Friday, February 7, 2014

Are two looms too much?

Hello, friends. I wondered how many of my fellow weavers have two looms. Technically I have two looms, a LeClerc table loom (four shafts, quite old, purchased used) and the LeClerc Nilus II. I work at the Nilus II just about every day. The table loom was my first loom, purchased second-hand (possibly third-hand) after a beginning weaving class. I still have it, although I use it rarely. Honestly, old Dorothy lives in my husband's workshop and is a resting place for things that haven't quite found their way into the dustbin (like parts of Halloween costumes and gift boxes). Guilty as charged!

The table loom hasn't gotten much use since the LeClerc Nilus II found her way into the house, but I'm still rather attached to it. It doesn't seem as efficient to use (fiddling with those levers instead of stepping on a treadle) and feels awkward overall. There are advantages, though, such as a small amount of loom waste and I believe that the table loom really forces a weaver (especially a novice weaver) to understand the principles of lifting harnesses, etc...

I'm wondering if, should I exchange the table loom for a smaller floor loom (like a LeClerc Compact or Harrisville 20" 4 harness, 4 treadle loom), overall weaving output increases? It seems appealing to have a loom always available for weaving/warping. But is this a real possibility? After all, I only have one set of hands and feet and there are only so many hours in the day during which I can weave.

If you have two looms of comparable utility, do you find this to be advantageous? Please share your insights. As you know, floor looms are a commitment to space and to household finances. And with a husband in graduate school and two teenagers at home, one does not make these sorts of decisions casually!

I hope to hear from you! Please feel free to discuss your opinion in the comment section below.

Happy Friday, all!
Be well,
Kate

15 comments:

Dianne said...

Hi Kate, Like many answers in the weaving world - it depends.
I guess I'm a semi-production weaver and tie one warp on to the previous. I keep one loom threaded for blankets all the time and the second (usually the 16 shaft compu dobby) is used for "other things". The only time I use my table loom is for workshops or demonstrations.

Nutfield Weaver said...

Thank you very much for your reply, Dianne. I've been doing more tying on recently and have been thinking about having a dedicated "scarf" or "table runner" loom. The table loom has made it to the local elementary school several times - enough to justify its footprint. Cheers! Kate K.

Cindie said...

I've always had more than one loom but I do find much of the time I'm so focused on a warp I don't keep both warped because I've got to get the warps off. But occasionally I put a very long towel warp on the one, and then weave something else on the other, coming back to those towels. I've got a 40H AVL now so having my 10H Macomber is a must for weaving on foot power. I've also got a smaller 8H Macomber that I've loaned out for a bit. I have a Woolhouse 8H table loom that is for workshops, too slow to weave on otherwise. And now I've got another table loom that was my aunts that I just can't part with but don't need - my woodworking uncle built it copying a Mountain Loom - it needs a little work but once that's done I'm not sure what to do with it unless I use it for teaching and loan it out. Both of them passed away in recent years. I wish there were some other family members interested in weaving that I could pass it on to.

Helga Jossen said...

I have 4 floorlooms, 2table looms and an inkleloom. The floorlooms have nearly always a warp on, each of them. The projects on the looms are different from each other. I don't like to work hours on the same project, with more than one loom I can go from one project to annother. That is keeping me interested and motivated.

Nutfield Weaver said...

Thank you very much, Cindie, for your reply. I don't have too many family members interested in weaving, either, beyond using finished pieces. It would be hard to give away your aunt's loom, especially knowing that it was handmade for her. It sounds like you make good use of your other looms though. I wonder how many of us start off with table looms??? Happy weaving, Cindie! Kate :)

Nutfield Weaver said...

Thank you, Helga, for your thoughtful comments. I find that I am getting weary of weaving the same project for long stretches and you are right, having another project to work on would really help. It is often a question of motivation when it comes down to it -- weaving yard after yard of the same pattern can become rather uninteresting. You have been most helpful, Helga! Thank you! Cheers! Kate :)

Hilary said...

Oh, wow, I laughed out loud when I read your question....I have had as many as 16 looms.....but end up selling some and buying more. Taking a late friend's sage advice, to keep the ones you love and get rid of the rest. I am afraid I will never get down to two looms.....just couldn't part with them. I like having looms of different widths, different capabilities. I like them to mostly all be warped, and ready, so I can change what I am weaving from day to day.
I have a Leclerc compact that is almost new...my apprentice wanted a Wolf Pup, and so she swapped with me. It is for sale if you are interested.....they are $1450 new, $950 will take it.
And keep the looms you love. It is the only way. Hilary

Nutfield Weaver said...

Hi, Hilary! I like your take on "keeping the looms that you love." The old Dorothy table loom might have to go, but still not entirely certain. So many decisions! The LeClerc Nilus II is here to stay - I am certain about that. Cheers! kate k.

Flyin Bobbin said...

I have one loom--a 4 harness, 4 treadle direct tie up from Harrisville. I actually also have an old, handmade, heavy oak loom, taken apart and stored in the barn as I have no room for it. When weaving on it I had to constantly adjust things to the point where it was no longer enjoyable to use. It should be sold, I guess, although I can't justify another loom as we have no space, extra money, nor do I sell enough to warrant one. I sure do dream of more looms, though!

Nutfield Weaver said...

Hi, Flyin Bobbin! Thank you very much for your comments. I'm not sure I want to make the investment in a second loom but I have looked at the Harrisville 4 harness, 4 treadle loom. If I were to get one, it would be smaller and portable. I see that the new version has wheels - how handy is that?! Decisions, decisions...Happy weaving! Kate K.

susancoyotesfan said...

I have a Macomber 4 shaft 16 inch folding loom that I don't use as often now that I have a floor loom (a handmade one from the 70's) but I do use it for demonstrations and for workshops. It's also useful for sampling patterns and weaving with yarns that are dear in price or handspun - less loom waste. Had it had a 24 inch weaving width rather than 16 I might never have even seen the "free loom" ad that ended with me getting my floor loom.

Thistle Rose Weaving said...

Kate, I am coming late to this discussion - sorry I was our of town.

I have 4 looms, Gilmore 8 shaft jack - which I adore, Glimakra countermarch 4 shaft - my personal favorite, Kessenich 4 shaft which is on permanent loan to my sister, Kessenich 4 shaft table loom which is stored in a closet because I dislike table looms.

I use the Gilmore and the Glimakra on a daily basis switching between them as my attention span and boredom levels change. I really want to add one more loom to the mix - wishing for a 12 shaft loom and hoping to add one to the studio one day.

Nutfield Weaver said...

It seems that the jury has ruled: two looms are not really "too much," but only if they are used regularly. I so appreciate everyone's comments. As we know all too well, looms (especially floor looms) are a considerable investment in space and money. But I've decided to start saving my pennies for a second floor loom. Nothing too big or terribly fancy, but one that can earn her keep. Thanks, all!

Wiebke T said...

hallo,ich habe 5 Webstühle, alle unterschiedlich ,und ein Bandwebrahmen gab ich sogar schon weiter..also je nach dem was man webt, brauche ich sie. liebe grüße wiebke

Liana said...

I have two looms - Schacht 25'' rigid haddle and Ashford 32'' 8-shafts table loom. But I am just a beginner :-)