Tag Archives: Macomber loom

Some fun news

Masham fiber that I got from Into the Whirled at Rhinebeck, 2016. Lovely springy fiber!

Lest anyone think that I have been idle all winter, I have not!  I have been alternately messing around in and re-organizing my studio loft area.  I can get so easily sidetracked with all kinds of things, like book binding, embroidery, quilting, and of course, spinning, knitting and weaving, that I can make chaos in a very short amount of time.

Before I retired I knew that one of my very biggest goals in retirement was to get back to my weaving.  I have been fooling around with looms, both simple and multi-harness, since I was about 12 years old.  Nothing fancy and nothing complicated, but always I come back to it.  I learned everything from books, and now that YouTube and online tutorials are so widespread, I have used some of those to get my feet wet again in weaving, but I really wanted to do a more organized and thoughtful study of weave structures, not just fool around with the odd project here and there, to really learn how to design and weave what I want to.

I had met a local weaver a few years ago when I was driving to Bethel, Maine to pick up a buck from my friend Jane, who is also a production weaver.  The local professional weaver, Nancy, was picking up a loom from Jane at the same time, so we caravanned over in a snow storm (what else is new).  At the time I had only spoken to Nancy a little bit, and asked her just in passing if she would be willing to work with me after I retired, and she said, “Sure!”

When I finally got in touch with her last November, we had just heard about the Maine Crafts Association and Maine Arts Commission opening up the application process for grants to artisans wishing to apprentice with a master artist (Maine Craft Apprentice Program).  We talked about it and decided to give it a try.  It was quite a process, but we got the grant application in before the December due date, and then promptly forgot about it with the holidays and the bitter cold weather ushering in the new year.

Waffle weave dish towels, cottolin

When we got the notice in mid-January that we were finalists, I really couldn’t believe it, and a week or so ago we found out that we are one of two master/apprentice groups to receive the grant for 2018!  I am very honored to think that the committee liked our proposal and am very excited to get started!

In the meantime, I finally warped and wove off a set of waffle weave towels that I have been trying to goose onto my Macomber loom for over a year.  I know there is a threading error, but I can’t find it, and I am very happy with the towels, perfect or not!

And so the adventure begins.

Fiber loft working

P1000593The weather over the weekend was pretty grey and nasty.  By the end of the day Sunday the wind had come up and by yesterday morning the air temps were very mild, but the wind was bitter.  We are all watching that big storm as it moves toward us, hopefully not leaving too much snow behind as it comes in tomorrow or Thursday.

P1000591I spent most of the day Sunday up in the “fiber loft.”  Actually got a lot accomplished, more than I thought I would.  But still quite a long way to go.  At least I have a setup that I think will be able to show our yarn and roving product well, should folks stop by the house.  I am going to create another more portable setup for the farmer’s market.  Thankfully that won’t begin until the second Saturday in June, after the annual Maine Fiber Frolic.

Loom under the mess
Loom under the mess

Most of the reason I am working up there is because I can’t get anything accomplished.  I am working on fighting my way to the loom on the far end of the space.  I have a project almost all planned out, and I am itching to get started.  In order to do that I need to find a spot where I can hang my warping board to measure out the warp yarn.  And before that can even happen, I need to sort fleeces (piles of fleece each still in its own sheet, clogging up the floor space) to get them out to be processed into yarn or roving.  It is coming along and hopefully I can spend most of the day this coming Sunday.  After all, I will have natural light pouring in all those lovely windows much later into the day than usual!