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Welcome to Musings – The Loom Room Blog

21 November, 2009

Swap shop

Filed under: Jacquard weaving,Teaching,Weaving — Tags: , , , , — admin @ 5:59 pm

I’ve just done a very successful swap.  I had a 16S Harris table loom that is very heavy, takes up a lot of floor space in my studio and isn’t used much.  I suddenly decided that I needed to sell it and buy an 8S table loom that folds away, so that my students don’t find it so daunting, and I have space available when it’s not being used.  Then I started thinking about the logistics of selling one and buying the other and frankly, it felt like a weight was landing on my shoulders!  Just the thought of it made me want to abandon the idea. 

Then I had a little brainwave!  What about a swap?  No money changes hands, someone gets a more sophisticated loom that can do far more in the way of complex weaves, and I get a loom that my students will be happy using, that gives me the floor space I need when I want it. 

My husband thought I was a little cuckoo – after all, downsizing 16 shafts for 8 when you’re a self-confessed shaftaholic seems a little bizarre – but I don’t actually use this loom much myself – it’s way too slow for my multi-shaft weaving, and it’s very heavy trying to transport it for the occasional workshops that I attend.  I could see where he was coming from.  After all, I did pay £700 for this loom just a few years ago.  Probably way too much, but I needed it for something and that was the only one around that I could get to… 

And now I wanted to swap it for something at least half the monetary value.  He has a point.  So I asked him if he’d like to take over the transactions…  Suddenly there were no more objections. 

So I went to the Virtual Market part of the UK Online Guild of Weavers, Spinners & Dyers, and posted the information in the For Sale part as a swap.  I got three responses, one of which matched my requirements, and we did the swap, meeting midway (roughly) in a motorway service station car park today just before it started raining – again!! 

So there are two people who are happy with the win-win transaction and no money to mess things up!  I like swaps… 

Now, is there anyone out there with a TC-1 computer jacquard handloom to swap with a 1930s industrial jacquard powerloom?????  We could go halves on transport costs!!

8 November, 2009

Magical lives

Filed under: Jacquard weaving,Life — admin @ 9:46 pm

I’ve been lacing jacquards cards to make my woven Xmas cards today and whilst doing so, I listened to several CDs, including Jamie Cullum’s Catching Tales, and one song really pushed a button with me. 

“When I look back on my ordinary, ordinary life, I see so much magic though I missed it at the time.” 

I had been wondering what to write for my blog this week, and had wanted to write about simple things giving so much pleasure – like my 20-year-old son making a pumpkin lantern this week but not in the normal run-of-the-mill jagged pumpkin faces.  Oh no!  He decided he wanted to create a Japanese anime face, so he quickly drew it on a piece of paper, and then disappeared into the kitchen where he spent about 30 mins carefully carving the image, and using permanent marker and rafia to decorate it.  I loved it!  A pumpkin lantern with a difference!  It looked really good with the tea light lit!  The pleasure he had in making it was touching in these days of computer interaction with games, social networking and chat rooms! 

We’ve had quite a few of those days recently when you start out with a glorious day and by mid-morning, it’s turned grey.  Whilst walking Charlie during one of these with its beautifully blue skies which accompany a frosty morning and early sunshine, I reflected on the fact that blue sky is always there – although we don’t always see it or remember that it’s there.  It just seemed to me to be one of those magical things – although of course, there’s no magic whatsoever about it.  But just for a minute, indulge me.  If we suddenly remember that there’s a blue sky above the ranks of grey clouds, it can lift our mood.  If we can recall the sunshine and how we feel when we see the sun, we can lift ourselves out of a sombre mood, and smile.

I know this is really easy for me to say at the moment.  Nothing sad or traumatic is happening in my life right now so I’m thinking these thoughts from a positive, optimistic mind set.  I know it’s much harder to imagine when life is doing its thing and dumping on you from a great height.  Still, if we can remember the better times when our hearts are lifted by the simple things in life, it can help us through the tougher times. 

So, remember the blue skies and look for something to raise your spirits when you’re feeling down.  Little Chinese lantern seedpods in their lattice work cages did it for me this evening…