June 26th, 2011

Calvin: Faces

Sometimes, it pays to be cheap....

:heh: As you know, I've been working on History notebooks, trying to get ahead of the kids so I can just sit and print out the current chapter, instead of trying to set it all up. I'm also trying to get the kids on the same schedule - currently, Himself is in Chapter 8, and Herself is in Chapter 3. (I've slowed him down to 3 weeks per; I've sped her up to 1 week per. He's going to get a break or 2 soon, too, so that she can catch up.)

Anyway. As I was setting up Chapter 12, I was happily humming to myself, and muttering things. "Oh! The Bauyex Tapestry! William of Normandy! ooooh! Magna Carta!" Herself heard me, and said "Mom, are we gonna be able to do craft stuff to go along with History?"

I paused, and said "Well, yeah - IF y'all are together. I don't really want to do a craft thingy on, say....Byzantine mosaics when you're in Early Egypt..it doesn't really fit, y'know?" She thought about it...then agreed to speed up in History.

A few minutes later, she said "Mom? Wasn't the Middle Ages when the tapestries were done? Can we - do you think we could try to weave a tapestry?" :happy weaver grins: I said sure, then started looking at tapestry looms on eBay.

Here's the deal. Yes, I have a floor loom, and 2 table looms. The thing is, my floor loom is HUGE. 6' cubed, basically - I don't put on anything less than 3 yards, because of the 1-yard (or thereabouts) of loom waste. It's not worth it to me to put on a short warp - the time to set up is the same as for a long warp, and I'd rather have a lot of "fun" time after doing the set up. The table looms are smaller - but you have a very very small weaving area. For basic "bang it out" weaving, that's OK....but I'm thinking it won't be so good for tapestry.

Plus...I know my kids. I'll end up spending...let's say 3 hours setting up one of my looms, they'll sit down and weave off MAYBE 6", then lose interest. *I* can't waste warp...and *I* have no interest in tapestry weaving. *I* like sitting down and banging out cloth - my feet dance on the treadles while my hands throw the shuttle and beat the weft - I don't like "fiddly" weaving. It's why my cards are gathering dust - cardweaving is fascinating, it's COOL, and I LOVE the resulting cloth/bands...but I HATE the tedium of it. (It's just me - I've given it a fair shake, and I just don't like it. Same thing with pick-up weaves, etc - it's just not my cuppa.) The end result would be an "unusable" loom.....and a lot of guilt on my part.

So. I needed to find a relatively inexpensive tapestry loom. eBay.....wow. The cheapest one was $120. Um...no. Not for a "craft project"! (IF I wanted to do tapestries, then...maybe. But not for this.) So....off to google. I remembered that Sara Lamb had a post on a copper-pipe loom that she used/uses for her cut-pile rugs (which are COOL, but again - not my cuppa.) I found her post, which led me to Archie Brennan's site....anyway.

Long story short, I found a DIY site with plans for a PVC loom (and another site with plans for a PVC 4-shaft table loom - IF you want to weave, but can't afford a "real" loom, check out pvcloom.com. Seriously - a 4-shaft loom out of PVC!). I printed off the materials list, and took it with me yesterday while we were running around. I knew we'd end up at Home Depot, and I wanted to check out prices.

Well.....I ended up buying almost everything on the list. :lol: For $12.55 (Seriously - that's IT!), I have everything I need to build a pretty good sized tapestry loom (I just need 2 straps for the warp beam - the plans call for sleeping bag straps; I'm thinking cheap dog collars will work just as well. Or velcro.) As soon as SG cuts the pipe, we'll be assembling it. That's a small enough investment that I won't care if it sits for a long time with unwoven warp on it - I mean, $12.55? That's...nothing for weaving equipment!