Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Yes, I Still Weave

My son in law wrote an amazing article about his son, my grandson Robby and his brain tumor.  Please check it out and leave a comment here:

I am amazed every morning when I emerge from the motorhome to let Auggie water a tree, how sparkling the air is here.  Living in NJ for so long I became used to the pollution that we breathe daily, but out in the country the air smells so clean.  We have also been having evening showers, which energizes the air.  Even the light is different.

We are getting ready to head out tomorrow for another campground but as of this moment we have not decided where we will be. The whole world beckons!

I bought a loom about nine months ago in preparation for living on the road.  I have been through a lot of looms in the past few years, having owned and sold an eight harness 36" and a four harness 22" Harrisville Designs loom, a four harness Saori SX60, a tiny 8" 8H Structo, and a 4H 20" table loom from England who's name escapes me.  I have primarily been weaving on my tiny Piccolo 2H 15" floor loom and the rigid heddle looms. But I wanted a small floor loom that had 8 harnesses, so I decided to get a 20" Baby Macomber. I talked by phone with the representative, Sarah Haskell, sent off money, and waited impatiently.  In theory the Baby Mac was just about perfect for on the road life.  It has enough harnesses for fairly complex weaves, so hopefully I would not outgrow it.  It is small and folds up to a tight package. I had been weaving on 20" rigid heddle looms for years and knew that 20" makes a nice dish towel and can be used in making clothing.  I also knew from experience that even a 36" wide loom is really too narrow for baby blankets so piecing panels would always be necessary. Not that I would have room for a 36" wide loom!  One area of concern was the weight of the Baby Mac.  At 50 lbs it is not easy to move around, and I would not be schlepping it outside to weave en plain air like I could with the Piccolo.  I decided to load it up with a nice canvas apron for both beams and a friction brake for ease of use.

After my loom arrived, I admired its tiny form and moved it to an empty room where I passed it daily and looked at it longingly.  Because we were in the middle of moving from one house to another, then from house #2 to our motorhome there simply was no time to play with it.

Two days ago I decided it was time to give it a go.  I removed about a third of the yarn, tools, and
fiber out of the closet to get to Baby Mac and dragged him out.  I measured out a sample warp and carefully threaded the loom.  Macomber looms come with metal hooks for tie ups, and every time you want to fold the loom you have to remove every hook.  Then to weave again you have to crawl under the loom and set it all up again. So when I got Baby Mac I also purchased Texsolv and replaced all the hooks so the loom could be folded without removing anything. And boy, am I glad I did! Tieups were easy and I can just leave them in place when we move our home.

I have to say, this loom is a delight to use.  That heaviness means that Baby Mac is solid and stable. The back folds in and the harnesses can be held up to allow for easy threading of heddles. The friction brake is a joy. The tension I get on this loom is amazing.  It is fun to weave on.  Altogether, I am very pleased with this loom and I know I will have lots of fun with it.

So here is a picture of my sample.  I think I am going to do something a little different for my actual project, but I really like this pinwheel design.


  1. Great article, super blog and fabulous weaving! more,more,more!

  2. I'll keep writing, as long as people read. Thank you for the encouragement!

  3. Great article. After a lot of thought I narrowed what I wanted down to a Baby Mac due to size and portability. I am a new weaver, so I had a lot of research to do. I was pretty set on a 24" but after reading your article, it sounds like 20" is plenty. I am weaving on a rigid heddle now. Thank you for your article!!

    1. Happy to help, Denise! Happy weaving!