As many of you who have followed me for a while know, I have been bitten by the weaving bug pretty badly. It’s a lovely bite to have but a bite none-the-less! Since my dad died earlier this month, there has been countless things happen that have lead me to believe that weaving is entering right at the right moment. Just as after Norah was born, spinning came into my life in a very meaningful way and has continued, now weaving is elbowing its way in. I feel very blessed and thankful for this because throwing the shuttle and navigating a whole new world of language has been life-giving. I shared this little loom on the most recent Maker Morning and if you missed it, the post and Live Stream is here. Thank you to those who joined — it was such a pleasure to spend time with you all.
On Wednesday morning this past week, I was with my mom doing some errands and we decided to stop in at one of my LYS’s and the owner mentioned about a small loom for sale in the local area. She virtually introduced us and I was able to pick up a Leclerc Compact 24″ loom. It was brilliant! The woman I bought it from was lovely and the loom itself had sat for 4 years without so much as a warp on it. Ever.
I brought it home and proceeded to make some warp chains of stashed handspun from odds and ends that would weave up nicely in an 8-dent reed. She had bought 3 reeds with the loom to play with different yarns since her Leclerc 60″ Nilus was reserved mostly for traditional weaving yarns due to the sectional warping mechanism she’d ordered with it. Her thought was to use bulky and handspun yarns for added creativity in her weaving, as well as to learn a different warping style – namely, back-to-front. This is the method taught in the Jane Stafford Online Guild and is a great way to warp without the mess of a sectional warping system for those who want to wind smaller warps (and large ones too). I can really see the benefits of both warping systems and because my large loom can be set up to sectionally warp, that is something I plan to do in the future.
The loom itself is in beautiful condition. There is absolutely no damage on it – it looks out-of-the-box new. I had been hankering for some patterning while weaving on the Jane due to the amount of plain or tabby weave I have been doing. Looking through Next Steps in Weaving by Pattie Graver gave me the confidence to tie up a 2/2 twill in the centre 4 treadles with tabby or plain weave on the outer two. From there, I threaded for a point twill, which is a lovely pattern. If you let your eyes go out of focus, you can see the design on the fabric photographed at the top of the post.
The warping went off without a hitch, although having a second person to hold the warp would have been helpful as the 4-yard warp wasn’t long enough to place a bunch of books overtop for leverage. The lease sticks and back apron rod were easy to configure. In a bit of a hack since I don’t have a raddle for this loom yet, I used the 1″ sectional beam from the Jack, secured with C-clamps. It worked really well actually because the warp was 8EPI so there were only 8 threads per slot and there was no math to do. It wound on quite evenly!
Above is the lashing between the back apron rod and the warping rod. It worked quite well but the lashing provided in quite heavy nylon and I think for future I will use a 4/8 cotton or something similar. Below, I started threading the heddles and was nicely surprised at how evenly this went after working with the Texsolv heddles on the Jane. I had thought that I would need to swap these out for noise but I don’t think I will!
The yarns are a complete mixture of stashed previous sweater spins. I included yarn from my Featherweight Cardigan with Vermont motif, Pommier vest, Fireside and Lemongrass, as well as handcombed Tunis, and BFL that I spun and didn’t like. I had to make a number of warp chains due to my small in depth warping board. I’ve ordered a warping mill from a credit I had locally and couldn’t recover so I decided to get something that I really wanted and probably wouldn’t ever actually buy!
The weft is some Jacob that is unevenly spun from skein to skein. I spun this yarn back when I was first coming back to spinning in 2014. I had spun the fibre long-draw with mixed results but it is a gorgeous heathered, natural yarn regardless. I have a ton of this yarn and wil definitely have enough for the weft. I hemstitched in it for the beginning of the stole and it worked up really nicely.
I have woven quite a bit on this already and with some minor adjustments, the overall loom is working absolutely beautifully. Height of chairs and stools has been an issue just to figure out what might work and how to do that, and the brake wasn’t working properly but that’s all fixed. Overall, I am incredibly pleased and excited for the possibilities on this little loom … namely for tea towels and handspun projects!