Archive for July 13th, 2008

The sad monk’s tale

It’s only because I have some need to be “complete” that I’m even going here. Attempting monk’s belt was when I found out that weaving isn’t always a pleasure. It’s not the structure or the look (it looks very old-fashioned and limited and fusty to me, but that’s probably my inexperience and lack of imagination). No, it was The Loom.

Not my loom, mind you. Up to this point everything had been woven on my nice second hand Robinson 4 shaft 24 inch wide table loom, purchased from a lovely lady who learnt weaving for a year back in 1982 or so then carefully stored it on top of a cupboard. (pause for breath after that runaway). My loom, always well behaved, was still occupied with the autumn twill when class restarted, so I hired it’s little sister from the guild – a narrower and (I suspect) younger Robinson 4 shaft.

Had it had a hard life? Did I get something backwards while dressing it? Was it just the standard perversity of the inanimate? I could not get good tension. Every time I tried to tighten enough for a semi-decent shed, pawl and ratchet lost connection. I fiddled, Liz fiddled, other class members fiddled. We tightened screws, added washers, tinkered with everything we could find to tinker with. I persevered for a few miserable centimetres then cut off the warp, put the sample in its plastic sleeve with the class notes, and buried it.

Let us never speak of this again.

On the other hand, it did get me thinking about how much difference the equipment makes. I started looking and asking around…


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