Tuesday, September 6, 2016

New Addition to the Collection

Looms are keeping me busy.  I realized I started this post quite a while ago, sometime in late winter, and never finished it.

I recently had an opportunity to add a very large loom to my studio. I don't recall how I came across the Craig's List posting, but it was only three hours away. After checking with the seller and a couple others familiar with the Bexell Cranbrook countermarche or counterbalance looms, I found it could be upgraded to an 8-shaft loom, so I decided to make the purchase.

Near the end of February, my daughter Carolyn and I collapsed the stow-and-go seats in the van and took off for Midland, Michigan to meet my new loom and former owner Maryanne.

Here is Maryanne saying goodbye.
Here is a photo of how it is supposed to look.

On that day, though, it was just a pile of lumber, strings and chains in the back of the van.  We really had to squeeze to get the two side pieces diagonally in through the back hatch, but we were successful.

A bonus with the purchase were the extra reeds, shuttles, rug yarn, and warping reel.

Bob was a good sport and helped cart all the pieces upstairs above my studio and then did most of the assembly with my assistance.

See that beater?  It was designed for making tight rugs.  It is heavy!
It is a great loom for assembling.  Pegs and no bolts make is so easy.

Above Bob's head in the foreground is the jack mechanism for the countermarche.  There is definitely room to add four more shafts.  We just need to go purchase the hardwood.  We will need to cut eight more jacks, four treadles, eight shaft bars, four lower lamms and four upper lamms.  When I do the additions, I will probably use Texsolv cord instead of chains for all the tie-ups.
This baby is ready to warp!

I decided to try and use the four yard warp that was still on the warp beam.  It was a bit tangled, so I got a bit of weight on it and started dangling it down the stairway to get it straightened.

There was no cross, so here I am inserting a lease stick into the warp at the back.  It was a pretty warp, with lots of colors, so it was worth trying to save.  Since every two warp threads were a different color, it was pretty easy to get the cross back onto the lease sticks.
Barbell weights work nicely to add tension to the warp when winding onto the warp beam.  It went on the loom quickly.
I started the first rug and then I let Carolyn take over.  This was her first weaving experience, and she took to it right away.
She had made a quilt from her fiance (now husband) Jeremy's old tee-shirts and we cut the scraps into strips for the rugs.
Even her kitties get a rug for under their food dishes.  A good use for the short bit of warp remaining.
By the end of March, we took the rugs off the loom.

The rugs now live in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and look very nice in Carolyn and Jeremy's kitchen.