(A long wait for a large loom Part 1 https://feltingandfiberstudio.com/2020/10/25/a-long-wait-for-a-large-loom/)
The guild both Ann and I belong to had an old 100″ loom at the end of its life. With the greatly appreciated grant assist, we were able to order a new loom that will be much easier for our ageing membership to use. We had our grant request approved so put in our order with Leclerc Looms. We dispersed parts of the old loom, put in a new floor in the classroom and awaited the new looms arrival…..
Unbeknownst to us, other guilds seem to have had the same grant idea! So, the loom that should have been ready for us in a few months, was suddenly delayed, then delayed again. There was a backlog of orders at Leclerc looms for 100-inch looms! Then Covid 19 hit and there seemed to also be a shortage of wood (looking at the packing crates I can believe that!) so 18 months since we placed our order and a couple of grant extensions, our new loom arrived.
Long heavy wooden crates arrived and had to be carried up the stairs (there is a turn in the stairs too) since the 100” loom crates would not fit in the elevator. All the crates and boxes were transported up to the classroom (which is down a long hall from the stairs with a couple more corners just to make it a bit more challenging). That was enough of an accomplishment for the day and a different unboxing date was decided on.
41 – 42 A long way to carry all the heavy boxes up from downstairs
The evening they selected coincided with the day I would be doing the library book exchange, Oct 7th. The guild library during covid has been doing book requests and drive by pick up /drop offs at the side door for our members. It’s a bit more work for the librarians, but it is allowing the members to use the library again. I was finishing with the library and started packing up, as the team of unboxers arrived.
43-45 yes there is candy involved in the library book exchanged!
46- 47 I locked up the library, took the camera and headed for the classroom.
Upstairs in the Classroom, unboxing was already underway! Since we could not all be there to experience the extreme excitement of seeing the 100” loom unboxing I took photos and posted them on our guild face book group page.
48- 51 The Unboxing had begun!
I tried to capture some of the wonder of what is this? Where will this go? Is that a tensioning device for the bobbin rack? OOOH, a counter!!!! What are those extra beams for, are they just deflectors? OOOH, sectional bits and extenders!!!!
That is one big loom!!! In pieces it looks a lot bigger than 100 inches worth!!!
58 – 62 BIG!!!
63 There was ergonomic unboxing while sitting on a chair.
The last long wooden box was the one with the reeds, leash sticks and rods.
64-68 the last wooden crate
You can see the unboxing of the treadles and here is a close up of the treadles.
69-73 that box was the treadles!
You can see the bobbin rack also still wrapped up. This will be a useful addition to the 100 inch since with a sectional beam you will not need as big a team to warp this large loom! I spotted the tension box, a counter and I think a tensioner for the bobbin rack too (COOL! My 60 inch sectional didn’t have one of those!).
74-75 Bobbin rack!!
The loom parts were well packed! The packing crates look like long window boxes!
76-77 well packed
The assembly of this loom will be like a giant 3d jigsaw puzzle! I hope photos will be added as this part is started. This next step might take a number of sessions more to complete. I will check next time I’m in to work on the library to see the progress.
After seeing pictures of the 100-inch loom and the fun that the next assembly project will be, I bet you are glad that felting is just vast quantities of wool, soap, pool noodles, bubble wrap, needles, wire and odd bits of equipment that were not originally intended for felting. (ok, that can take up the same space as the big loom but the wool is lighter to move!!)
Next trip into the guild library to do a book check, pull a couple of magazines and get photos of a couple of reference books, I also went up to see if the 3d puzzle was underway. Yes! It was almost complete!
It looks so shiny and new with its bubble wrap still on the beams! (those extra pieces I wasn’t sure how they would fit turned out to be a rotating breast and cloth beams.) I look forward to seeing if the rotational aspect will improve take up of the cloth or warping the loom.
79-81 the 3D “Kebec II Loom Counter-balance with Pulleys”
The extenders and the sectional parts still need to be added to the back beam but that isn’t too big a job. The bobbin rack is still to be assembled too. But the new loom is almost ready for its first weavers!
82-84 Sectional pices yet to be attached.
85-91Loom close ups
92 – 93 the New loom even makes the Guild’s Grate Wheel look smaller!
Since the new loom is now here, it’s time to start thinking about what exciting things it will be making; Blankets, coverlets, catalogue, curtains, Icelandic blankets?
My hope is that today’s guild members, as they chose a topic, whether it’s a coverlet or blanket or something else to try out the new loom, they look back to the weavers from earlier in the guild’s history. Like these earlier weavers they record their projects and designs, take photos of their weaving so we can get a glimpse of them as well as what they are creating.
Weavers have kept samples binders of there projects with notes on drafts, samples of warp and weft yarn and a sample of the woven cloth. Sometimes there are notes about the designing the project or inspiration that they used. Some have photos of the weaving in progress, finishing, equipment and weavers involved in the project. Sample binders can be a history of a weavers life or inspire other weavers.
We have a few sample binders of previous 90 and 100 inch loom projects in the guild Library. I will show you a few next week. Since these binders are very helpful to weavers; the Spinners, Dyers, Basket makers and Felters may want to make there own versions of sample binders! Have fun and keep felting!
94 The 90” loom Samples 1 May 1973 to 1 May 1974