The Weaver's Dance

On a loom that whispers, with shuttles that fly
And bobbins that chatter as the hours go by
I'll not lay in one thread of mere chance
As I work in the motion of the weaver's dance.

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Time with Baba... or....How to get all wound up without really trying!

It's a crossroads in the studio right now as I find myself with 4 looms....count them....FOUR LOOMS...are down. I call it down because if I was a loom, I would want to be holding lots of yummy warp and having my weaver just weaving away to make some lovely cloth on me. To me, there is nothing so sad as an empty loom...forlorn almost... thus, down.
But, as you can see by this huge photo, I'm about to change all that! I've never talked about Baba, because my husband, Jim Hokett of Hokett Would Work, made Baba for me and he didn't not ever want to make another one! He made it because I needed a much larger warping reel to handle the large warps that I was wanting to make and his regular size warping reel just could not handle the job!

Just to share what the regular one looks like, here's Baby, my ebonized warping made by the talented Mr. Hokett and use for years for all of my warps since 2004. I also use Baby to demonstrate my little "Life of a Thread" show-and-tell lecture of how a warping reel works and how weavers keep control of so much yardage....this is a question I am very often asked!

I don't have a photo of Baby with warp being measured, but I will change that very soon. Baby is being used a LOT of late, and I can't believe I keep forgetting to take a photo of it all 'dressed' up!

Here's the Mini reel and, to get a purrrrrrrrrspective on the size of Baba see below!

This is only 60 yards on Baba in this photo. I usually measure out 70+ yards for my Desert Daze, but I could not get that 7th color that I wanted, so I finally gave up and went with the 8 colors.

You see how much taller Baba is than me, so I have to look over my glasses during the winding of the top 5 or 6 rounds....must be very careful here or I can get off track and have to UNwind (which is nooooo fun!) to get to the error and then go again.

Though I had thought that the Mini reel would be handy for just one or two scarves or warp for an inkle loom or card weaving warp, here's a photo of the Mini in use by one of Jim's customers...7 yards I think!!!
Isn't it just aborrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrable? Well.....I think so......I guess you have to be a weaver, huh?

One thing I want to mention as a way of sharing tricks of the trade.... notice on Baby, that I have a tube of white 'guide string' on there?  Well, I leave that one there all the time, and just measure out what I need as I go. To set that string up, I measured out each yard and marked the string all the way around with a Sharpie. Every 10th yard, I put a itty bitty tag with masking tape that is written the yardage mark....then I just spool off what I need to the appropriate mark and stick the tube onto the peg just beyond the peg that's needed to measure the accurate amount.

I have the same set-up for Baba....I reeeeeeeeeeeeally need it on Baba.....when you have to find that yardage marker and it 47 yardage, this trick sure is handy and a real (pardon the pun....reel) time saver! It takes awhile for the set-up, but then it's done. I use carpet warp for my guide string, so it's lasted literally years!

I know it's been a long while since I posted, but I have had my third event with sciatica. After weeks of horrid pain, I'm back to almost totally well. I still have to be careful how I move and how I sit, but my stride is back to normal and I've done something that might make it not happen always seemed to come on after weaving at one particular loom while sitting on one particular bench, so I asked my honey to cut the legs on that bench shorter by 1.75" and then...


Wish me well, wish me luck as a show is coming up and I hope I'm 'mended' enough. I'm trying to prepare for that show, have several irons in the fire and am trying to keep that fire burning, too! Until next time (not so long, I hope) I'm sending out happy thoughts of care and good wishes and...
Miles and Miles of Smiles, Cat B.