Wednesday, December 06, 2006

My Excitement is Looming!

It's official. I have purchased a Harrisville loom. That's right, I've gone over to the Dark Side! Or is that crochet? I can never remember. I do both, so, it doesn't matter. I've been reeled in.

The only change I made to my loom-buying decision was to go down a size. Instead of the 45", I went with the 36". It still has 8 shafts and 10 treadles, so more complex weaves are possible. But the 45" doesn't fold up completely; only the warp end folds. The 36" folds up completely for storage when not in use. I like that. I measured the room I plan to put it in, and my eyes were bigger than my loom width possibilities anyway. If this turns into a bonafide obsession and I want to move up, I'd be looking at production looms like an AVL or WeaveBird anyway, and probably at 60" weaving width.

I'm pretty sure I can still get a horse blanket out of 36". I'm talking horse blankets that are used more for decoration—not the ones requiring rug looms—I'll just need to beat it harder. (Minds out of the gutter, please!) Yardage is possible; instead of the standard three yards of 45", I'll just have to weave longer yardages and be more creative. But I'm not huge on garment manufacture. I'm into scarves, dishtowels, pillows, etc. Some garments, sure; and I like tapestry sometimes, and there is this technique I've been dying to try since I found the booklet somewhere (can't recall where): Knitting On The Loom.

36" will do just fine.

Making progress on Celtic Knot Scarf. It's going really fast, which surprises me. It doesn't look like it would be fast. There is a bit of a trick to the fingers, though. The directions don't specify how to handle the expanse between the end of one I-cord finger and the beginning of the next one, nor how to keep everything tight and neat when returning to knitting across. I experimented, then asked my LYS guy after we finished the loom order. I was advised that with 100% wool, one can break yarn, leave a long tail (longer than the length of the I-cord), feed it down the center of the I-cord in the back (behind the ladders--the I-cord is kind of flat), then spit-splice it to the working ball and begin knitting again. Of course, I'm using Encore for the Allergic One so that option is out. I'll be weaving in ends. *sigh*

I'm probably doing this the nit-picky A.R. OCD way, but to tighten up the rejoin with all those loose tails, I sat there with a smaller needle and tugged on two rows' worth to tighten them up to fit, then pulled the tail of each I-cord through the last loop I pulled up. It was a MPITA!!! But it looks divine. I'm back into the normal part for about 20" or so (good TV knitting, as long as the cats stay at bay tonight).

Off to buy cat food. In the cold. I love winter.

PS: Happy Birthday, Grandma Lillian (who would have been 122 years old today).


At 11:53 PM, December 07, 2006, Blogger tiennieknits said...

Can't wait to see your loom and what you create with it!

At 12:27 AM, December 08, 2006, Blogger Jeanne said...

Me, too! I forgot to mention the choice between pre-assembled or kit. I chose kit (less expensive all-around plus shipping is lower). The catch is, "some assembly required" (do I need batteries for Christmas Day?). It must be sanded lightly and oiled before being put together.

But, they provide the oil and sandpaper (and directions, I assume) and the guys at the LYS have assembled four of them with no problem. Heck, I single-handedly laid Pergo flooring in two rooms of my old house and I "built" all of my own furniture (can you say "Sauder"?); I think I can handle a few nuts and bolts. ;-)

Another thing to love about Harrisville: they build their looms using parts commonly found at the local hardware store. No need to send off for parts if, say, an E-clip or O-ring went missing. (Ashford? Are you listening?)

Should be able to bust my stash a bit by using those lone wayward oddities as the weft.


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