The new loom will be arriving in just four days!! I have been preparing for it, despite being sick with a nasty cold.
First, I have been clearing out space in the garage. This was a daunting task – here’s what I started with:
And here’s what it looked like after a day of hard work:
To get the space cleared, I had to get rid of the little 8-shaft Leclerc Minerva. It’s now on semi-permanent loan to a friend, and I’m hoping she will eventually buy it from me. I’ve also semi-permanently loaned the 8-shaft Mountain table loom to a friend, and am thinking of finding a new home for the 10″ Cricket rigid heddle loom. (I’m not even sure why I bought a rigid heddle loom in the first place, since my preferred weaving style/equipment is so radically unlike rigid heddle weaving.)
I’ve also been designing the first warp for the new loom. After considerable debate, I’ve decided to thread up on a 40-shaft straight draw – that being the simplest possible threading, so I can focus on debugging the loom setup. I’ll probably use 20/2 cotton or bamboo as warp, sett for plain weave – nothing fancy.
And what will be the inaugural draft? Why, what could it possibly be but this?
(“Hello World” is a bit of a software tradition, and even has its own Wikipedia entry. Basically, the simplest thing most programs can do is output a line of text, so when you’re starting out with an unfamiliar environment, the first thing you have it do is output a line of text. And by tradition, that text is “Hello world!”)
After the inaugural draft, I’m going to weave some samples for the CNCH Special Sample Service. Most of those will be eight shaft drafts, because I think those will be more popular – so, ironically, the second thing I’m going to do on my forty-shaft loom is make it play at being eight shafts. Since I can weave any threading with a forty-end repeat on straight draw, I’m weaving some huck lace and some summer and winter patterns – eight sets of samples in toto. That will require about two yards of warp, so if I put on a four-yard warp, that plus “Hello world!” will finish things up nicely.
And then I can put the first “serious” warp onto Emmy! I think this second warp will be a double two-tie point threading, in 60/2 silk, so I can weave my sea turtles. I am not certain whether I will use double two tie, though. I am debating whether to use plain weave or an undulating twill as the ground fabric. Plain weave leaves me more shafts to make the turtle with, but an undulating twill would allow me to put some wavy ripples into the ground fabric, which could be interesting in conjunction with the turtles. In either case I could also play with woven shibori. Lots to explore, so watch this space for more ideas.
But first I must get my head unwrapped from this cold. Fortunately, I have kittens to help me nap. Usually that help takes the form of World Wide (Kitten) Wrestling matches on the bed, just as I’m trying to get to sleep – if you don’t believe me, watch the video below.