Wednesday, May 11, 2011

New Toys!

I was on pins and needles while I was sitting in the dentist chair early Tuesday morning.  Not because of the dental work that had to be done, but because I was going to get to go to the wonderful weaving group at the Appalachian Arts Crafts Center in Norris Tn.  I had missed two weeks and while I had a great time traveling, it is great to get home and to get back into the regular routine once again.

Another thing I had to look forward to was the endfeed shuttle that Carol said was in "my" bench.  It had come in with a load of weaving articles from a retiring weaver.  I was curious about whether it would match the other shuttle I had purchased just 2 weeks before.  Turns out it is the same size, but it takes a different type of pirn.  I will be able to pick those up a few at a time, maybe even on ebay at a good price.  If not I can still get them from AVL.

I wound a pirn with the linen I have been working with at the center.  I was getting ready to start a new towel and thought I would give it a try.  I did a good job winding the pirn and it really holds a lot, almost a whole towel worth!  I ran into trouble however, because I couldn't get the tensioning screw to do anything.  I ended up using my catching hand to tension, on the left to right pick, and giving a small tug on the right to left pick.  Definitely, not something I want to continue doing, but it did a really good job.  After some research on the AVL site, I found that this shuttle has a screw on the bottom that you can take out and put in the correct tensioning device.  The only thing is I don't have any of the tensioning devices!  I will be calling AVL in the next few days to see if I can purchase these seperately, I wasn't able to find them on the website.

Like I said, I had been gone a couple of weeks, and while I had been away, it seems that there was a lot of cleaning up.  As I approached "my" loom there were a couple of bags, with my name on them, on the bench and under the loom.  One of the bags had egg cartons, nothing new here.  I bring eggs to sell twice a month when the hens are cooperating.
In another bag however was a machine with a motor!  I could not believe my eyes!  It was and electric spinning machine.  (I had just seen one in a magazine and wondered what it would be like to use one!)  It wasn't until I got home however, and pulled it out of the bag, that I realized that it was a Clemes and Clemes, Electric Spinner.  The speed is highly adjustable, and it took me only  a couple of minutes to figure out how it works.  I oiled it like the instructions indicated, and started to spin.

I had pulled out my demo/teaching roving, and I could get it to spin, but it didn't seem to want to load onto the bobbin.  I realized that, I needed to adjust the drive band so that there was a loop around the bobbin as well.  I had never tried this kind of tensioning device before, but I found it pretty straight forward.

You can adjust the tension on the drive band by a wing nut located on the right hand side of the motor.  The speed is adjusted by a dial in the center.  It took a few minutes to figure out what speed I needed to use to spin my usual, but in the end, I figured it out.

Only one bobbin came with the Spinner,(there should be three) and I don't know if the Spinner came with the retiring weavers stash or if it was found during the clean up, so I will snoop around next week to see if I can find a stray Clemes and Clemes bobbin or two.  You just never know.
Since I had only the one bobbin, I decided to Andean Ply my small sample skein.  There are tutorials on Youtube on how best to wrap your hand, my only suggestion is to wrap loosely, or your finger will turn purple, don't ask.

Here it is my first sample skein on the electric winder.  A little rougher than ususal perhaps, but still for a first, I think it is passable.

An  interesting thing about the electric spinner is that, unlike the traditional wheel or spindle, it only goes in the direction you choose it to go in.  It might be a good teaching tool.  The new spinner could concentrate on just drafting for awhile, and then on treadling for awhile and then combine the two.  Just a thought.

There was still one more bag under "my" loom, with my name on it.  This bag contained about 4 lbs. of line flax!  You know those long thin flax fibers that you spin into linen!  I had just been thinking about finding a source for flax so that I could spin some singles and weave off some linen cloth to sell, in the form of towels, or possible the reenactors might be interested in some homespun and handwoven linen cloth.

I also went by and looked at some treadle sewing machines.  I think there were 20 there.  I did not get one, but as soon as my knitting machine sells I will get back in touch with the owner, and if she has any left, I will choose one then.

It was a day of surprises,  it was fun being back with the gang, and it was also fun finding so many cool things around my loom, I will try to get an idea next week of where it all came from.  

I am off to the garden this morning, we got the tomatoes in yesterday.  It has been so wet that my neighbor has not been able to get the garden disked for the second time.  We were thrilled to see Monday evening when we came home, that it was a blank page just waiting for us to get busy.  Today I will put in the first patch of corn, and put the herbs in that I got a couple of days ago.

That is it for now, until next time, Happy Weaving, Spinning, and Gardening, Tina


  1. Your loom bench collects a lot of good STUFF!!! Hey, I want to look at the knitting it the one you had here that we made blanks on???

  2. Yes it is the very same knitting machine.

  3. Sounds like you had Christmas early this year.

  4. Oh what fun!! New toys are always nice!