Jul 24

About two or three weeks ago (they have been going by so quickly lately that they are becoming a blur) I purchased and brought home this sweet little gem of a loom – and the best thing yet is that it is a Dorset!

See?

It even has F.C. Wood’s name engraved on it.  Needless to say I am more than thrilled to have this for my workshops.  It needs a little work (a cracked beater side bar that needs to  be fixed for example), but it will give my students many, many years of learning pleasure.  Starting yesterday with Kristy.  I was going to start telling you about the weaving class last night, but I accidently forgot the camera at Kristy’s house.  OOPS!!!!

Doesn’t she look so happy as she is weaving along?  Kristy has woven on a rigid heddle loom before, but never on a floor loom.  She wove part of the morning yesterday and most of the afternoon before we took a break to discuss her main weaving project.  Since this is in Kristy’s house and she owns her own four-harness floor loom (remember, I was down there about a month ago to help get it ready for weaving), I let her design something besides a scarf.  Time is no contraint here because she can continue weaving long after class is over.  What she had chosen to do was weave dishtowels and she had already purchased the yarn for them – 8/2 cotton.

We played for a while with my Weave-It Pro software on my laptop and came up with a design that worked with the yarn she had for it.  Then she wove on the Dorset until it was time for me to go home.  Last night, she showed her husband what she had been doing and he, too, sat down and wove a little.  I think it is so cool when spouses are interested in learning, too, so they can discuss the topic with some knowledge.  And Kristy has the sweetest husband in David!  On top of that, David loves to make things.  I’ll be taking losts of pictures tomorrow of some of the things he has made for Kristy to help with her weaving.

This morning, both Kristy and David met me at the front door.  They had an apple with a candle in it and sang Happy Birthday to me!  Yup!  Today, I am 46 years old and I had the most wonderful way to celebrate my birthday in teaching a very enthusiastic student how to weave.

Today, we started off by measuring out the warp.  We measured,

and we measured

and we measured some more – 484 warp threads in this project and that’s not counting the floating selvedge threads!  23 inches wide in the loom, 24 epi and 8.33 yards long.  That took all morning and a little into the afternoon.  I measured off all the white yarn, and Kristy did the colored yarn.

Then we sat together at the loom and began sleying the reed, her taking one half and me taking the other.  She has only an 8 dent reed and a 6 dent reed, so we put the 8 dent reed on the loom and sleyed it three ends per dent.  I told her there may be some reed marks on the towels and recommended her eventually getting 10 dent and 12 dent reeds in stainless steel.  It didn’t take us very long to sley the reed – maybe an hour total.

Then we moved to the back of the loom where I had removed the back beam and the warp beam so we could get into the loom to thread it easier.  Getting the loom threaded, with her working on half of it and me working on the other half took about three hours, but it is threaded and ready to wind on in the morning.  Then we’ll make sure there are no threading errors and away she’ll go.  Her first towel is going to be a sampler for her own use so she’ll be able to test out several patterns to see which ones she wants to use on the rest of the towels.  If I understand her correctly, each of the following six towels will be woven off in a different treadling sequence so that they’ll match, but be different.

Needless to say, both Kristy and I were tuckered tonight, but we accomplished a lot today.  We kicked some warping butt, let me tell you!

And last, Kristy is a sewer and has made some dolls for her two grand-daughters, so she said she would like to see what I make in dolls.  So Lizzie and a faceless and hairless doll accompanied me today (the half-made doll is a newer design and I wanted to show Kristy the changes between Lizzie, my first doll of this pattern, and the current incarnation).  Lizze took one look at the play room and we didn’t have to worry about her for the rest of the day.

She spent most of the day trotting around on this lovely Pinto.  Like a lot of young ladies, she is horse crazy and she rarely gets to indulge in riding.

After having worn out her horse, she and Mr. Cowboy sat together and he told her story after story of riding the range and Yippie-Ki-Yi-Yiing those little doggies.  She talked all the way home about this guy.  I think she wants to be a cowgirl when she grows up, now.  I wonder if Ree and her family would like to take her on for a while?