Tag Archives: peacock

So Long, Erica. Farewell, Peacock.

Believe it or not, every so often I wave goodbye to a loom. Recently, I sold my 25″ Erica rigid heddle loom to a new weaver who wanted to give it a try. The 12″ two harness Peacock, a teeny, vintage loom in need of new heddles and love, was also sent to a new home.

But even though I feel some relief and, yes, a bit smug, after sending these two out into the world (I’ve downsized! I’ve gained some space!), that hasn’t stopped me from welcoming a few more: one new, one old. (Hmmm… there goes that smugness.) I’ll blog about them at another time.

In the meantime, thanks for the memories, Erica. Glad to have known you, Peacock.

T-shirt bath mat, again

peacockloom2

Update on Loom Holdings

Quite awhile ago, in fact nearly three years ago, I posted what I thought was an impressive list of all the little weaving and knitting looms I had accumulated up to that time. It was just about then I started becoming interested in weaving, and I was making a pretty clear switch from knitting to weaving. I still do an occasional knitting project, but most of my time is spent in weaving world. So, maybe it's time for an updated list? I think it's interesting that all of the looms from my old list could have probably been stored in one medium-sized plastic bin, but I still thought it was excessive.

Then:

  • The Knifty Knitter round loom set (four looms)
  • The Knifty Knitter flower loom and spool knitter (two looms)
  • The purple Knifty Knitter rectangle loom
  • Five 4" Square Looms: Two 4" Weave-its, One 4" Simplex loom, One 4" Hazel Rose Multiloom, One 4" Wonder Weave
  • One Weave-it Rug loom
  • One Regular Gauge hat loom
  • One 24" Homestead Hideaway triangle loom
  • Two potholder looms
  • One extra fine gauge DecorAccents oval sock loom
  • Three small flower looms

Now… (I've kept every one of those, plus added a few.)

  • Glimakra Emilia rigid heddle loom 18" (with stand, extra heddles, etc.)
  • Erica 25" rigid heddle loom
  • Kessenich 14" two harness table loom
  • Peacock 12" two harness table loom
  • Louet W30 12" eight harness table loom
  • Ashford 16" four harness table loom
  • Soon-to-arrive 7' modular triloom
  • Schacht inkle loom
  • A teeny tiny wooden rigid heddle loom called a Samuel Gabriel loom
  • Two more Weave-Its. (Why stop? They jump into my hands at antique stores.)
  • Two Authentic Knitting Boards (10" and 28") plus the extenders for weaving
  • Another Wonder Weave ($5! I bet you couldn't resist, either.)
  • A 1940's blue plastic EZEE Knitter fine gauge loom
  • A homemade wooden knitting rake
  • A homemade round hat knitting loom
  • A couple more daisy wheel flower looms
  • A backstrap loom, made by me (For the record, this is the only loom I actually made that works, and yes, it's essentially four sticks and some yarn.)

Okay, we've gone way past the medium plastic bin storage idea!

For some reason–and not just because I'm running out of room in my tiny 8'x9' office–with the recent purchase of the 7' triloom, I feel I've actually come full circle. The first looms I had an interest in were the 4" square looms and the little Wonder Weave rigid heddle loom. I then bought my first triloom. Little did I know that those simple looms would teach me the basics of weaving. From there, I let things slide, weaving-wise, until the next fall, about a year later, when I suddenly had an urge to buy a "real" loom. But first, with my inquisitive nature and with some helpful words from a Ravelry weaver, along with Laverne's fantastic series on backstrap weaving at Weavezine, I put together a backstrap loom (and chiseled my hand in the process!), and figured out lifting patterns for plain weave, weft-faced projects. It was about five months later that I bought the Emilia loom.

My looms, every one, are still portable and small enough to fold up and store on a shelf or under the desk. So, my little saying on the top of my blog, "weaving and knitting on small looms," still holds water. (Do I sound a little defiant?) And yet, I think I really started weaving because I wanted to follow the fibers visually and figure out how structure was created. If you've ever seen a triloom, you'll know the weaver walks the yarn from side to side, hooking it onto opposing nails and weaving over and under the horizontal threads that are created in the process. It's called continuous weave, where the warp and weft are woven at the same time. It's not fine weaving with silken threads, but it suits me. (And if I want to use silken threads, well, I just fire up the little Louet W30!!)

With all that said, I have two looms in the mix that will probably need new homes, the Peacock and the Kessenich. Both also need some work, but I'll post more about that in the future if I decide to wave goodbye.

Sample Band Weaving

image from www.flickr.com

Someday I'll get tired of taking so-so pictures with my iPod and go back to my "real" camera. In the meantime, all I have to show of the latest experiment is this blurry picture of an attempt to weave a band using a rigid heddle (this was the 10 dent Beka) and the little antique Peacock loom. I had always wanted to refurbish the Peacock loom because it's so tiny and portable (12" width), but I failed to get up the energy to tie 100 string heddles. Instead, I ordered the smallest Texsolv heddles (5 7/8", I think) which were too long. So, I need to either shorten them somewhat, the length and the eyes are too big, or tie those 100 string heddles! Either way, that means this little loom is sitting empty… or is it? After reading up on Sami-style weaving, I warped the rigid heddle and tied it onto the Peacock loom, using only the warp and cloth bars. I removed the heddles (carefully!) and also the reed, which is held in very lightly by two small screws. I'm considering removing the top bar, too, because it's in my way and I happen to be enjoying weaving bands. But then I need to sit back and wonder if it's better to put the Peacock loom back together and pass it along to someone who will tie those 100 string heddles, or if it's better to keep it in pieces and use it as a cradle or box loom. Decisions, decisions… 

I couldn't make heads or tails of the pattern until I realized the pattern strands (which are in the center and double the thickness of the other strands) are sometimes raised from beneath, and sometimes lowered from above. This may not make any sense, but once I figured it out, I knew how to do this style of weaving. There are some really wonderful band weaving heddles out there with fancy double holes and smaller slots, but if you want to try it, I suggest using a simple rigid heddle and a pattern. You don't even need the loom, as traditional weavers do this backstrap-style. If you'd like a place to start, I suggest you try The Braids and Bands Yahoo group. It's free but you do need to join. Try the Files section to find a series of PDF handouts by Susan Foulkes, who recently held an online course for Sami style band weaving. 

Now that I've got the hang of it, I want to use a finer thread, more colors, and a more intricate pattern. 

Table Loom O-Rama

I've scanned thrift and antique stores for over a year searching for looms. I've found Weave-Its, a Wonder Weave (4" loom), and different types of knitting looms. I've spotted a few floor looms, mostly huge and needing a tremendous amount of work. What I haven't seen has been a tabletop loom. Until yesterday.

 I found not one but two tabletop looms within a half an hour! And maybe I didn't get the most tremendous deals, but I was kind of like a kid in a candy store who has a credit card and a very strong desire to buy a lot of candy! Okay, bad comparison aside, I bought them both. And in my tremendous daze of Loom Craziness, I walked out of one of the stores without the reed. I called the antique shop owner when I got home (the store was hours away from where I live), and she said she'd mail it to me ASAP.

 

  • image from www.flickr.com
  • image from www.flickr.com
  • image from www.flickr.com
  • image from www.flickr.com
  • image from www.flickr.com
image from www.flickr.com

 

 

So, what kind of looms did I end up with? I can identify one of them so far: A 12" two harness Peacock Loom, by Handcrafters from Waupun, Wisconsin. These are no longer made, but they're very cute. Mine had a tag on it that said it was from a junior high school in Illinois, and it shows a lot of use. Nothing is broken or missing, but gee… I'll be teaching myself how to make string heddles within the next few days because every one of them has disintegrated. However, the reed is free of rust and everything else looks very nice. This was the first loom I spotted, and at that time the $75 seemed excessive but I rationalized it with a "But I never see these types of looms for sale and I'll probably not ever see one again." Bought it!

 

 

  • image from www.flickr.com
  • image from www.flickr.com
  • image from www.flickr.com
  • image from www.flickr.com
  • image from www.flickr.com
image from www.flickr.com

 

 

And about 20 minutes later, I walked into a second antique store to find this, another two harness tabletop loom. This is much bigger, with a weaving width of 14". It's oak, extremely well made and sturdy, and I'm starting to think it's a Kessenich loom because it resembles the pictures of four harness looms I've spotted. Compared to the little Peacock loom, this one really looks like it's ready to be used. The heddles are metal and free of rust. I remember the reed also being usable, but we'll see when it arrives.  (Can you imagine the adrenaline rush I had when I got home and took it out of the car, only to search frantically for the reed? Ah well… I'll never leave a store again without double-checking the bits and pieces of a loom I've just purchased.) It also came with a second reed, I believe an 8 dent.

Speaking of purchase price, this one was listed at $125. Again, was it a deal? I hope so. It needs a little bit of cleaning, two tiny dowel replacements where the reed rests, and it's ready to warp. It does have an extra two dowels looped through a cord and fastened on either side near the top. I don't know what the purpose of this is.

Speaking of warping, I don't know how these looms will differ from my rigid heddle loom, how to use the string/metal heddles versus the rigid heddle, how much warp they can hold, etc. I have lots of questions, but the biggest question I have (and my husband, too) is where in the world will I put them?