Wednesday, January 28, 2009

You Are Not Going To Believe This Story!!! Grab a Tea, Cuddle Up and Take It In!!!

You're not going to believe this story!!! I am so much in awe that I have decided to write it all down here so everyone can read it. Honestly, it would take me an hour to tell the story and I SO want to share it with everyone!!!! we go: For those of you who follow my blog, you know that I purchased a compu-dobby loom in October. For those of you who do not follow my blog, I purchased a compu-dobby loom in October......this is a very expensive loom aided by a computer. My reason for purchasing this loom was that I have found that I really enjoy working with multiple shafts, designing fabric, 'playing' with different weave structures and just LOVE to dress my loom! So, I went on a mad hunt for a compu-dobby loom and came across a Leclerc Diana. After some time and consideration, I found one that would work for me and made arrangements to get it. I had toss and turns in my stomach because not only was this a HUGE purchase but, I had never used one only because I don't know anyone with one. So, in October, right before the Rhinebeck Sheep and Wool Festival, my Dad and I took a road trip to Massachusetts to pick Diana up. I got her home and after some fiddling and tweaking, she was up and running. Since she was already assembled, I didn't have to put her together so, off to weaving I was. Just partly into my first project, I started to notice some things that I didn't like about Diana so started to make minor adjustments to make my weaving go a little smoother. The one thing that I was really having a problem with was the shed. For the life of me I couldn't seem to get a good shed! (For those of you who do not weave, this is critical!!!) As I do every year I went to the Rhinebeck Sheep and Wool Festival in October. It is a fabulous time!!! Every year I see things I've never seen before.....the big whoop this year was fiber made from recycled prison uniforms and soda bottles!!! I just love it. One of the other things that I love about the festival is that there is a wonderful man there who lugs his Louet Megado and weaves for crowds of people. His name is Gary and he is always so willing to let folks ask questions. Well, this fantastic wonderful weaver had me take a close gander at his loom. He said, "This is what I love the most about this loom" and he pressed on the treadle and the shed opened and I quickly grabbed the nearest object so as not to pass out. Oh MY GOSH!!!!!!!!! I couldn't believe it!!!! It was HUGE!!! And home I had a brand spanking new loom with shed problems. This thought ran through my head....."I gotta get me one of those!!!". I just had to justify it, right? I mean those looms are a pretty penny.....I mean a really BIG pretty penny.....lots and lots of really big pennies. I am basically a goal oriented person so, I just made it a goal, in my head, to one day own that cream of the crop piece of equipment and to research as much as I possibly could about it until I got there........and pray about it!!!!! So, back to the studio with Diana. Problem after problem has occurred. Apparently all due to the fine tuning coming un-fine tuned. I have replaced some solenoids and cords and we seem to be back in action!!!! I am just trying to everything in my ability to not have anything else go wrong. In my research of Louet looms I have found some very cool features that they have. It seems almost the second I started to pray about the Louet, things started happening. I am one of those frequent checkers of the Spinner, Weaver, and Knitter's housecleaning pages, craigslist, Ebay, etc for good deals on equipment, yarn, etc. I check craigslist one day and find a Louet Spring in the town I grew up in, basically new for $800!!!!!!!!!! Folks!!!!! This is nuts!!!! It was an 8 shaft loom too!!! I quickly emailed the seller. She got back a hold of me after about a week and said that someone else was supposed to come and look at it but, they kept blowing her off. She was giving them one more chance and if they blew her off again, she would call me on Friday and let me know. My heart was pounding, my brow was sweating, my hands were clammy. Could this be it? I prayed for a Louet!!! Oh my!!! I really wanted a Megado but, we could start somewhere, right? It wasn't going to put me out!!! In the time that I was waiting to hear back from the woman, Lynnette (check out her blog by clicking her name) offered a Louet looms DVD on her blog since she had a couple copies and sent me one in the mail. Why was I now seeing, hearing, and breathing Louet?!?!?!! So, it's Friday, the day I was to hear about the Spring loom and I'm at work cleaning floors and talking to God about the phone call I was waiting for. See.....I should explain something about myself.....I'm always gung-ho and miss it because I'm all gung-ho. I get very excited and JUMP!!! I'm the queen of that:) I had a tiny feeling like maybe this wasn't the loom because it wasn't EXACTLY what I prayed for........and I know God's good so, I know He's up there knowing EXACTLY what is right for me but, since I am the queen of gung-ho, I asked God to just let me know if it's right.....I mean.....I don't want to gung-ho it if it isn't right. Ring Ring Ring!!!! (My phone makes more of a symphony hip hop ring tone but, you get the point) I stop my prayer to answer my phone, "Sunrise Lodge Fiber Studio. This is Shannon." and the response is this......get ready......"Hi, Shannon! It's Miss Nancy from CFF (my church....not the lady with the loom!!!) and someone just called, they want to give away a loom. I wanted to know if you wanted it." ............................................................I was awe. Then I started laughing and trying to hold my composure and not jump around like a complete lunatic. I, as quickly as I could, told Miss Nancy part of my story....the main gist being that I just stopped a prayer about a loom to answer the phone and there she was! Are you getting my awe?!? :) Ok. I'm stopping right there because there is another side to the story.....where the loom is coming from. Merris has been working at a house that has had these boxes under the couch for a couple of years and they are cleaning up and throwing some things out. She sees that the print on the side of the box says loom so, she calls the church before heaving them into the dumpster. She gets a hold of Miss Nancy and since Miss Nancy knows that I'm a weaver, she calls me. Can you believe this timing? Where I come from looms are far and few between. I have only met four local weavers and only one of them currently weaves. (Not to get off the subject but, he is a rug weaver from Narrowsburg, the Dyberry Weaver and his studio is the coolest!!! Silk carpets, wool carpets, horse blankets......and a lot of intellect.) I leave work and drive home with my jaw in my lap. I'm in complete awe and have serious bouts of laughter. Can all of this really be happening? I mean, I know God answers prayer but, this is ............ AMAZING!!! Ya know......I really should call her back and find out what kind of loom this is. I call Merris back and tell her the story so, we end up in awe and laughing together! She takes a quick look and asks me if I've ever heard of Harrisville? I have! Well good! That's cool! Neato! loom is free loom! Here is what I felt immediately. God told me this....I hear you and will you stop it with the gung-ho and have patience for what you really asked me for? :) I sure will :) Let me tell you this....I smiled, laughed, sang, and danced for the rest of the day!!! A couple of days later, Merris and I try to make arrangements to pick the loom up and she tells me that she read the box and it is a Harrisville Designs Friendly Loom. Cool! I've never heard of it but, check online and find out that it is a tapestry loom. Since I'm not a tapestry weaver, I sat there for a few minutes trying to figure out what this meant. Hmmmm. Was I supposed to learn how to weave tapestries? I checked out a few sites and it didn't fancy me....but, what did all of this mean? I know!!!! I could sell the loom on Ebay and give the money to Merris! That had to be what this was all about! Cool!!! I drive to Middletown and meet Merris to pick up the loom. She has an Exterra and I have a Honda Civic. She says to me, "I'm not sure if we're going to get it in your car." and I'm thinking to big can this thing be?!?!?!? We open her suv to get it out and I see that the box is open a little and I can see the pegs for the warp. I point to the pegs and say, "Merris, this is a tapestry loom and I'm not 100% that I would use it. I think, if it's okay with you, I'll sell it on Ebay and give you the moolah." Merris looked off to the ground at the tire of her car. I could see she was pondering and she says, "No. Let's give it to the teens!" So I was like "Rock on!" We both go to the same church and they have a youth program there that would knock any ones socks off!!! Perfect! Sounds like a plan! So THAT'S what this was all about! Then the incredible happened. I pull the box out of the car and she points to the back of the car and tells me there are more boxes back there. I'm looking at this box and inside the box and everything is there.....I's a tapestry loom there should be about 4-6 pieces. OH MY GOODNESS!!! There are FOUR tapestry looms!!! That's why she said that she wasn't sure if they would fit in my car!!!!! WOW!!! YE-HA!!! FOUR LOOMS!!!! This is totally cool!!!!! We do somehow manage to get the looms (all four of 'em) into my Honda:) The whole ride home I was ecstatic. Isn't it funny sometimes how things work out? Ahhhhh. I LOVE God!!! He is just the neatest EVER!!! The way the timing worked on everything all made sense and the best part was, these were almost trash and they are going to be used to bless the kids at church. Ahhhhhhhhh....this is cool. I have found out that I'm going to have to ship these looms UPS because of the length of the boxes so, I'll be at the UPS store in Middletown tomorrow. I'll have them listed on Ebay Sunday evening. :) Isn't this fabulous?!?! I learned from all of this that maybe making some goals and plans for the some day Megado one day would be best. There are some other things that have to be taken care of first anyway. As I said at the beginning of this post, I check a series of sites almost daily. I know what's out where and always have my eyes peeled. Monday morning I was running a little late doing chores around the house so, I didn't get to the computer right away. Jeremiah needed me, the dog needed me, the laundry needed me, and I needed coffee. I finally got a chance to sit down around 11 or so to see what was going on in cyberspace. I clicked my email....nothing much there....checked sales......looked at Ebay.........watched items, ahhhh nothing to buy messages........Spinner's Weaver's and Knitter's Housecleaning Pages........................................................ I don't know where the screaming, jumping, clapping, crying tears of joy, cart wheels, jumping on a chair with wheels, and singing came in but, I can tell you it was soon, if not the second I saw a 32 shaft Louet Megado for sale! It was like God said, "This is the one I knew you wanted so, there ya go!" I have never seen one on there......not a Megado!!!! THE one!!!! I quickly emailed the lady who had it for sale. Do you know what she told me?!?!!?! She said that she has not been sure what to do with it for quite some time but, woke up with a feeling that morning that THIS was the day. If I can explain to you the feeling that I have, I would. I'm choking tears back right now! FOLKS!!!!!!! IT IS STILL IN THE BOX!!!! I'm crying. The reason I feel the need to share this VERY VERY long story (two days to write here:) is because I never thought that I would have this perfect piece of equipment so quickly! A matter of fact, I don't think it's hit home yet. I'm still in awe. And even though God gave me the desire of my heart, it's not about the's about the fact that God heard me and the peace in my heart is beyond comprehension. I would love God even if He took years to answer my prayer.....He is my life.....but, can you believe how wonderful and good He is?! ;) Please rest assured, God loves us!!! A LOUET!!! A MEGADO!!! AND A GOD THAT BLOWS MY MIND!!!!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Woo Hoo!!!

Well, Diana is working!!! The scarves are done!!! And I have the best story in the world to tell!!! Lynnette, if you are reading this.....that DVD that you sent to me.......oh my.....have I got a story!!! It's taking me a bit to write it all down but, I'll post it shortly:) Oh.....and pictures of the scarves when I twist the fringe:)


Thursday, January 22, 2009

The Problem Update.

This morning I spent some time on the phone trying to resolve the issues with my sweet Diana. We have come to the conclusion that in transportation of the loom (in the back of an suv) some of the mechanical parts came 'un-tweaked'. This puts a big 'AH-HA' on the whole mishap! I am hoping to have the replacement parts by UPS tomorrow so I should be able to finally finish these scarves and start the stars. I also can't wait to see how this loom really works! I have not been 100% satisfied and now am realizing that that unsatisfaction could simply be due to the loom never operating at 100%.

So, my next endeavour is to make some more room in the studio. This means that I will have to see what is going to happen with that 60" Leclerc. I had it on Ebay (for a little too cheap) but, had no bites. Could be the market......could have been the wrong week to list. I think I'll try again when the weather breaks.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

One Sad Gal

Last night I was weaving away and my loom started 'acting up' and finally ka-poot! I quickly looked around to try to figure out what the problem was. Well, some things are bent, and I can't weave. I'm really not a 'KILLER' weaver....I mean, it's not rugs here....I'm quite gentile, in fact. Apparently there are some pieces that need to be replaced now. After some tears I measured and found that I only had 17 more inches to go and I would have these scarves off of the loom 'finally'. I feel like they've been on there forever now and was really looking forward to the next stars project. *Sigh* I do have to say that I have received the most fabulous customer care from the wonderful man I purchased the loom from. I also found out that this particular problem was unique to my loom and they are taking every step they can to fix it as quickly as possible. So, I figured that I would share a picture of the last scarf in charcoal for Winter.
Really, I'm not sad was over as soon as I found out that the problem was fixable:) There is something about looking forward to the next project that makes the current project feel like it's taking so long:) I just can't wait to get to those stars!!!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Up Next

I should have the Organic Leaves Scarves done tonight and I have been working on my next project since I put them on the loom. I really wanted to use Bonnie Inouye's theory on placing a 'picture' on the fabric. (Check out her site, she is an amazing weaver!!!) I used a 3/1 twill to accomplish this pattern by placing a 3/1 twill outside of the pattern and a 1/3 inside. I think I have worked on this pattern for about 2 hours a day trying to get it 'just right'. (I am so thankful for computers.......could you imagine graph paper?) I think I've hit a point where I'm happy with the way it looks. I will be weaving this Star Scarf using 16 shafts so the edges are a little fuzzy but, I think the shape is there enough to get the idea that it is in fact a star. I am also thinking that four scarves would be ideal with this pattern, all on a silver warp with one blue, one purple, one black, and one white.
I love weaving!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Birch Leaves Scarf

Well, I have to say that this one is my favorite so far. The weft is more of an olive than the picture portrays and this one also seems to have a better rhythm than the others so far. The 'watermarks' left by the network twill are fun too.
Please excuse the angle, I was trying to capture the pattern in the light.
As far as the winter scarf, I am thinking that I am going to go with Susan's suggestion....the charcoal. I'm partial to darker colors and this one is really appealing to me. I agree that it will really make the warp 'pop' too. Thank you to everyone for your suggestions.....even my husband.....who picked the taupe, of all things.......maybe to just make me quiet:) Winter is bright and cheery for the first snow fall but, that is basically over the next day (for me anyway) and it becomes the time of year when I can't go for a nice walk.....and have to burn TONS of wood!!!! So.......charcoal it is;)
I'm laughing out loud right now ......charcoal......burning wood.......oh boy, it's late:)

Friday, January 9, 2009

Leaves Scarves Progress

So far, I've woven the Fall scarf and am pretty happy with it. Because I used three different leaves for the warp, there is one area where two of the leaves come together that I'm not 100% happy with. There are some weft threads that are floating a little more than I would like but, all in all I like the colors (even though the camera can't seem to catch them).
I started the second scarf with just the Oak leaf in the treadling. I went with the light green for this one....really I should have gone with the darker green but, I'll use that one next. The green with the copper and gold has a very interesting effect, it really mutes the green.
I keep telling myself that I wanted these scarves to be 'organic' inspired and not to worry about the visual mishaps......but, they are visual mishaps. Pooh! If you take a look at this picture, you can see where two of the leaves in the warp come together....I'm not so sure if I'm into that. they say....sample sample sample, right?
That's okay, I'll just blame it on Jeremiah:)
A boy after his Mama's own heart:)

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Warping with a Paddle

Last night I counted out 308 ends for the Organic Leaves scarves with a paddle. Boy! I think from now on I'll count everything with a paddle!!! I loved it. I've had the paddle for a couple of years filed away in the closet.....I guess I've never really thought that I would need it until now. I couldn't bear the thought of having to tie new knots every end. Once I started and got the hang of it, I was kind of upset when I was was a lot of fun:) I ended up using gold and copper for the warp and am planning on four scarves: Summer, Spring, Fall, and Winter.
Here are some of my initial choices.
Each of the scarves will have a different treadling for the weft. I used three leaf outlines and each season will get a different leaf except for fall which will get all three in the treadling.
The copper and gold are on the far right. Spring will be the light green, summer will be the darker green, fall will be the reddish brown, and I am undecided on Winter but, have selected three that I could work with to the far left.
Here are some of the ends counted out. Very golden honey:)
If anyone has any suggestions for which one for Winter, I'm all ears;)