Big loom decisions and messing around with color

Big loom decisions  and messing around with color

With #studiofridays in full swing now, I have loom decisions to make.

On my first Friday of the year, I warped my Leclerc loom. To be honest, I don’t have a concrete plan for what to weave on this loom. I do have a consultation client who just purchased one and had some questions about warping. So I cut off the two holiday pieces you can see on it here and set about putting a useable warp on it.

James Koehler's looms for sale

James Koehler's death on March 4th, 2011 still seems a little shocking three months later.  His memorial service has happened, his studio has been emptied, and his apprentices are trying to help each other with the questions we would have asked James.  This is what happens when somebody dies.

James' student looms and most of his studio contents have been sold but there are three of his personal looms left which have to be sold.

This loom is a 56 inch (weaving width) Macomber which is selling for $1800 (there is no need for me to tell a bunch of weavers what a great deal that is!).  I believe the bench (which has a slider) is separate.  This loom is in fantastic shape and if I didn't already have a Macomber (and if I had any more space for looms which I don't unless I take to sleeping under them), I would purchase it myself.  It is an 8 harness loom with a double back beam, one of them sectional.

This is a huge Shannock that James acquired recently.  I don't know the weaving width, but it is somewhere between 80 and 100 inches. James was interested in trying vertical weaving again, but had not used it yet when he died.  I don't know a price for this loom, but I suspect it would be negotiable.

And this loom caused me much angst and indecision.  I very much wanted to purchase this 100 inch (weaving width) Cranbrook, but since it is bigger than my car and my studio is about 180 square feet, eventually I had to decline.  This was James' main loom for many years.  All the tapestries I saw him weaving were on this loom.  It has 6 harnesses though James only has 4 installed.  I believe it comes with several reeds.  There is a long sliding bench which is extra.  It has locking treadles and James wove at it standing up (notice it is up on 2 by 6's). It is in beautiful shape and has the added bonus of being used by a master weaver for at least 20 years. I don't know the final price for this loom, but trust me, it is criminally low.  This particular loom is no longer made (and hasn't been for decades).

If you are seriously interested in purchasing one of these looms (or there is also some of his hand-dyed yarn left), you can contact me at the comments section of this blog or through my website.

I am hoping that someone who loves weaving and will appreciate the master who wove on these looms will purchase one of them and continue to love them for many years to come. And if you buy the Cranbrook, can I come and visit it? (kidding, I'm just kidding on that last bit-- mostly anyway)

What came in the mail today...

What came in the mail today was a new loom. Now I know that sentence makes some of you reading this cringe considering I have a healthy collection of looms already, largely thanks to my Grandpa Mezoff who gifted me all of his and my Grandma Mezoff's when they moved to Connecticut. ("Healthy" might be an understatement--there are two big floor looms and a 60 inch LeClerc tapestry loom... not counting the smaller looms my grandmother gave me and my old Rio Grande.) But current life circumstances were calling for a portable loom and my grandmother's old Macomber workshop loom just isn't technically "portable" since moving it involves considerable swearing and often bloodied knuckles. And after the workshop I took in Durango last summer at the Intermountain Weaver's Conference... and all the drooling I did over those people who just waltzed in the door and pulled their Mirrix looms out of a tote bag (as I was sucking my bloodied knuckles and struggling to keep the Macomber upright), I started considering the usefulness of a portable loom. Then there is the fact that I took a job which requires me to stay in another village one or two nights a week and a planned Christmas trip to Mississippi for two weeks--all of that added up to my own Mirrix. I got the notice that it shipped this morning. When I went to the post office, there it was... a big square box which contained my shiny new loom. Of course this has completely side tracked my work on getting a new piece on the Harrisville... which I think is going to entail some dyeing... hopefully tomorrow as the weather is beautiful again.
Speaking of dyeing, does anyone know where to get acetic acid? I have been using glacial or 56% acetic acid for my acid wool dyes, but can't get it anymore locally as the camera stores aren't selling it--the digital age and all. I really can't find any in Santa Fe or Albuquerque. Any suggestions where to look? Or have any of you used citric acid crystals and do they work as well as the acid? Thanks in advance.
The cottonwoods in the Rio Grande bosque are just gorgeous. This is my driveway.

More about looms...

I sold my Gilmore.  You may remember this post from last year about my beloved Gilmore loom which I was forced to sell due to the sheer number of looms that were falling from the sky into my lap (all from my grandparents who had to move to Connecticut and abandon their weaving equipment to their ecstatic granddaughter).  I had that loom posted for sale on the internet for a very long time and had resigned myself to visiting it now and then in my storage shed and reassuring it that I would find it a good home--that really I still loved it but just didn't have room for it in my little house.  A very nice woman named Nancy and her husband rented a truck and drove all the way from Oklahoma (a state I have paid little attention to as it has no mountains) to pick up my sweet loom.  The fact that they rented a truck and drove all that way reassured me that the loom was going to a good owner, and frankly, what with tripping over the other two looms in my house (and I'm not even going to talk about the other three looms in the storage shed--no wait, there are four plus two inkle looms--oh geez I need an intervention here), I really haven't missed the Gilmore much.  I hope she has a long and lovely life weaving beautiful fabric in Nancy's studio.  Thanks for coming to get her Nancy!

And in a completely random switch in thought, I finally got around to looking up Saint Maurice on Wikipedia.  Lyn alerted me to the existence of this particular saint after my fumbling invocations surrounding the death of my computer.  Saint Maurice's history is full of a lot of Roman Emperors, bloodshed, martyrdom and a lot of other things that make me squirm, but if you're looking for someone to pray to, he is, according to Wikipedia, "the patron saint of soldiers, swordsmiths, and armies.  He is also inexplicably the patron saint of weavers, dyers, and invoked against menstrual cramps."  I have to agree with Lyn that he could be one useful guy!

And here is my progress on the 48 inch square tapestry (which I'm not revealing the name of it yet mostly because I don't have one--but you can pretend I'm trying to be mysterious.)  That is 20 inches baby!!!  Only 28 inches to go.  The color here is completely blown out and it looks like I just gave away my sneaky warp-tension fixing device (called a T pin).  I'm rolling along at the average rate of 2.5 inches a day.  Most excellent.  There was a frightening moment earlier this week where my teacher suggested that I consider tearing out 3 inches to change a color.  I was praying to Saint Maurice and swearing under my breath at the same time.  We finally decided that leaving the color as it was fit with my intentions for the piece.  The truth is nothing could have made me back out 3 inches on a 48 inch piece anyway.  I know weavers who would have (my teacher is one), but I just can't do it.  I have a lot of patience, but not that much.