Tag Archives: yarn

Yarn Cake Winder

Sometimes called a ball winder, it is used to wind yarn into a cake.  A cake of yarn is a roll with two flat sides.  This will hold its shape and remain upright as the yarn is effortlessly removed from the centre of the cake.  This winder came with the last loom that I picked up.  It has a small pigtail wire for a yarn guide.  One of these days I will have to try it out and post a video.


And this is how they work in connection with a swift…


Yarn Storage

…is always a monster with which to deal.  The more you weave, the more yarn you need, or at least seem to accumulate!  Yesterday we got up a stairway to the storage area located above our weaving shop.  It was a long and hard day to get the landing built and stairs put up.  But this will make access to our yarn stored above the shop much easier!


Sorting Threads And Yarns

Cotton – Orlon – Linen

Last night I sorted all threads, yarns, and cloth that I had received with the two looms I purchased last winter/spring.  Better aware of what these are I disposed of lesser quality products.  I was quite happy that I had as many warp threads as I do.  There is a preponderance of cotton.  There are a few spools of orlon, and four of linen.  Most of the coloured thread is cotton, with some wool and synthetics.  I have a good amount of waft wool from Holland.  The cotton spools will be good for me to practise on this winter before I move into wool.  Again, quite a haul of free materials; it seems that when people want to get out of weaving, they are happy to get rid of everything.  Which can be good fortune for those who are buying used looms


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Fuchsia, Purple, And Scarlet: Turning Inward

manitoba_weavers_guildOn Thursday I went to my first weaver’s guild meeting; 6 hours down and 6 hours back.  It was worth it.  I had a blast! :)  What a great group of people.  There’s a loaning library there…I was guided to a DVD entitled, You Have To Be Warped, by CD Weaver (…sounds like me!).  I can’t wait to watch it.  After the business part of the meeting we were paired up – two people per warping board – and given a surprise colour of thread.  We were to match it to two other colours, loading a warping board with the pattern in preparation for making a scarf with the following requirements: 115″ long, 126 ends for a 7″ wide scarf @ 18 ends/inch for plain weave – OR – 115″ long, 168 ends for a 7″ wide scarf @ 24 ends/inch for twill weave.

To go with the fuschia coloured yarn we had been assigned we chose a darker purple as well as scarlet.  They were all beautiful colours.  Some may think it odd that I as a man would appreciate colour, but not only does colour move me, it makes me feel fully alive.  I live in the outdoors as much as possible and colour is everywhere!  To participate in anything outdoors without noticing and being moved by colour is like sitting down to eat without savouring the aroma of the meal beforehand or appreciating the manner in which it is presented!  I personally do gravitate more toward subdued natural colour schemes, but there is nothing like walking through the bush – grey, white, green, brown – and then catching sight of the red crest on a pileated woodpecker.  Stunning!  Yesterday on the way home I skirted Lake Manitoba’s north basin.  The stunning blue of the water/sky juxtaposed with the shore grasses just leapt right out at me…made me slow down and grin!


I had obtained a homemade warping board with one of my looms so my partner loaded her’s first since I could work on mine later, after the meeting.  She chose to divided 126 ends by 3, ending up with three warps of equal width…42 each.  She wanted to experiment with various weft colours and their effects on her warp.  Winding the warp was new to both of us.  It felt wooden at first, but as time went on for my partner it came faster and more naturally.

Being new to this we took more time than others and I was left with what I thought would be too short an amount of time for me to finish winding my own warp.  So I helped others pack up and thought to myself that I’d load my board the next morning at my mentor’s house before she was to show me how to load the warp onto the loom.

But I got to a friend’s house later that night where I was staying and after a visit I went to bed but could not sleep with all the excitement of the evening running through my head, so I got up and loaded the warp.  It took about a half hour.  This is how it looked the next morning when I brought it with me in anticipation of setting up the loom…


…my real outdoor work for the year is over.  It’s time to turn my attention to fibre and weaving once again.

Spinning Wheel & Supplies

When buying the Leclerq Fanny weaving loom a few weeks ago I was asked if I wanted to buy a spinning wheel as well?  I said yes. There was not enough room in the car to bring back the loom and the wheel and supplies.  Today the wheel and supplies arrived…


I emptied the boxes, spread them out across the lawn and aired them thoroughly…


…I sorted, and repacked them…





…I was really impressed with the volume, quality, and care which the previous owner had given her belongings.  I also received a wonderful addition to the books that I have already acquired (top 2/3 of the pile is new)…


…I feel like I won the lotto without even playing!  The supplies were all for free… :)

Spooling Rack

This spooling rack came with the loom.  Holes along the uprights allow for rods to be inserted and spools held while loading a warping rack.  It needs a light sanding and light refinishing, which I will accomplish this morning.  It’s in good shape.


Weaving Accessories

This loom came with a couple of boxes of supplies…


Today I brought in the supplies that came with the loom. Noticing signs of mice when I first picked them up I unloaded the boxes and cleaned them outdoors, transferring the good contents to a new box.  Some unprotected spools were too far damaged to be of any use now…


Other spools were slightly damaged…


…and could be salvaged once the damaged thread had been removed… DSC00003

The boat shuttle had been broken but was repaired, but poorly so.  I removed the bobbed glue and sanded it… DSC00004

…then I finished it with boiled linseed oil…


I also sanded and treated all shuttles – boat shuttle (bottom right), rag shuttle (centre left), and stick shuttles (top)…


I also had to clean up the warp hook which was slightly corroded…


…and then I placed them all in a shallow storage container – thread, bobbins, bobbin winder, shuttles, rags, and warp chains…


shirli's sunset

Loom Transport And Accessories

It wasn’t a complicated trip.  I wanted to disassemble this machine and haul it in pieces but the seller seemed to be in a rush.  They knew nothing about the loom and I actually got the feeling like this was just a quick turn-around sale because after it was loaded and I started to inquire about its past they knew nothing about the loom or its history.  Sad.  Just another reflection of the depths of our alienation from one another.  Professionalism becomes a shoddy substitute for genuine community. So I finished loading and drove slowly home in a high wind with snow that sometimes limited visibility to a couple hundred yards.


There were a couple of boxes that came along with the loom, and one sort of rack that is rather unusual that I will have to find out what it is.  Today I plan to sort the material and store it in a dedicated shallow storage container, and hopefully get around to bringing the loom inside piece by piece for evaluation and to start refinishing it…