moving forward, one cord at a time

The studio was glorious this weekend, filled with air and light. Other than a brief appearance at a friend’s gathering on Saturday, I kept company with my cats and my loom all weekend. I am patiently upgrading Per, my newly found but venerable Glimakra loom, to include a countermarch and all new Texsolv cords and heddles. I started at the top of the loom with the countermarch itself, and am working my way down. This weekend, I put on new beam cords and heddles, and started to put a warp on the loom.

Beaming a warp has never been one of my favorite steps in weaving.  A lot can go wrong, especially when working alone. I have good intentions of building a warping ‘valet’ or ‘trapeze’ but I didn’t feel like going in to town this weekend to pick up the necessary lumber. However, I realized that I could use weights on the bouts of warp and could expect better results than the crank, yank and cross your fingers method that I have been using.

What to use for weights? I drink water, so I didn’t have any stray milk or juice containers in my recycling bin. I could use rocks, because this part of New England is famous for its rocky soil, and I had dug up plenty of them when preparing the flower garden last month. Rocks need to be washed, weighed and bagged, and that seems like a lot of work. What to use?  Back to the fact that I drink water.  I have collapsible water bottles in my camping gear. I have a pair of one liter bottles for the seltzer maker. All told, I was able to round up enough bottles to put 2.5 kg. of weight on each of the two bouts of warp.

That has to be the smoothest warp I have ever beamed on. It’s neatly packed with sticks, and for once in my life, I finally have enough sticks to do the job right.

With this loom, taking my time and doing things right feels natural and good. I want to understand each cord and know its purpose. I am determined to have each cord in a set be the same length, so that I can know that they are in balance. With the right tools and the right skills, there is nothing to dread about any step of weaving.

It is worth every careful step, because I am home and I have the loom of my dreams.



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