Lettuce, looms, et al

Posted by on Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

I’ve been knitting a fair amount on this second sock yarn blanket over the last couple of months. I’m trying to stick to a watery palette this time around, and I’m making garter squares rather than stockinette so this one will be warmer than Chesapeake. I’m also edging the squares in black.


I love how it’s looking so far, and I’m looking forward to some more cool weather so it will be cozy to work on, rather than too warm to hold in my lap.

Our new vegetable garden is going strong. Since I waited until after the hurricane to plant anything, I went with cool season crops. Of course, the torrential rains came after the hurricane (and earthquake), so we were running short on sun for a while there.


The outer edge is all lettuce and all salad greens, and there are broccoli and green onion plants and some basil and tarragon in the middle. I’m not sure whether we’ll get to harvest with those slower crops, but the lettuces and greens are all delicious.

As I mentioned, I saved up enough to buy a replacement for my old inkle loom. I weave lots of belts and trim for living history stuff, and my old open sided inkle just wasn’t up to the sort of work I do. I was constantly cantilevering pins loose and having to send it back to the maker for repair. Moreover, the combination of its short continuous warp set-up and its narrowness was limiting me so much I was barely weaving. I could weave a band about 5 inches wide–and that required constant fussing to keep all of the warp threads in place–and about 8 feet long. That’s not long enough to trim out most garments, so I’d have to do successive identical warps to make trim. That . . . that’s not fun–just like knitting one sock pattern over and over again isn’t fun. I passed it on to some good friends of mine, and they’re having a great time with it.

I got myself a Gilmore Big Wave. It’s amazing. I’ve never worked on a better-designed, sturdier belt loom. It’s wide enough that I can make scarves and possibly place mats on it, but I need to get myself some more texsolv heddles first. I am also likely to get a set of rigid heddles so I can weave some twill bands on this loom. I really, really want to weave pinwheel twill.

In the meantime, I’m putting it through its paces. I wove another one of my monster white wool belts just to see how I’d fair, and all went well once I figured out how to work with the brakes and heddles. Then I warped up about 13 yards of red and black check, just to see if I could. Yep, it all fit. I think I could fit another yard or so on there, but I maxed out the capabilities of my warping frame with this warp, and I may face a new challenge as I advance the woven cloth at the other end.


The heddle tower is the best invention since sliced bread. It opens up such a big, clean shed, and it works so smoothly. My hands are really appreciating the change. The combination of a large knife-edge shuttle, the glorious heddle tower, the ratcheting brakes on both the warp and cloth side, and the nice wide loom itself makes it so much less stressful on my body to work. Until I put this ludicrously long warp on it, I kept accidentally weaving an entire project when I was only intending to dress the loom and set the warp to make sure there were no errors in the warp pattern. Whoops.


It will wind up being some number of belts for some number of Celts.


And yes, everything I weave does come with Kaio hair, just like everything I knit and everything I sew. It is known.

Filed in Celtic,gardening,knitting,weaving | One response so far

One Response to “Lettuce, looms, et al”

  1. lellaon 07 Nov 2011 at 3:59 pm 1

    Wow that is a wonderful loom. I can see right away why you love it.

    You have such a fun blog but I get behind reading because I don’t know how to follow it. RS feed? That little square up there on the right?

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