summer flowers

summer flowers

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Yes, We have Passed 250 Days

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.