Sunday, June 22, 2014

Living on Treadle Power

Ahem, my apologies to Eric Clapton right from the get go. But there has been a lot of treadling going on here the last few days, of one sort or another. The treadle riser kit arrived from AVL for Big Sal and you can bet they were installed PDQ.

 What a difference  that little bit of extra height makes! I can sit a wee bit higher over the breast beam and move the stool back just a little too, all improving the ergonomics of weaving on this big loom for me. And since the right leg does all the work in lifting shafts on this loom, better leverage for those throws that have me lifting 8 or more.

For the last bit of weaving on Sal, I decided to go with two strands of 5/2 perle cotton in bright white and quite like the effect.

 I will do this as one long continuous piece. Might end up as towels or a simple runner or even fabric to cut and use in sewing.

 Would be pretty on pillowcases as a little border maybe. I do think the white and pink is quite nice and that's going some since I believe this pink to be one of the crappiest pinks I've ever seen. ;)

The Murphy loom has not been neglected either. I have been doing a little bit on the prayer flag warp each day.

 And remembering why I love this loom so much. I was extremely lucky to have found this one for a first loom. It has been a great student loom and still provides endless joy for all things done on 4 shafts and 6 treadles. It was a birthday present you know. My parents sent some birthday money, Gene kicked in some more to reach the final selling price and then went up to Seattle to fetch it for me. I can still remember how excited I was when he pulled in the driveway on a very cold wet day and we unwrapped the loom and hauled him into the house.

 The seller who was an experienced weaver had done a binder with her young son showing the warping steps in pics that came with the loom along with lots of goodies and a bench to get a new weaver going. Such a kindness.

Now I have bought and sold a number of looms (enjoying and learning from each one along the way), and other than the Murphy (which was purchased back from the buyer 18 months later), have never regretted the sales. But once in a while I do sell something I should have kept. The most recent case in point. I had a wild hair back in April I think and decided I really should move my Schacht Ladybug spinning wheel along. After all I had only been spinning a little here and there and I am a "use it or move it" kind gal. Well, slap me silly if that thing didn't have a buyer within like 5 hours of listing it on Craigslist and good-bye she went. And then the remorse set in. I like having a spinning wheel handy, I like being able to sit down if only for a few minutes a month and simply play with fiber, raw fiber. I missed my spinning wheel. So, the hunt for a replacement. I knew I didn't want another Ladybug. She was a nice spinner and a cute wheel, but Schacht products are pricey, upgrading is pricey and the wheel itself, heavy. Someday I would like a Matchless, but that day isn't here yet. I wanted a wheel with lots of goodies, portable and reasonably priced. In the world of spinning wheels reasonably priced these days is under $800.00 I have yet to figure out why spinning wheels command so much money. There really isn't much to them on the commercial manufactured scale. I ended up with a Lendrum DT,

 the whole nine yards package (fast flyer, bulky flyer, bobbin and head, lazy kate with 3 additional regular bobbins), and got a screaming deal from a new seller on Etsy. The box was opened but the wheel never assembled or used. And it is a nice wheel and we are getting on quite well. I love being able to take him out and spin on the deck.

 Now my proficiency at spinning needs to improve, but for now, me, the Lendrum and some lovely Romney roving are enjoying our mornings together quite nicely.

Parting shots: Sharing a drink.


  1. What a neat spinning wheel! Love that you can take it out on the deck. Maybe throw in some feather down...isn't it nice when the boys and girls share the bird bath. I like to see mine in their together, even Ms. Squirrel knows better than to cause any problems.

    Glad to hear the treadle kit is working. I don't always understand all the terms you use, but I'm beginning to catch on. The two pieces you have in progress are so professional looking! Actually, they remind me of a couple coverlets in my family from way way back, Virginia roots, similar patterns, done in quilts.

  2. Love the draft you used on the AVL, very very pretty...makes me want way more shafts! Glad you found a new spinning wheel.

  3. Now you have taught me something I did not know! Treadle risers! I am short so I have had a problem with reaching the treadle's on my AVL and still sit comfortably. I looked at AVL website but could not find them listed. Where do I look to see about getting some for my loom?

  4. Doesn't it feel wonderful just throwing your shuttle at your loom??? I'm glad your kit provided just what you needed.

  5. Treadle risers! What a clever idea! I didn't know about htem either. The piece is lovely too.

  6. oh boy! a new wheel! And happy you have your risers. I cannot relate but I am happy for you and your birds that you are happy.

  7. You sell too quickly and me probably not quickly enough. :-)

  8. That's the wheel I keep looking at lustfully, too. And then I realize that I don't want to learn to spin. Or do I?
    I really like the white with that pink!

  9. What a fun are getting your head ready for Convergence! (I'm jealous.)

    I too remember when my first loom arrived. It was a Christmas present from my dh. He picked it up on the way home from work. I remember him laying under the loom putting it together after a long day (which may or may not have involved a work Christmas party.) That was Christmas of 1980.

    Love the pink and white overshot...pinks are hard to work with IMO. And so happy to see that you are back weaving prayer flags.