Sister Sword of Desirable Mindfulness (fiberaddict) wrote,
Sister Sword of Desirable Mindfulness


The studio is almost all set up. The dining room is almost cleared of my craft stuff; can't finish until I have a bookshelf to put the books and magazines on. The other little stuff is just waiting until I get the studio problem? The table loom(s).

Yes, I have 3 looms. 1 big, huge monster of a Glimakra (LOVE her! 60" wide (OK...58" per Glimakra, but what's 2"?), 8S (only set up for 4 right now, but I have the kit to upgrade), 1 22" 4S Structo that I put on a treadle stand (to "convert" it to a floor loom) and 1 16" 12S LeClerc (that is currently at a friend's house....I have NO room for it!). Plus the 20" RH loom, and 2 inkle looms. (Those 3 don't concern me right now - they fit under the table just fine.)

WHY do I have the table looms, when I have the Glimakra? Let me explain....

The weaving width of a loom tells you the maximum width you can weave - that's NOT the width of the finished fabric, mind you - you lose probably 2", maybe 3", when you wet-finish it - which means you can weave fabric UP TO that width. So, my 60" loom will weave a piece of fabric that finishes out at approx. 56" wide. Wide enough to do a tablecloth in 1 piece, or a bedspread, or curtain fabric for wide windows. I can also weave narrower things - placemats, dishclothes, etc. So...why do I hang onto the 22"?

Because of "loom waste". See, EVERY loom has a length of warp yarn that it can NOT weave. My big monster of a loom wastes about 1 - 1.5 yards of yarn on EVERY warp - because of the depth from the last shaft to the back beam, and the amount of yarn it takes to tie onto the cloth beam in front. I've tried various ways to cut down on the waste - tying on a "dummy warp" (but then you have to tie ALL your warp threads to it and hope the 400+ knots hold :ick:), "lashing on" to cords attached to the beam (works to the end of the warp, then I run into MAJOR tension issues - I lost about 2 yards that time. :sigh:)'s just a fact of life that I need to add 1 yard in length to every project.

On a long warp - like, for these dishtowels - it's not a big deal. A 4.5 yard warp will net me about 4 dishtowels. I might be able to squeak a short "rag" out of the end, but I'm good with 4 finished towels. On a short warp, however - like for, say, a scarf - 1 yard is WAY too much waste. (And I don't like weaving identical scarves - they go fast, and get boring. :lol:)

The Structo is much shallower - and, IIRC, I only have like 20" (I think it's less, actually) of waste on it. THAT's not bad - for a scarf, I'll warp 2.5 yards, and end up with a good 6' finished scarf, not including fringe. I'd have to warp at LEAST 3 yards on the Glimakra....while .5 yards doesn't sound like much, when you multiply that by numerous scarves, it adds up quickly (and when you're talking *handspun* yarn, it REALLY adds up!)

So.....I keep the smaller loom...but I have NO room for it. I spent a good hour yesterday shifting stuff around; ended up with the Structo on the ledge where the wheels were going to go. The wheels will now sit in FRONT of the ledge, on the runner....not exactly where I wanted them, but there's really no other place for them. (I'm not worried about blocking access to the wool/yarn stash; I don't go in there every day, just at the start of projects. It won't be an issue in having to scoot a wheel or 2 out of the way.) My issue is with the water heater - I wanted the wheels on the ledge so if the WH ever blows, they won't get water-damaged. (Never mind the loom - 2 of my wheels actually cost me MORE than the loom did!)

The LeClerc has been for sale for 2 years now...I have it for $500 - brand new it's $1,770. NOBODY has even nibbled on it. :sigh: I've only used it about 5 times - I just don't like multi-shaft weaving. 8S will be enough fun, I think....12S was overkill. (In fact, I never used more than the front 4 shafts on it...funny, huh? :lol:) (The more shafts you have, the fancier patterns you can do. I'm happy exploring 4S patterns; 8 will send me over the moon!) I really don't want to mark it down any more......but it's OK right now, since it's not *here*.

I'm trying to convince myself that I really don't NEED the Structo....but it's not working. Yet. Sometimes you do need to have 2 looms in action at the same time.....but.....:sigh: And, it's easier to teach somebody the basics of weaving on it than on my Glimakra, because of the tie-up (how you tie each shaft to the treadles. On the Structo, it's easy - 1 tie per shaft. On the Glimakra, it's not - each shaft has to be tied to EVERY treadle; each treadle lifts the pattern shafts and drops the others. Makes for a nice large shed, and it's easier on the warp threads, but it's a bugger to set up!)

I dunno.....I have all this space, and it feels like it's still not enough room. I had offered to downsize my Glimakra - I used to have a 45" loom, and it was nice; I'd just have to piece larger items - but SG said emphatically NO. (Which made me happy - this was and is my dream loom!). It's just SO BIG.......I'll keep moving things around until it "clicks". The loom is where it is - there's really no other place to put it but in the middle of the room - but the rest of the stuff can be shuffled around.

Just thinking out loud here...

This entry was originally posted at Please comment there using OpenID.
Tags: blather, weaving

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