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Thinking about buying a loom...advice please?

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1 Thinking about buying a loom...advice please? on Sun Feb 02, 2014 6:55 pm

Schipperkesue

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I am going to have a lot of lovely Shetland wool here pretty soon, and I neither knit nor crochet. If I buy a loom and take up weaving, what should I know before I purchase? Size, make, problems I should look for in a used loom...please help me out!

Magdelan

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I have some experience but limited. You want to buy for what you intend to do produce. A large loom will give you the opportunity to make both big and small things. I focused on weaving rugs and I wanted a fairly heavy duty result so you need a fairly heavy duty loom to handle the work. I only did tabby which is the most basic weave you can do, one up one down. I am sure there are others who would have a lot more to offer, weaving has many dimensions. My experience led me to find that a counter marche design of loom was the best for for my purposes because it gave the deepest shed (the gap where you pass the wool through from left to right and right to left) and made it easier for getting a fast rhythm going (just like sewing, I like to weave fast, instant gratification I guess, patience is a learning for me). The width of the front bench/beam is important to take in to account because you can't weave any wider than that width, unless you learn how to do a technique where you can weave double width where there is a fold on one edge. Crikey, looms can come fairly fancy these days with computers attached for special weaves and patterns. I would start by thinking about the product you plan to create and then search for the loom you want.

Do you sell your fleeces? You could open a shop on etsy and sell there.

Schipperkesue

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I love the fleece so much I don't want to share! I would like to weave shawls. Plain shawls. Probably natural wool colors, basic weaving...in, out.

I have looked at the sizes of these things. I think that narrower result means a smaller more manageable loom. Not much room in this tiny house so a small look may be all I can have here.

islandgal99

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I want to follow along and see what Sue learns... Smile I too will have an abundance of sheeps wool..  cheers 

http://www.matadorfarm.ca

uno

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Forget the loom. Hook saddle pads with raw wool, through a burlap base. One of those will cure you forever of wanting to play with wool! You will sell the sheep, sell the loom, sell the farm and move into a 500 sq ft apartment at the top of a high rise.

I made one. NEVER again!

Schipperkesue

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That Uno...always so encouraging!

Uno, do you have pictures? Did HD use it? Was she riding high like the princess and the pea?

Magdelan

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Oh you are going to have a lot of fun. I understand the stash thing, same for fabric. If you store it well skirted in not damp places you will find they can last years and years. Do I remember you have a friend who is going to spin for you? I have to go, watch movie with family. will stay tuned :-).

I made one of these once, a "v" shawl.
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I always thought one of these would be cool too, not a big loom at all.
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appway

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So will you spin your wool  before you loom it or do you send it out to spin
is this what you are talking about Sue

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Last edited by appway on Sun Feb 02, 2014 10:20 pm; edited 1 time in total

Schipperkesue

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Yes! To the V shawl.  No! To the triangle loom.  V shawl cool!  Triangle loom too slow!  I too have the need for speed!

Echo 1

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Uno, I made one of those too and didn't find it so bad. Loved how soft me hands were from the lanolin in the raw wool.I do admit it was tedious VERY tedious.

Schipperkesue

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Thank you, Joe. That will be a good read for me!

There are a few looms for sale on Kijiji near by. I don't spin and I am not sure if I want to take that on right now. I believe there is a mill to the south of me where I can take my wool for processing.

This year I did a trade with LynnA nearby. I gave her the two white fleeces and and in trade she is spinning the brown and the black for me! It sure is an arduous process.

uno

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Daughter has not used the pad yet. She claims the horses are too stinky and dirty and wants to try the pad after they have Spring baths and hair is shed out. Having smelled her saddle pads, they do indeed get gamey smelling. I cannot imagine what this item will weigh when it's wet! I think I made it way too dense. Better to keep it clean and not have to wash it. It's very squishy and soft!

Sue..you ambitious girl! Remember, I made my own loom once out of a square of wood and nails and wove, yes, the famous dog hair place mats. Yum. I used to have a spinning wheel too. Never did catch onto it, but my mother in law could work magic on that thing! You go girl!

Cathyjk

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This probably won't help you much, but it depends on what you are going to do.

Basically three types of looms jack, countermarch, and counterbalance looms.

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I have a Jack loom, because I wanted to do lace and that requires the shafts all operate independent of each other. I bought it used - you have to watch for warped pieces, broken pieces.

Also, wool takes a fair bit of experience to weave with because it stretches making tension harder to keep.

If you really are interested, go and take the intro to Weaving course at Olds during Fibre Week.

Then you can try some different bits and pieces and find out what will work best.

It's a pretty big investment, so maybe trying out a few looms might be the way to go.

Also, most of the weaving guilds, once you join, have looms you can borrow or rent to try out before making the commitment.

Schipperkesue

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That does help Cathy, and will narrow down my decisions.

I am aware of the prices of these things and I am weighing the costs and benefits of such a purchase!

Fowler

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You're not going to weave dog fur placemats are you? I think Uno already tried that.

Magdelan

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Hey Sue, was out in car all day today (hunting for sewing machines :-) and thinking about your looming plans. Glad Cathyjk said what she did. I was going to say look for warping in the loom if it is second hand and see if it is square and solid/sound. If not firm in its foundations look to see if it can be tightened - you don't want any play in the basic frame. If some pieces are warped it is not necessarily bad but you don't want the loom to be skewed and any moving pieces, if they are warped they might knock each other when they move past each other which is simply frustrating and impedes the whole process. I have seen some lovely looking looms for sale but not been looking recently. I look for countermarche always for that deep shed and I like working on a big loom because it somehow gives a nicer working process, no matter how big the piece you are working on is. I also like an over slung beater which is one that pivots from the frame above you rather from pins near the floor. Seems to make for smoother runnings somehow but can't quite say why. Maybe it is just the loom I became familiar with.

Also, thinking about the triangular frame. A woman I once worked for who had a cottage industry of woven silk lined sweaters (exported them to Japan mostly and sold within NZ). She had about 11 weavers working for her at one point. Anyway, she also had one of those triangular frames and sold lots of those. She said they were extra quick and she used mohair so that the density of the weave was fairly loose. I suspect that they might be quicker than the v shawl but I did not make a triangular one so can't say.

Maybe there is someone in your area who would loan you a loom so you can see if you like it. Do they have Spinners and Weavers Guilds in this country? I have not looked but in NZ there are quite a few and like with chickens, people usually know who has what in their coop  Laughing . Maybe someone has a loom that could be loaned for a while, you might have to swear on pain of death that you will treat it like your sewing machines :-).

Cathyjk

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Schipperkesue wrote:That does help Cathy, and will narrow down my decisions.

I am aware of the prices of these things and I am weighing the costs and benefits of such a purchase!

Hey, I have a table loom, if you want to try one out, you are more than welcome to borrow it.
easy to lug around and gives you an idea of using wool.

It looks like this one

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I have to go check, not 100 percent sure it's a Leclerc... 4 shafts though... works like a charm Smile

Also, link to some of the guilds, national and provincial

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Schipperkesue

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Whoa, Cathy! That is a really generous offer! What if I break it? O_o

Cathyjk

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Schipperkesue wrote:Whoa, Cathy!  That is a really generous offer!  What if I break it?  O_o

I seriously doubt that would happen, you would have to fling it across the room.
They aren't THAT delicate Smile

And if it broke, it would be an accident.. you wouldn't do something malicious on purpose. Stuff happens sometimes. It's just stuff; not like breaking something alive

Schipperkesue

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Well, then, I would love to try it! Is there an instruction booklet attached?  Shocked 

Cathyjk

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Schipperkesue wrote:Well, then, I would love to try it!  Is there an instruction booklet attached?   Shocked 

I have a bunch of weaving books... not as good as going to a class, but still helpful. And I bet we can find the LeClerc instructions online somewhere  Very Happy 

Will find a chunk of them and any handouts I had from the class I took and helped instruct (was more of a helper than anything else).
The other thing is of course youtube... there will be loads of examples I bet

All good.

I'm very excited for you to try this out!!

Schipperkesue

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Wow! I am gobsmacked! Thank-you so much, Cathy!

Maybe Doug and I need to come to visit Radium hot springs this spring break.....

Cathyjk

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Schipperkesue wrote:Wow!  I am gobsmacked!  Thank-you so much, Cathy!

Maybe Doug and I need to come to visit Radium hot springs this spring break.....

THAT would be brilliant!  Very Happy 

Magdelan

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Sue just found this and thought of you:

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Schipperkesue

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That looks like a GOOD deal!

So, here is the wool that LynnA hand spun for me. Black on the left from a young ram, brown on the right from a year old girl. It is Shetland wool and it is really soft. LynnA is amazing!

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