Cabin Fever

Unlike the people in NYC & New Jersey, here in Western New York Sandy didn’t have much impact. Yes, it rained. A lot. And yes, it was very windy. But no real damage was done. Only a few trees came down. I lost power for a few hours while I slept on Monday night – most people didn’t lose it at all. We were very lucky.

So while some folks don’t have a cabin to be feverish in, and others are stuck at home with no heat, water, or electricity, my cabin fever is all imaginary.

That is to say, I don’t have it at all. I’m out and about as much as usual.

I have, however, been making handwoven scarves in the log cabin pattern. Seven so far, and I have another batch of three to come. If you’re a weaver, you know that weaving with two shuttles is time consuming. Takes more than twice as long as weaving with one. And since log cabin requires two shuttles, it’s not a speedy process at all to weave 7 of them. But it had to be done.

First I wove with a turquoise wool-silk blend and black wool.
handwoven scarf - turquoise wool-silk log cabin

The turquoise wool-silk yarn came from a giveaway over at Runamuck Weaving way back in January of 2011. I’ve been waiting for the yarn to speak to me, and it finally did. So I went to the Alfred Knitting Studio – my local yarn store – & bought a really nice black wool to go along with it. I only had enough of the turquoise for two scarves.

I also had a bright coral of that same wool-silk. More of it than the turquoise, but decided I’d only make two of these into log cabin, too, so bought just enough black to do that.

handwoven scarves - coral wool-silk log cabin

Then I had an order for a black & white rayon log cabin. No point warping that loom for just one scarf, so warped for three and set off treadling.
black & white rayon handwoven scarves, log cabin

I admit it. Although this isn’t my favorite pattern to weave, I really do love the finished product. My eye gets fooled every single time, even though I KNOW how the illusion works.

Shall I share it with you?

It’s all about using color creatively. Let’s look at the black & white scarf.

Warp the loom with black (B) and white (W) as follows:
BW BW BW BW then switch the order and go WB WB WB WB Repeat. So every 8th & 9th threads are the same color, as are the 16th & 17th and every multiple of 8 and its neighbor. Then use the colors in the same way in the weft while you’re weaving. It’s a simple plain weave structure.

Like I said, it still amazes me.

On a side note, the other day my Missouri Loom manual arrived. I got it out of the mailbox & couldn’t wait till I got back up to the house to open the envelope.

Sure enough, there on the cover was my exact loom – same little indentations in the levers, same lines, it was a dead ringer.
loom manual
I turned the pages and started reading while I walked back up the driveway. Then I started chuckling.

The manual starts out with a typical weaving glossary – telling a new weaver about the parts of the loom, the tools, and the common terms. It then gives detailed instructions on how to wind a warp, dress the loom, thread the loom, and read a weaving draft. It shows a few different weave structures and explains them.

And then it’s done.

Not one word about the specifics of THIS loom. Not a photo or diagram of how it looks when it’s folded, much less any directions on how to do that. NOTHING that would be helpful to me!

Ah, life’s funny. I had put all my eggs in the loom manual basket, only to be surprised when it arrived.

I’ve posted another question about Missouri Looms on Weavolution but didn’t get any responses. I guess these looms really are pretty rare. I’ll have to do my own exploration and problem resolution.

Update: my son come down to help me with some plumbing & electrical problems. He knows absolutely nothing about weaving or looms, but his brain is very analytical. He took one look at the loom and said, “Well clearly you need to do this.” With one simple movement, the castle was folded flat. Amazing. I tried sporadically for 2 weeks and couldn’t make it work. Yes, during those 2 weeks the loom has been drying out after spending 2 years in a storage unit, but still…

My son is a genius.

Your turn: what have you looked forward to that wasn’t quite what you’d imagined?

4 comments to Cabin Fever

  • Alma

    Leave it to analytical SON to see the missing motion! So glad he could help! I can even hear him saying, “Clearly you need to do this.” What a family you raised!

  • Lee Roddy

    Have you figured it all out yet? My Missouri loom just arrived. It was folded, so I took some time and figured out how to open it. I then discovered that many of the cords to raise and lower the heddles have been broken, so now I need to figure out how to tie them back up and through the pulley systems. I can see that my loom will need some deep cleaning on my part to get everythin run smooth. I also got a stand with my loom, but have no earthly idea of how the treadles hook to the llams. There was somethng else that came with the loom that looked to be 2 extra heddles, but there was a stick haning from one of them. I have NO idea what that is all about. I sure with there was a manual on how to put this thing together. At this point, I am desperate to find anyone who has been able to set one of these up, get it working, and hopefully could provide pictures.

    • Peg Cherre

      I DID get my Missouri loom all set up, Lee, including using the stand and hooking harnesses to lamms. I’ll email you directly and see if I have photos I can provide.

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