Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Better than Diamonds

My husband has always despaired that I am not an easy girl for whom to buy gifts. He has tried in vain for years to interest me in fine jewelry... I'm not a clothes-horse... I wear comfortable shoes.

When I told him about THIS beauty's availability, he pounced on the opportunity to give me a birthday present that I would cherish and remember for years:


(Gypsy-kitty for scale.) She's a Macomber type B "Ad-A-Harness" jack loom, 32" weaving width, 10 harnesses, 14 treadles. Guild-friend Cheryl was selling it for a friend in New England, who was asking 1/3 of the new price. I don't know too many particulars - it doesn't come with any documentation or manual, though it does have a serial number on a side plaque. I plan to write the company and see if they have some info on its birth-year and materials. The construction is good solid hardwood and cast-iron, with stainless steel heddles and back-hinged treadles. I haven't a clue how to use her, but we'll have plenty of time to get acquainted. I borrowed Deb Chandler's video, "Beginning Four Harness Weaving" and the warping process seems less scary after watching it. I'm so very excited - this loom is the equivalent of my Schacht Matchless, as it is versatile enough to go from the very simple to the very complex.

It needs new reeds (the reeds were rusted and seem beyond rescue - Cheryl lent me a 12 dent reed until my new ones that we've ordered come in) and a good rubdown, but otherwise it's ready for years and years of weaving adventure. Don't you agree that my husband has outdone himself this time?

Speaking of Cheryl, she is a master weaver and a wonderful teacher, in addition to being a great guild-friend. She surprised me with this gift, which she said she wove to give me as an inspiration and goal for the future:

I have worn it constantly since she gave it to me on Saturday. It is so soft, and the drape is divine. The warp is rayon boucle, and the weft is tencel.

Lest anyone be concerned about the dear rigid heddle being neglected, I warped it last night with some cotton (Sugar & Cream) and began weaving a dishtowel. I was trying for a balanced weave, which is difficult for me, since I want to beat everything down to a very compact fabric (which then gives me a too-compact fabric!) - I think I got close:

Oops. That's not a dishtowel. That's my loom kitty, Fizzgig. He is the guardian of all things ME, and is protective of the looms and my yarns & fibers. He lies at my feet while I weave and watches intently, without interference. He does not fetch, however.

6 comments:

  1. Congratulations! And what a nice hubby to get it for you!

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  2. OH MY! What a terrific gift. It's gorgeous and I'm so jealous. You're going to have a wonderful time learning to use it. Congrats.

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  3. What a lucky gal you are, and a lovely hubby too. Good for you, everyone needs a loom or two I say. It will give you many years of enjoyment. I have not worked on my loom for some time. Work got in the way so just keep posting progress and you will inspire me to get my act together. good luck to you and your new toy. Denny

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  4. Beautiful!
    What would I need to send you to persuade you to leave me this dishtowel you're making?
    Please let me know, this is beautiful!

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  5. Hello. This post is likeable, and your blog is very interesting, congratulations :-). I will add in my blogroll =). If possible gives a last there on my blog, it is about the Vinho, I hope you enjoy. The address is http://vinho-brasil.blogspot.com. A hug.

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  6. Good for you! I need to get that video and refresh my memory.

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