Monday, 6 June 2011

A seasonal migration of sorts

One of the reasons I chose to rent the house I'm in is the large converted garage a half-level below the rest of the house. With an east-facing sliding door, it's a great space for a loom. There's room to have all my stash and equipment out at the same time and to still be neat. But being in the south-east corner of the house (and the furthest corner from the wood burner), it's cooler than the rest of the house and natural light levels are limited.

While Mr G was here, he pointed out that this house also has a huge, long living room, only half of which was actually being used. The largest vacant space was against a north-facing set of windows which is catching the sun now the light is lower. He suggested the loom would get more use over a longer day there. The only problem was, it was through two sets of doors down a small flight of stairs and it was warped with a half-woven warp. And being a Glimakra, much of the frame is held together by nothing more than gravity and good engineering. And the loom is significantly larger than any of the doors we had available to move it through.

However, in the spirit of experimentation, we measured spaces and checked them twice, then moved the castle and beater to the back of the superstructure, carefully tying all of the heddles, beater and shafts, then lay it on its side. From there we slackened the warp (essential to rotate the castle and base around the doors), carefully rotated the loom castle first then base second, out one sliding door, through the garden to the other end of the house and through another sliding door. A bit of shuffling, and lo: a loom with a view.

It's by the fire, it gets the sun for half the day and it's under down lights for weaving at night. It's going to be a good spot as we come to the shortest day of the year.

I hadn't been sure we'd be able to do it and had been prepared to cut the existing towels off and rethread the warp if anything went wrong, but in the end there was not a single broken warp thread - even the tension was fine.

This warp is the stash-busting warp I put on the lok to balance it while rebuilding it, and to celebrate the move I spent part of Saturday weaving the other 2/3 of it, in the sun. I now have six new tea towels requiring hemming and finishing.


  1. Fantastic. I was hoping you'd move it! So much better than a south-facing garage far from hour fire! And a Loom with a View! Here is one very envious basement weaver...

  2. It's such a lovely view too, all the way up the valley to "Sleeping Beauty", which is the mountain range at the back of Mount Wellington.

    My challenge however, is going to be keeping the clutter away from the loom while still having everything I need about it. I do like a clutter-free living room.

  3. ps: I envy you your basement!

  4. Excellent move but clutter free weaving??

  5. I know Dianne, I live fondly in a dream world!

    I'm still hoping the clutter will mostly stay downstairs where it belongs, but as it's just me and the loom for most of this year I suspect it's going to gather clutter around itself whether I like it or not. And during the times I go away and leave the loom to its own devices, who knows what it's going to get up to!

  6. That sounds like quite a project, that move! Worthwhile, though, and a very atmospheric photograph, to boot.