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Helen's Back

Before going into the great news about Helen (the loom), I want to remind everyone that I'll be at Appleumpkin in Wyoming NY tomorrow and Sunday. If you're in the Greater Niagara Region, and looking for something to do, come by and visit the Bridgette ni Brian booth right next to the Village Hall.

Helen the Loom
Onward to the good news - Helen's back! For those new to the blog, Helen is one of my two floor looms inherited from my grandma. To follow the story so far, visit these two older posts here and here.

What had started out as a good idea ended up being a not-so-great-idea, and Helen has sat alone for the better part of the past year with a warp waiting to be used while we tried to decide how best to string her up again. Finally, my enterprising younger sister came up with an idea - parachute cord or the interior therewith.

Having cut open the parachute cord, we were able to utilize the interior strands to thread up Helen. As you can see, she's up and working again. She's still a little off balanced, but that is to be expected considering her age (70 plus years), The important element is I can weave on the loom, and produce beautiful fabric.

Current Fabric on Helen
I chose to use the Goose Eye pattern which provides a larger diamond pattern than the Bird's Eye pattern does. The lavender is cotton (also used for the warp) while the white is wool, used only in the weft. I have two other cones of purple cotton I'm going to use as experiments until I decide which one I like the most. The hardest part of all of this is remembering the treadling for the pattern. On my rigid heddle looms, all I do is move the heddle up or down; on Helen there are four shafts which I can move in sets of two at any given time.

Still, despite the frustrations and annoyances, I'm thankful to have my loom back as I have missed weaving on floor looms. I love the simplicity of the rigid heddle, but I also like the old patterns available for four-shaft looms.


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