Thursday, January 31, 2008

"Weaving and Felted Slippers...."

When I first moved to Madison, our friend Barb, loaned me her grandmother's loom. At the time, I though it might be too small for me, so never set it up to try it out, but stored it in the basement. I brought it out of retirement this last week because I have enrolled in a weaving workshop near the end of April, and need to bring a "warped and ready to weave" loom to the workshop. Barb's grandmother's loom is a 16" Ad-A-Harness Loom (model CP11), manufactured around 1954, by L.W. Macomber, of Saugus, Massachusetts. I don't know how long it has been out of production, because I can't find any information on it through my online searches. Luckily, Juanita, who has the studio that is hosting the guest instructor, Jason Collingwood, from the UK, has a friend who owns a similar loom, and was able answer my questions about this particular loom set up. I have since warped, woven, and finished a narrow rug runner for the bedroom. :) (Photo soon to be posted)

As you can see, it is MUCH smaller than my Harrisville Loom, but comfortable enough to sit and weave on, although when I change treadles (the pedals) it does rise and fall, riding on the tops of my knees.

Since I wasn't sure that it would work for me, I decided against buying rug yarn for the "experiment" runner. I used some of my "stash" of knitting yarns, picking out Lion Brand's "Homespun", 100% acrylic yarn. I had bought quite a few colors when I first began knitting (Thank you, Angela!), because I liked the variety of colors available. The yarn worked well for weaving and allowed me to achieve nice, even edges.

The loom is considered a "travel loom", and will fold up to a nice small size. It can easily be transported to the workshop in the car. Notice the carrying handle on the side?

I also had been busy knitting, and then felting, a pair of clogs for myself. When I weave, I weave barefoot or wear socks. Unfortunately, even with wool socks, my feet sometimes were cold. Sheila, another friend, gave me a "Felted Clog Pattern", that I thought might allow me to weave and still be able to "feel" the treadles through the sole of the clog. So.....also last weekend, I began knitting my clogs. They were an easy knit and were completed quickly.

This photo shows the "Pre-Felting"........ Felting, for those of you who are not familiar with it, is the process of knitting a piece much larger than what the final piece will be, and washing it in hot water with heavy agitation, which will shrink the yarn and turn it into a heavier material.....thus "felt". :)

And "Post Felting"....... They work very well. I am able to feel the treadles and my feet stay quite warm. Seems that both of my "textile experiences" of this past week worked out very well. A huge THANK YOU to Barb, Sheila, and Angela, for making my "retirement" more enjoyable.

1 comment:

Barb said...

Hi Michael, What an exciting entry!!!

I am just thrilled that you are using Grandma's loom. Tears again.

Is Jason Collingwood related to Peter Collingwood? I have several of the latter's books and just love them.

Your clogs are just too cool!