Sunday, November 16, 2014

It's the Little Things

I love finding solutions to problems.  If they are easy and cheap - all the better!

Lighting Fix

I have looked and looked for a lamp like this one!  Most clip lights are made for horizontal surfaces that just don't work for weaving looms.  Enter this beauty by Ottlite.  It has a pivoting hinge by the clip and can be positioned for vertical or horizontal surfaces.  I like working with full spectrum lighting and the Ottlites have that feature.  Best of all it was $31.99 at Office Depot.  The same model is on their website listed at $36.99.  Joann Fabrics sells a similar model for $79.99!

Loom Storage and Note Strip

I needed a little bin on top of the Harrisville for bobbins, yarns, etc.  Harrisville makes a tool tray for most of their looms.  They are nice, but I wouldn't have room for the clip light and I didn't need something that big. I found this letter bin at The Container Store that is perfect.  It is just the footprint I need to fit comfortably on top of the castle.  I secured it to the loom with a mini bungee cord and it stays put with the vibration of the loom.  Next I picked up a small metal strip with magnets to post weaving notes and drafts.

The strips come with adhesive strips which didn't stick to the plastic of the bin.  No problem. I have three super strong magnets (sold as neodymium magnets) attaching the strip to the back side of the basket.  Perfect.  I usually use these magnets to hold cartoons when weaving inlay or tapestry work.  

Book Fix

This one is a long time favorite.  I take my flat bound books to Kinko's and have the binding sliced off and round bound with a spiral.  Now the book will lay flat or can be fold.  I've had this done to a lot of cookbooks, Mark's music books and a lot of my weaving texts.  

Friday, November 14, 2014

Putting it All Together

Recently I had the opportunity to purchase a loom in kit form.  I had carefully considered my needs, my list of loom should haves and then committed.  The lovely folks at the Yarn Barn helped in the process.  Soon my loom was delivered in two big boxes.  With a booklet of instructions and some deep breaths, I set to work.

First the wood needed to be finished.  Finishing was a little sanding and then two coats of a natural color oil.  There was a lot of wood to touch, but in all the first coat only took me about forty minutes.  The second coat went quicker.

The next day, I cleared the decks and set to assembly.  Bit by bit it took shape.

And then suddenly it was done.  Suddenly might be a bit hasty language wise.  In truth it took me a few hours on a Saturday and a few more on a Sunday.  The results?  A little loom that I love.  This is a little 8 shaft Harrisville Designs 22" loom.  It has all the traits that I love from the larger Macomber which shares the studio.  It is reasonably transportable and weaves beautifully.

 I put on a small sampling warp to check the tensioning, brake and to see if I needed to fiddle with anything.  The loom performs beautifully and soon I'll put a hand painted warp on and away we'll go.

By assembling my own loom, I learn a lot about how it all connects.  I feel confident that I know how everything works and how to fix what might need to be tweaked.  It was even fun.  The directions were mostly clear, but I did find the brake directions a bit confusing.  I did figure them out and I'll include these photos just in case anyway needs them in a desperate Google search.

Warp brake assembly

Brake release positioning