Saturday, February 28, 2015

Wynken, Blynken & Nod

Sailed off in a wooden shoe....and ended up in my barn. W,B and N are actually feral cats that have been released into my tack room for the moment to acclimate. SYNP has a Feral Cat Fixathon several times a year. Feral cats are trapped, spayed and neutered and then released back into their colony or, if they are believed to be tamable or young, they go into foster care. These are probably not tamable but we'll see. As long as they understand where the safe haven and food is, that's all I ask along with mousing my barn and surrounding areas. All the cats are females. Wynken and Blynken are late adolescent grey/brown tabbies (maybe siblings), and Nod is an all black adult female. This group of three met the criteria. They had to be dark colored, and woods savvy. These cats all came from a wilderness area around Bear Creek I believe.  I'll keep you all posted on their progress.

Martha at Thistle Rose Weaving had asked about my old Murphy loom. She had never seen one and I'm not surprised. These counterbalance looms were made in Seattle in the late 40's early 50's by Charley Murphy. It would seem few have traveled out of the Pacific Northwest.They were patterned after the Arthur Allen Folding looms also of this period and maybe a bit earlier. This X looms fold for storage but it does need to rest against something if you do fold it up. The counterbalance shed was improved upon by Mr. Murphy. Instead of using a heavy wood dowel and ropes, he used sprockets and bicycle chains.

 Works perfectly too I might add. It's a simple loom with 4 shafts and 6 treadles and a weaving width of about 42".

 I'm told there may be some that are around 36" and I know of two for sale right now that are 52ish inches. If I had room I would certainly pick another of these gems up. Easy to warp and easy to weave on, the action is light and responsive, the shed excellent, friction brake in back and ratchet and pawl in front. The loom itself a beautiful and very heavy oak and the full length shelf provides plenty of storage.

This was the loom I learned to weave on and other than a brief hiatus away from me a few years ago (WHAT was I thinking??!), will likely be the loom they sell off at the dead weaver's sale.

The Gilmore Gem is seeing some weaving action with these runners in 5/2 mercerized cotton.

 I love these mostly white warps. So pretty and simple, the color stripes can be the star. There is also another warp wound and ready for beaming onto the Murphy, maybe this coming week I'll get it done.

Up in the sewing room, most of the towels have been hemmed. I still have three to do, but I do love this color assortment.

The bright yellow/orange and magenta towel went to live with my folks. The green linen towel also found a nice home. The other two will grace my kitchen. I could probably spend the next year weaving towels and still not have enough to give to all the people I would like to, but we'll try. ;-)

While I was in town last week I passed by one of our wonderful local indie bookstores, Tree House Books, the bookstore that makes me wish I was like 8 again. They had this in the window and I couldn't resist running in and grabbing one for myself.

 He now lives in my weaving studio and makes me smile every early morning when I turn him on while I do things like my blog posts! He's studying weaving drafts, I am sure of it.

There has been a little sewing and a little work on the Macomber, but nothing ready for pics. Next post.

Parting shot: Smoochie and Marigold. Smoochie is the Forrest Gump of the dog world, there is no one and nothing he doesn't like. Life for him is like a box of treats. They are all good.


  1. If only we could all be like Smoochie. I had never seen a Murphy loom. It looks like a wonderful loom to use. I haven't had any response to selling my Cranbrook but I know it takes time to spread the word and find the right person. Hopefully that will be soon.

  2. I never realized the Murphy had bicycle chains - great idea......are they magnets for fiber dust???

  3. Lovely towel colors! We have a cat born feral in our house, Her mother and the kittens lived outside, but were taken by the animal welfare association. She is still a bit anxious, although we have had for three years.

  4. I think I just fell in love with your Murphy loom! Thank you for the details and the wonderful pictures. That shelf that runs the length of the loom is just the best thing I have seen in a long while - awesome. Smoochie is a great guy. Hugs for the herd and especially for Jack.

  5. Oh, I love the runner. And the towels. And the gnome. sigh. I feel like I've been on another planet for the last week, good to be home and back in my fav spot on the couch. Rain on the roof. Happy Birthday tomorrow!

  6. Good on you for taking on those kitties. Your pooches look so content. And I love the towel colours.. orange and turquoise really appeals to me.

  7. Good morning and Happy Birthday! Beautiful towels (the colors are fantastic) and good news about your new mousers. Smoochie is a model for us all.

  8. OMG gnome nightlight. I never thought I could fall in love so fast at my age ;)

  9. Those felines have hit the jackpot! Thank you for giving them a wonderful place to just be CATS! Love the nightlight...that's a keeper!

  10. My friend Laura was an early mentor when I first started weaving and her sole loom is a Murphy which she has sung the praises of loud and long. I have a bit of loom envy.

  11. Sharon, Laura and I have talked Murphy on a few occasions. Sometimes she posts here too. Hope all is fine in her world.

    LA, I don't know if this area is the jackpot, but at least someone will be looking out for them and offering what comfort and love they will accept and mice too. ;-)

    LOTL-My thoughts exactly, and he's all mine!

    Mary, Thank you! Smoochie is a model of love and kindness no matter what the species nor what it might think of him.

    Hilary, Hopefully they will thrive, but there is also the possibility that they will disappear when eventually let out. Thank you on the towels.

    Coco, Thank you and you have been on another planet these past few weeks. Mother of the Bride is no walk in the park with lots to do and what a pretty bride! Thank you for stopping by.

    Martha, As well you should! That old Murphy loom is a fantastic piece of weaving history. Now just so you don't pine away, you do have a couple of great looms yourself and the Murphy for all its pluses does not have a removable breast beam. Threading and sleying are a chore. Extra hugs for Smooch and Jack, of course!

    Charlotte, Why thank you! And what a lucky kitty at your place!

    Louise, The Murphy is a great solid loom and I was oh so lucky to have started on my weaving journey with it. Your lovely Cranbrook will sell I'm sure. Sometimes it takes just the right combo of timing and location. Did you list it on Ravelry? Thank god you aren't closer to me. I do so love to buy and try....