Thursday, May 20, 2010

Varpapuu Loom

My Varpapuu loom is coming along. It's almost all tied up - just the treadles to ready for tying up to the lamms.
I was going to go ahead and tie them to the lamms, but thought that getting some 'S' hooks would make changing the treadle pattern very easy, I will wait until I get the hooks.

TexSolv would make it all so much easier. A system of polyester chain & pins to hold things level. I can't wait to test the treadles.

Now to study a simple pattern & make sense of it in relation to the loom.

I searched the internet for information for assembly of the frame and came up with just a few pictures & an old pieced together manual for tying the loom. I am a complete novice, so it was difficult, but not impossible. I spent a lot of time untying old knots & using new cord. I learned a butterfly knot & a proper slip knot. When I want to adjust the knots, all I have to do is pull a couple strings & they undo. Simple.

Putting together the loom (minus tying) couldn't have been done without my hubby's help. He was great help with lifting & using the rubber mallet; making wedges for levelling the whole thing.

I did find time for doing my beloved iris garden with the mantis. What a time saver that is. I'm so glad it's done. After dinner tonight I also did another garden patch & moved a few flowers around that came up on their own. It's been a productive few days. There is more planting to do - have to get more dye plants in.

Tired. Sleepytime.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

What's Up?

I will tell you what's up.
I have been so busy ever since I started spinning. First there was the Louet wheel & then I joined the Oxford Weavers & Spinners Guild. This is where a new friend was introduced to me, who then informed me about the Olds Master Spinner course. From that point a new adventure began.

I enrolled in the Olds College, Alberta, Master Spinner Level 1 course which was held in Rockton, ON for a week in April, 2010. There was holiday time to book, supplies to gather & much preparation to make.

The weather was absolutely superb spring weather with the trees just starting to leaf out. The drive was beautiful and the company wonderful.

The fellow spinners & weavers I met at the class were all interesting & very nice. Rosemary Harris, the teacher was a good teacher with a lot of information to teach. I have so much work to complete at home for this course that will keep me busy in much of my free time.

A few days after the course classroom time came to an end, I helped a friend with shearing and seeing everything happen first hand. A fun & educational experience it was.

I was looking at online ads for a loom and after a few weeks of watching the ads, I kept coming back to an ad for a very large countermarche loom. My hubby and I went to see it in Stratford one fine Sunday and the loom came home with us.

It sat for a couple of weeks on the floor in my sewing studio while I tried to clear out some antique sewing machines to regain some space. They have now moved temporarily into the house & the loom is now set up. It is a 4 harness countermarche loom at one time made in Finland (Valparpuu). It came with a LeClerc flying shuttle and some other goodies.

The looms are no longer manufactured and there are no manuals that I could find on assembling the loom.  Though some ends are stamped with letters, they are not all stamped. I was able to find information for doing the tie up of treadles & harnesses online and a couple of pictures of similar looms that were helpful. Laila Lundell's book mentioned below has some excellent diagrams of countermarche looms that were of some help.

The loom is assembled, but the tie up of the harnesses and treadles must wait for my next day off. Unfortunately this is the week I must work the weekend and there will be no extra time.

At the same time I am still working on a sweater called the Central Park Hoodie using Cascade 220 yarn.

I have acquired some wonderful books too. They are:
1. Laila Lundell - The Big Book of Weaving in the Swedish Tradition
2. Rita Buchanan - A Weaver's Garden
3. Rita Buchanan - A Dyer's Garden
4. Ann Dixon - A Handweaver's Pattern Directory
5. Lee Raven - Hands On Spinning