larger to get the 40", that is 48". At the time she told me about the commission, the studio was open and I have 3 48" to 50" looms. Last spring I had students putting warps on these looms and I told them that they needed to be off by summer, because I would need one of the looms. Then the "world according to covid" started. We were kicked out and no weaving got done on the big looms. By time I got the yarn for the blankets, I was at my wits end. Then I looked at the loom in my living room. There sat a 45" Bergman loom that had never been woven on by me and had sat there for about 10 years. I used it mostly for hanging my Christmas stockings on.
I have loved this loom since I first saw one, and being counter march, I figured it was my "old Lady" loom. When I can no longer treadle the 16 shaft Macomber, I can still weave with my 12 shaft Bergman. So I set up the month of October to sand and oil the loom, figure how to balance a counter march loom and put on a test warp. Thank heavens for the Facebook Bergman group. I was able to ask questions, see how others worked their looms and get the loom working. The scarf warp wove beautifully and I had a great time with the sound of weaving on an all wood and string loom. They make a different noise than the metal shafts on my Mac.
I measured the full width warp (720 ends that are 5 yards long) and I got it on the loom today. I have the heddles half threaded and I have called it quits for the day. The loom has hand tied heddles and they are a little slow to thread. If I did not have a deadline on the piece, I would not mind, because I love the look of the heddles on this loom and most of the time I would not need to worry slow working. I am now wondering if my shed will work with the full width and will I be able to get the shuttle across without skipping a thread. Only weaving it will tell. Wish me luck and I hope to have blankets in process in a couple of days.