Friday, May 30, 2008


I haven't posted in a while, because I have been waiting..... waiting to actually do something to write about..... waiting for inspiration to hit..... waiting for things to be magically wonderful.

This picture shows a shelf near the ceiling in my room, with the lovely gamp of colors from Lunatic Fringe. I bought this set of cones years ago at a conference, and have moved them around every time I reorganize my stuff. I keep thinking I'll do something wonderful with them, but just like the pristine tablets of paper and nice new sharp pencils that I don't want to use up, the cones sit untouched, if a little dusty, on my shelf.

I know I'm not alone in this. When I was trying out different blog names, a number of them were already used - by blogs that had one post made several years ago. Until you actually post, the future words are all brilliant and insightful.

I guess I'm waiting for the painful stuff to pass, and then everything will be okay. Maybe the answer is to use the painful stuff, to let it inspire me, to transmute it from ickiness to something wonderful. Maybe. I do know that I'm tired of waiting.


Lorima said...


I hope you keep writing here - I found your blog while following up on a photo you posted of your Louet David loom. I wanted to ask you if you recommend the loom, after using it a while. I'm a beginner who needs something easy to treadle. Plus I want a big shed to accommodate big lumpy wefts on a rag shuttle, and 8 shafts for the finer stuff. But so far I can’t find a David to try, or even see, in my area, and it seems like a pretty big gamble to just buy one, expecially since the design is so experimental, and I’m so inexperienced. I think I’m smart enough to figure it out, but I’m lazy, so if there are problems, I’ll be likely to procrastinate on fixing them, plus I don’t know anyone nearby (Boston area) to ask for help on this particular loom if I need it. I’d just buy a baby or mighty wolf, but I’m afraid it will be too hard to treadle, especially with 8 harnesses. (I’m small, not muscular, and I have some hip and knee arthritis). I’d consider a countermarch, but again with my inexperience it might be overreaching. The assisted jack design seems like a nice compromise, but only if it’s not too hard to keep adjusted.

As a bonus to finding you to ask that loom question, you address that wonderful issue of “waiting”. I tend to research things to death, in my case usually at the expense of actually doing said things. And I keep waiting and dreaming. For what? In my case, I guess to be less inhibited about taking chances with my art/craft, and less lazy about just getting started. I'm always encouraging others to stop worrying about what other people think - so why does my emotional self seem to think I'm an exception, that I can be dangerously harmed by making a "bad” piece of art? I fear being ridiculed, for lack of talent. Why don’t I fear the ridicule I get, for procrastinating, and not taking my own advice? (Well, I do fear it, just not enough to change the habit). The laziness is another issue – partly physical, partly mental. I’m not willing to put in the effort required to make something simple and mundane, and I’m scared to make something interesting and original, so I end up not making much. Much easier to just read books and articles about other people’s projects and methods. No energy expenditure, and no risk. Oh well, maybe it will help just to have articulated the issue.

Well, thanks for listening. I enjoyed what you’ve written. And the photo – love those yarn cones overhead! Maybe I’ll put some on display like that - now they’re in the attic crawl space, which doesn’t exactly inspire me to use them. (I spin and knit – just haven’t woven much, yet).

Okay, off to process some dye pots (my favorite fiber activity so far – I may not get the fabric made, but I’ll have lots of raw materials in case I get inspired!

And please let me know what you think about the David.

Best wishes,
Laurie O

Deanna said...

Hi Laurie,
How nice to get a comment on my blog! I'm new to blogging, and not quite comfortable with it yet. Sometimes it seems I'm just uselessly babbling. But... you're comment has given me ideas for new posts (talking about my favorite fiber equipment), so maybe I'll get the hang of this after all.

Regarding the Louet David loom - I LOVE it! In fact, I like it so much that when I lucked into another wonderful loom as part of an estate sale (a Megado loom with a computer dobby), I kept the David loom. My rationalization was that I want one loom that doesn't require electricity to use, but the truth is, it really is a wonderful loom and I didn't want to let it go.

The loom comes already adjusted. In fact, they should mention that in the limited documentation that comes with the loom. I previously owned a Louet Magic Dobby, and when I assembled it, I removed the strange wooden pins in the cords to the shafts. Turns out, those pins are woven through the cords to take up slack and adjust all the shafts to the proper level. They aren't supposed to be removed. So I still have them on the David loom.

The only challenge with the reverse jack is remembering to reverse your tie-up - ie. you don't tie the shafts that rise to the treadles, you tie the shafts that go down. There are springs attached to all the shafts that lift them up - you treadle to make the shed by pulling down the threads for the down shafts. When you're not weaving, a big metal pin is slid through a hole in the castle that locks the shafts in place and lets the springs rest.

So the loom is VERY easy to treadle. The only downside when I first got the loom was having to frequently get up to advance the warp. (I didn't buy the friction break - just the standard mechanical one with ratchet and pawl.) Even that hasn't been a problem since I took one of Kati Meek's workshops on using live weight tension. Now, for most warps, I use weights to create a brake, and when I advance the warp, the weight provides the counterbalance and I don't have to get up to deal with the break. (Her book Warp with a Trapeze and Dance with Your Loom describes the process very clearly.)

I tend to research things to death, in my case usually at the expense of actually doing said things.

I know the feeling. I took one of those assessment tests that figures out your workstyle, and that revealed something to me. One of the "scales" in the test has imagination at one end, and implementation at the other. I tested close to the imagination end. Sure enough... I'm a person who gets a steady flow of ideas - they pop up constantly, I love thinking about them. Kicking into action, though, is a challenge. A friend of mine says she has the opposite problem - she gets LOTS of weaving done - she just has trouble coming up with ideas for things to weave. Inconceivable to me.

Much easier to just read books and articles about other people's projects and methods. No energy expenditure, and no risk.

Yes!!! And in journaling about this recently, I was surprised by a strange voice that said "You don't weave because you aren't good enough!" I don't believe that consciously, but I guess that's what's roaming the subterranean halls of my mind. I suspect the solution is to allow myself to weave something awful, and revel in the process.

Do put those yarns where you can see them!

Okay, off to process some dye pots (my favorite fiber activity so far – I may not get the fabric made, but I'll have loots of raw materials in case I get inspired!

Aah, lucky you. I love the results of dyeing, but have discovered I'm not fond of "wet-messy" processes.

Last thought on the David loom - maybe check their web site to see if there are any stores in your area where you could see one in person. Another possibility is to look for any regional conferences where vendors might have one setup. I bought mine on ebay, if you can believe that, from a store called Red Barn Farms, I think. It's been a while.

Thank you for comment, and best wishes!

Lorima said...

Thanks, Deanna! Very helpful, and encouraging. I'll keep you updated on my loom quest.