|See the small Cricket loom on the bench of the Glimakra??|
When we went to look at the loom, we found that it was counterbalance, not countermarche, and had been sitting in a garage for years. But it was in pretty good shape, had tons of accessories, and since I'd found out that Glimkras can be almost infinitely upgraded, we decided to make an offer. By the end of the day, my birthday present was a pile of lumber in the garage and no place to put it.
Right after getting the Glimakra home, we were up against the annual insanity known as Yarn Crawl - the 4-day event held among 9 area yarn shops. Working Yarn Crawl leaves time for nothing else, but I did manage to do one thing... actually four things. I wove three scarves on a rigid-heddle loom and bought my own Cricket loom.
|The Cricket Loom|
The Chakra Scarf
|The Chakra Scarf|
There are two more scarves off the loom from the same Silk Garden Sock yarn as the Chakra scarf. They'll have to be photographed and posted soon. The scarf on the loom right now is a "let the yarn do the work" scarf. The warp is a handpaint lace yarn - Ella Rae Lace Merino and the weft is Capra, a silk / mohair blend also from Mango Moon. Mohair doesn't work in the warp as it's almost impossible to get a clean shed, but it's lovely in the weft.
Dyeing My Own
But the next project will be a color project to the nines! Twelves, actually... This involves a confession. I'm afraid of color. I'm afraid of making a mistake. I don't know what goes with what nor do I know how to add that spark that makes things really glow. But I figure I can learn, so I'm going to learn. I'm starting the learning process by working through Gail Callahan's Hand Dyeing Yarn and Fleece. Last night's project was dyeing 12 small skeins of sock yarn in 12 colors of the color wheel. All the dyes were mixed from three stock solutions - red, yellow and blue - made with McCormick's food colors. Yep, this is a kitchen project. When all the skeins were in the dyebaths (small Mason jars) and arranged in a wheel, I got a crazy idea. I'd mis-measured and made 40-yard skeins when I intended to make 20-yard skeins. However, 40-yard skeins gives me enough to do a color gamp scarf project on my trusty Cricket. As soon as the mohair scarf is off the loom, I'll warp on the color gamp project with each shade set off with black yarn. This should be pretty!
|The Finished Skeins|
And yes, I finally finished all six towels of the pinwheel project. Four will leave for the towel exchange, but two are staying here. George refuses to use them, but I love them... hanging on the stove handle... not being used...
The Autumn Leaves Shawl
But wait! I didn't leave the poor Glimakra as a pile of lumber in the garage! Last week was the project of starting to clean out and rearrange the upstairs. Now that both kids are more or less moved out, it's time to rethink how we use the house. This is their home, too, but it's time that old stuff leaves to make room for the new. So after hauling and moving and giving away and throwing out, there was a spot for the Glimakra in the loft. Wax on / Wax off?? The wood was so dry that every bit had to be conditioned with our favorite Ashford Spinning Wheel wax. If I ever leave the Cricket unwarped for five minutes, it'll get the same treatment.
Setting up a counterbalance loom requires having a project on it. I tried to think of something that wouldn't be too much of a challenge to weave and finally thought of a chenille shawl project kit I've had laying around for years. I hauled it out and warped it onto the Glimakra. At first I was wondering why anyone bothers to put on anything less than 10 yards, but the shawl is fine. It didn't take but a time or so around the warp beam, but everything got on and tensioned correctly. Then came tying up the loom and setting everything up. After only a few mistakes the old girl was weaving again.
Which caused the biggest surprise. I like counterbalance looms. I'm going to leave her that way for a while before I upgrade her.
Leave it as it is.
Never mind the turpentine.
Just leave it as it is.
-- David Wilcox