Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Another loom?

I don't know how in the world it happens. Every time I think I am done buying any more looms I get the opportunity to buy another one. I don't mean for it to happen but it does.

This is the one that came home with me last week. It is an early Mountain loom with 8 harnesses. It has a twelve inch weaving width. Here it is being warped for mug rugs. Isn't it cute?

Recently someone asked me to take pictures of the warping process. They had no idea of what was involved.

After planning my warp it has to be wound. This is a warp for overshot mug rugs to test out a new loom.

After it is wound I tie the warp to get it ready to take to the loom. The ties keep the warp from tangling.

When I remove the warp from the warping mill I chain it. I am not the best at warp chaining but it is good enough for me to get it to the loom without it tangling.

I put the lease sticks into the cross. This keeps the warp threads in order and easier for me to thread the loom.

Before winding the warp on the warp beam I need to spread out the warp to the width I would like to weave by using a raddle. This one is made for a 36" loom but will work well with this loom too.

On some looms I like to use bamboo placemats as I wind the warp. They work very well to keep the layers separate. If I did not use the placemats the warp would nestle down into other layers and create tension problems as I weave.

Now the heddles can be threaded for my pattern.

After the heddles are threaded it is time to bring the yarn through the reed. After this I can tie the warp onto the cloth beam. Now the fun part can begin. This warp is a twill so I am using two floating selvedges so that every throw of the shuttles with catch the last warp thread on either side. I am looking forward to giving this loom a trial run to see if I enjoy weaving on it.

Last weekend was another thing I enjoying doing. Living history. The historic site I volunteer at has been closed all winter. Now we are ready to educate the public on some of our country's history. This is where I live one weekend a month. It looks pretty primitive, doesn't it. It is but I really enjoy my time there. The evenings after the public leave is really fun. We all sit around a fire to tell stories, sing and listen to someone play a musical instrument. The whole weekend truly feels like I have stepped back in time. If you are ever in Ewing, Va. please feel free to stop by and see what Wilderness Road State Park has to offer. The park has a reconstructed fort, picnic areas, hiking trails and more. It is a beautiful park.

Until next time,

Friday, April 6, 2018


I have wanted a greenhouse for a very long time but never seemed to get one. You know how it is. You think you would like something but then forget about it for a while. I had picked out one I would like to own but never took the final step of ownership. Then a year ago I saw the one I liked was on sale at a much better price. I took the plunge but then it sat in the box until recently. It took three of us to get it set up but here it is. Since this picture was taken I have removed the rain barrels and pallets. I had thought I would use the pallets as a floor but then changed my mind.

This one is 6 feet by 8 feet. Not huge by any means but it will be large enough for me. My goal is to get plants started early then later in the year move some tomato plants in there so we can have tomatoes farther into the fall.

Another thing that has been occupying my time is the dish towel warp. I have woven four and only have a few more to go. I use a novelty cotton yarn with a stripe of color at each end. I have been making them this way for years and this is what my customers like. I am weaving two of each colored stripe.

This is the Leclerc Meco that we restored. It was in really bad shape but with a good cleaning and lots of new parts it is performing well. It hardly looks like the same loom we brought home! I had originally thought I would restore it, put a short warp on it, test it out then sell it but now I am not so sure I want to. It doesn't take up much room and weaves well so I think I will hang onto it for a while.

Living history at Wilderness Road State Park in Ewing, Va. is gearing up for the year. Re enactors will be gathering there next weekend. It will be so nice to see everyone again. We haven't gathered since last December. Not really a long time but it feels like it has been. The weather should be pleasant so that is good. Time to get ready for weaving and spinning for the public and teaching them how clothing was made in the 18th century.

There are some questions that are asked frequently like, is that real food? Is that a real fire. You don't really live here do you. ( Yes I live in a log cabin for the weekend) Aren't you hot in those clothes? You get the idea. I guess it is hard in this day and age for some people to understand what it was like  back then and then try to understand why anyone would want to live like that today. For me educating the public is enjoyable. Talking about what life was like then. What people needed to do to survive. Talking about freedom from English rule and the western migration across America. Things Americans need to know because after all...if you don't understand where you have been you can't know where you are going.

Until next time,