Adjusting to my New Spencer Treadle
I received my Spencer Treadle just a little while ago and was eager to attach it to my personal Mirrix loom. I have the amazing 22″ Zach loom and I love it. Together my husband and I watched the video, attached the treadle and off I went into weaving land.
I put on a small sampling warp, only 3″ wide using the Navajo Wool Warp that Mirrix Looms sells set at 7 ends per inch. I really liked that sett and wool warp when I participated in the Weave A Long Eyeglass Case project, so I decided to use it again, this time for sampling.
I was eager to begin with the treadle, and I must say, first and foremost that it is definitely a game changer. I can continue to weave quickly, just by the touch of the foot pedal. No more putting down my beater, using the handle to switch sheds, it is amazing! I know with time I am going to learn to depend on it so much. We are still getting used to each other right now!
As I was working on my little face, (a new project I want to do) I found that I was having a bit of difficulty with the treadle over extending, and my heddle bars began to cave in. The bars are strong and made from stainless steel. I believe they bend a little because the shedding device rotates more with the treadle than with the handle. Elena and Claudia were ever so generous to advise me along the way! They are so full of knowledge and love for product! Claudia suggested that I might possibly want to tie a string around the bars of the shedding device in the middle to see if that prevents the bars from pulling and bending slightly. Here is a picture of what was happening to my loom: (Please share if you have had this experience, we learn from each other!)
This blog is all about sharing our weaving experiences and the lessons we learn. I found that if I backed off my treadle a bit, there wasn’t as much bending on the heddle bars. I must say, this is taking some getting used to for me, but I will find a rhythm soon. The more I weave, the more comfortable it is becoming with the treadle. I also feel that just having a 3″ warp, placed in the center of the loom, might have been a factor as well.
Tapestry weaving is all about experimenting, asking “what if I do this”, learning what setts go well with particular warps and so on. I am keeping a journal and recording all of my findings for future reference! In the meantime, my little girlie is coming along quite nicely. I have never woven a face before, so I am also learning as I go along. Perhaps adding the Spencer Treadle and trying something totally new, was a bit to chew this go round! I am learning, growing each and every day in my weaving life.
I set aside time every morning to weave, it is that important to me. Before heading off to my day job as an Optician, I find myself centered, calmer and much happier if I can spend a little time weaving before I head out the door to face the day. If I wait to weave whenever I can fit it in, then I know it will never get done for sure! There will always be something in the way, so I make my Tapestry Weaving a priority. I wonder if you have any particular weaving disciplines. If you do please share with us, we would love to hear. I’ve been working on my little face for over a week now, of course weaving with Lavendar Scones and Coffee doesn’t hurt! She is coming along quite nicely … never did I dream weaving a little person would turn out to be such a learning experience, but it sure did! I can’t wait to begin another, and another! Trying out different warp setts and fibers! Tapestry weaving is always a learning experience, it is so worth the time we put into this artform.
So here is my little “Ruthie” … from the time I warped the loom to the finished piece it took me about two weeks of steady weaving time. By the way, I totally adjusted to my foot power with my Spencer Treadle … we just had to take some time to adjust to each other! My woven girlie is not perfect in any way, but that is what I love about her! (None of us are right?) I think I will start a collections of these small weavings and my Mirrix is perfect for it.