A Fool for Tools

I have been worrying about a teaching trip to Denver.  I have been teaching at quite a few Guilds and Conferences, but other than a lecture class in Long Beach, I have driven every time which has allowed me to TAKE EVERYTHING!  If I bring my desired load of samples/tools/yarns/projector/bobbin winders/weights I fill my little hatchback to capacity – no passengers – barely room for coffee.  So in preparing for my Denver workshop (wish I had the time/weather to drive) I have had to mail my samples and weft yarns and notebooks. Because I supply warps for many of my classes, I have a pretty awesome yarn selection and love to give my students access to the full array for their weft choices.  I had estimated that each student needed about 700 yds of each of their weft colors to weave their entire five yarn warp, and was trying to figure out how NOT to send 50 lbs of coned yarn to Denver when I came across this fab tool on Etsy.

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https://www.etsy.com/shop/MagicalMoons It is two disks that allow me to adapt my electric bobbin winder to wind off small cones for the workshop. IMG_1991Thus making it possible to only send 25 lbs of yarn . . . And making use of my BAGS of empty cones.

Another tool that I am loving lately are my reed holders.  I use them to pre-sley my warps comfortably at the table. This style has pegs to hold your lease sticks in place as you sley.IMG_1993I usually hold 2 in hand while winding and figure my presley to be able to pull loops through the reed so I can slide them right onto the tie-on rod.  For a narrow warp I don’t worry about transferring the reed/warp/lease sticks to the loom, but for wider warps I am cautious and attach a safety string to make sure my loops don’t fall off during the move to loom.  IMG_1997

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I think I mentioned the “Angel Wings” by Purrington Looms in a previous post, but I have to include them here as well because there has been quite a stir on Weavetech about their relative usefulness. Like so many things in weaving, it comes down to one’s own set up and idiosyncratic preferences, but I love them for my Schacht floor loom.  They offer an extra set of hands when I am moving my pre-sleyed warp from table to loom, and are better by far (IMHO) than the previously used loops dangling from the castle (which can also be seen in this picture).Fool for tools3

People have said that they hold the lease sticks too far back to thread from, but I don’t find that to be true for me (long arms?) or this loom. I also tend to remove the lease sticks during weaving. I don’t weave with such fine threads that finding a broken end is impossible without them.

Also “note” the notebook clips attached to the castle.  Madelyn van der Hoogt introduced me to this useful tool.  When weaving with two shuttles (they have to be open bottom) you can hang the passive shuttle on the notebook clip which keeps the passive weft in a position for you to easily catch it with your active weft making it easy and fast to carry. They are also good for hanging a draft/storing a reed hook and hanging (big handled) scissors! I also need to plug my favorite of all time pin cushion which fits dreamily into my castle and was sewn with godly precision by Suzanne Pelto.

And finally a product suggested to me by fellow tech editor (and new Weaving Editor) Sarah Jackson, Taylor Fray Block.  I use it all the time, and it really does dry clear and fairly flexi.  I used it here to secure the little bindings on the fringe.  Even though I use a technique (from rug finishing) for pulling the ends back under the wrapping, I find that they still need a little help to stay put, and this works great.

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In other non-tool news, I got a surprise in the mail last week.  The newly revised version of “The Art of Weaving” by Else Regensteiner with an afterward by Marjie Thompson.

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I have had my old copy since I started weaving 20ish years ago, and was so happy to see this fresh, new version . . . . particularly because  . . . I’m in it . . . or better still . . . my weaving is:))

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And in actual weaving news, I am having a ball working on drafts/samples for my Moving Threads Class for NEWS this summer.  The threads are moving!!

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4 thoughts on “A Fool for Tools

  1. Hey Lisa, thanks for the heads up on the new edition of The Art of Weaving. I just put in a request for it as a Mother’s Day gift 😉

    Love Fray Block. I use it instead of glue when cutting of a sample and have woven a tie rod into the web to tie on again. Dries faster than white glue, so I can get on with things. Because we all know that weaving is such a speedy endeavor. (Ha!)

    Happy first day of spring!

    • Hey Valerie, Thanks for the tip – never thought of that application! As you say, a great tip for adding “speed” to one’s weaving . . . I’m in Denver supposedly working, but having a wonderful time with some intimidatingly amazing weavers . . . hmmmm sounds familiar to another March . . .

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