Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Macomber Update

Thanks to Melodi Hackett of Maine and everyone on the yahoogroups weaving email list who answered my questions in the previous post!

The large silver thing in the first photo indeed is used with the black handle. It's used to push down a lamm while you are setting the tie-up. The smaller of the pins (in the photo with the silver bar) is used to hook the black handle in the down position so that you can use both hands for the tie-up process. Here's what it looks like:

I'm told the same shorter pins are also used in the old lamms for tie-up. My loom must be the newer version because there are no holes in them to insert the shorter pins.

The spring-string-chain found at the back of the loom near the warp beam is to act as a brake when the ratchet system is released for advancing the warp. Without it, the warp beam will spin like the dickens once tension is released. I'm really glad I found out about this before starting my first project.

The first project is in progress! I measured out the warp and have it sleyed in the reed. I spent time last night moving the heddles and will finish dressing the loom today. I'm going to take a stab at that reversible rag rug in the latest Handwoven magazine. It only requires 4 harnesses in a straight draw but the simplicity will allow me to become familiar with this new loom. I can tackle an 8 harness project next time!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Macomber Mysteries

A week ago I bought my dream loom. It's a 45" Macomber 16 harness frame with 8 harnesses. The perfect width (not too big, not too narrow). The perfect number of harnesses. And room to expand should I outgrow 8.

Unfortunately, Macomber doesn't have much in the way of documentation. I have the catalogs the original owner received. And lovely catalogs they are! Someone spent a lot of time and energy creating such beautiful marketing literature. I, and probably many other Macomber owners, wish they had put the same energy into providing supporting documentation. So far, I haven't even found someone with a mechanical assembly drawing.

So I come to the community of Macomber owners with some questions. I am fairly mechanically inclined and can figure out most things on my own. I also have some experience with looms (I own 5 not counting the Mac - 2 tables, a floor, and 2 rigid heddles). Sometimes, stuff just plain stumps you.

First, what are these parts?

Macomber parts

The middle piece is used to connect the treadle to a shaft. I figured that one out because the previous owner left one still attached. I have lots of those which I assume you need to be able to set up complicated tie-ups. But I haven't a clue about the smaller wire-like piece. There are exactly 10 of those. Coincidentally, the loom has 10 treadles.

Next, what does this lever do?
black lever black lever with silver piece

The photos were taken from the back of loom. I think the black lever is used in conjuction with the big silver hunk of metal in the first picture. Threading the black handle into the slot and lining it up over part of the jack mechanism makes it possible to push down on a single shaft from the front of the loom. Is that how this is to be used? Why would you use something like that?

Last question: what is this for? And where should it be attached?

close up of spring, string, and chain spring, string, and chain in natural position

It hangs off the back beam near the warp beam. It consists of a small spring, some thin rope, and a chain at the end. I know it's not the warp beam brake because there's a ratchet contraption on the other end of the warp beam.

I hope someone can help!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

The Curve Balls of Life

It seems people are always asking me what I've been doing and it seems like I never really have an answer. But I must have been busy with something because I never seem to have time to do the stuff *I* want to do.

This past weekend is a good example of doing things I hadn't planned. Last Friday I was in the kitchen when I heard a crash. It wasn't ....CRASH.... It was more like ....crash, tumble, clink, crash, clink, clink..... Looking around I found the shelves in the pantry had simply given up.

Sigh.... although I've been meaning to reorganize the pantry, I really would have preferred to spend the weekend doing something else. But sometimes life hands you a curve ball. So Saturday the kids and I (remember, dh got on a plane that day so he could visit the Queen) spent time driving around looking at various shelving options. We finally found something that would fit as well as maximize the space. After a few days of reorganizing, we now have this:

Maybe this weekend I'll get to play with the new Bamboo yarn that arrived on Monday. I'm itching to do some painted warps.

Monday, October 15, 2007

JoJo isn't happy

And when JoJo isn't happy, she let's you know. Meet JoJo


So why is she upset? My guess is that she's mad that Ken is gone. He left for London on Saturday. That night JoJo slept with dd instead of at the foot of our bed like she usually does. Last night (Sunday) she went to bed with dd but came out after dd fell asleep and was hanging out with me and Luke (our other cat) downstairs. After awhile I hard a commotion in the downstairs bath and went to investigate.

This is what I found...

She pulled the roll out of the cabinet under the sink, took off the paper cover and proceeded to shred it. She used to shred rolls that were on the tp holder a lot when she was younger; we think she was mad that we left her alone all day.

And to show that she does miss Ken, she went back into dd's room and slept with her again last night. She'd better learn to deal with it - he doesn't come back for a few more days.