when an idea that seems fixed
is suddenly turned on its head?
This happened to me just a few weeks ago
and I'm beside myself with delight.
since about 2003
when I first began to work
on my book Kids Weaving.
There, we used these looms
to weave inkle shoelaces, blankets,
scarves, bags, a tapestry dog collar,
and even knotted pile.
but it does have some serious advantages:
-- simple to make with readily available hardware store materials.
--easy to assemble (and disassemble),
--an adaptable design,
-- inexpensive (esp compared with almost any other loom on the market)
--homely (everything you weave will look better than your loom)
--portable (you can weave almost anywhere)
-October 2015: PVC Pipe Loom
-January 2016: Four Selvedge Tutorial
-February 2016: Long Warp/ Short Loom (continuous warping)
They are also an important component of Fringeless,
(the Four Selvedge class with Rebecca Mezoff),
and I use them regularly in my work.
and in all these places,
I've put the floating tension bar
at the bottom of the loom.
Then Judy Smith,
who chose to build a PVC loom for the Fringeless Class,
put her tension bar at the TOP!
Judy shared a photo on the Fringeless private facebook group
and though I am not on facebook,
Rebecca thought I should see the fabulous work Judy had done.
She (Rebecca), thought she was showing me tapestry,
little knowing that I would get double the pleasure
when I also caught a glimpse
of the configuration of Judy's loom.
Of course I promptly had to try it --
and the reality was even better than I imagined.
as the floating bar does not have to be
held in position with tape
while the warp is put on
(as shown in the third drawing at the top of this post).
It simply hangs in position
while the warp is wound on.
the weaving area is several inches lower
so considerably easier on a weaver's back.
Also, the tension straps are out of the way
leaving more room to work.
but happily Judy gave me permission to share her thoughts,
and here is what she has to say:
Love my pvc loom. I think I set it up that way because I was used to the top bar being tensioned when I did Navajo style weaving. A little more about that loom: most of the loom is made of the heavier pvc (#40 something) 1” size. It is all lined with the thickest wooden dowels that will fit inside in an effort to prevent bending. The “tension bar” is a 1 1/4” dowel. That will not bend. That bar just happened to fit into a slightly different pvc (must have been 1 1/4”) that both held the sturdy wooden bar and slid on the 1” pvc side bars.
Love the fringeless technique. Being used to Navajo weaving, I hated dealing with fringe when a piece was finished. If weaving an actual rug (really going to put it on the floor), then I would want the toughness of the Navajo edges. But for all else- I sure love the fringeless.
this is so helpful, both to me
and to anyone else who might want to try a PVC Loom.
Though I, too, have reinforced the PVC with interior dowels,
it is not a thing I've done for a while
and I appreciate the reminder.
As for the position of the tension bar --
the idea is so wonderful and obvious that I feel a bit dense
for never having thought of it in all these years,
and can't thank you enough
for your vision
and for blowing my mind.
Sharing ideas is just the BEST.
to draw an instruction booklet
on ways to warp this loom,
but for now, the links above will have to do.
Kids Weaving, though now out of print,
is also still a great source of information--
copies can be found at close to the original price.
And now we have Judy's idea
that I get to add to the PVC Loom canon
and share here, with you.
from looking at Kids Weaving
and thinking of the grand time we had
making stuff on those looms,
I'll close with this photo
taken in the late 1990s by Jodi Gear
(of the Pigment-dyed coffee filters I wrote about last week).
It feels astonishing to me
that I still have the dress (if not the hair),
am still making yarn to weave with,
still have a thing or two
about all of it.