A Loom With a View


not obscure blue

Originally uploaded by Vellan

(Loom puns have got to be nearly as bad as dye puns.)

A loom is inevitable.

I feel hampered by my lack of weaving nouse. (Nouse – rhymes with ‘mouse’ is an interesting word. I think it’s Australian, as teh intarwebz doesn’t seem to know it. Even Google keeps offering references to ‘no use’. For foreign visitors, nouse = practical knowledge. ETA: after consultation with the Handsome Husband, it turns out nouse is English. That figures, because Australians speak English…unlike our neighbours on the other side of the Pacific, bless them. Here endeth the etymology section of the post.)

Right. Weaving nouse. I don’t have it. I’ve picked up a little weaving vocabulary, and I think I could tell the difference between plain, warp-faced and weft-faced weave. I know that warp has to be strong. I know that the gap where you put the shuttle through is called a shed.

All this is a bit like knowing that computers run on electricity. Somewhere to start, but won’t help you to decide which one to buy.

Do I want an entry-level loom? That would look something like the Ashford Knitters Loom . While it looks to be okay in itself, it’s unappealing for mainly these reasons:

a) The cost. Starting at AUD$225? That’s not an impulse buy. Unlike *necessities*, like mp3 players and videogame consoles, I’m not emotionally invested in weaving. What if I don’t like it? What if warping the loom is a huge pain in the arse and I never use it? That $225 could be a couple of games. Or enough to knit a jumper out of something wickedly indulgent.

b) The width. What you get for your $225 is a piece of woven fabric no more than 30 cm wide. For an extra $50 you get an extra 20 cm, but still. Really. $225 for…a scarf. Or a placemat. Maybe a table runner. You wouldn’t be able to do anything bigger, like a tapestry, or wall hanging, or blanket (unless you wanted to do a lot of sewing. And it’s not like they’re upgradeable and you can mod it to increase the width.

c) The effort. I watched the flash instructions for how to use the Ashford Knitters Loom, and…I don’t really see how it’s different from a full-on loom (forgive me, but my weaving lexicon is lacking). Sure, if you had a floor loom you’d need to pay attention to how you put the warp through the shafts, and the wider you want your weaving the more warping you have to do, but if you can still do your simple 30 cm wide scarf on an 80 cm loom, why would you limit youself?

I have to admit that this attitude is coloured by the knowledge that someone at the Guild is selling an 8 shaft table loom (which looks a lot like this, without the stand) for less than the Ashford Knitters Loom. It’s in my impulse buy range, and I probably would have bought it on impulse, except for the size. It’s big. It is very clearly too big for me to smuggle past the Handsome Husband.

I have to see if I can convince him that a loom would improve his quality of life. I have told him that a loom would use up yarn. He’s very keen on that. I think he’s under the impression that ‘using up yarn’ is the same as ‘reducing the stash’. I don’t see it that way.

The next step is to indicate that a loom could possibly be used to produce items that he desires, like curtains. I have no idea how to weave curtains. Seriously.

The photo? I’m still trying to take a photo that accurately depicts the colour of that damn blue. I’m calling it Obscure Blue, because it refuses to be photographed properly.

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~ by dreadlordvellan on March 11, 2008.

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