Thursday, April 14, 2016

It's time.

Happy birthday age 2
     How did I get here?
    As a young person I did not give a thought to growing up or growing old. However, last week I signed up for Social Security and Medicare.
    I would say I got here with luck, good fortune, good genes and perseverance, discipline and commitment. Oh yes.......and the support of many beautiful people.

Winding a shuttle 1972
     I've been a sales rep for Macomber Looms for over 30 years (exclamation point here) and have woven on a Macomber Loom for over 45 years. I created this blog in 2009 as a way to help bring more visibility to the company as well as increase my sales. For the past year plus Macomber has had the capable Meredith on board.
     So it is time for me to bring this chapter to a close. I am NOT going to stop weaving and stitching - in fact I want more time to focus on my own work. I want to put more effort into my community art projects like "Well Used, Well Loved". Given that the numbers of hours per day is still only 24, I am letting go of certain aspects of my work load. One of those is this blog and my sales/service for Macomber Looms.
     If you are an old customer of mine - please feel free to call or email me - you've got my contact info. However you will notice I have removed that info from the blog. I will no longer be actively selling for them and no longer be assisting with loom problems. Please call the shop directly for this support - 207-363-2808.
At my loom 2015
It's been a wonderful run. Thank you ALL for your support, your orders and your purchase of the manual. YES- the manual will still be available on the blog as a purchase via PayPal. But I will not be doing any more updates.

You can still keep up with my work via my FB page - Sarah D. Haskell or my website

Happy weaving ~ and stay beautiful.
Love, Sarah

Monday, February 8, 2016

Twinkle toes

Foot rest on my 56" air dobby
The foot rest or foot rail or the B4 and B5 Macomber Looms has a very specific purpose. The treadles are hinged at the back of the loom - this is what gives the Macomber such good leverage and ease in lifting multiple harnesses for complex weaves. The foot rest allows you to leave your foot (when in the resting position) at the same height as your treadle. Then when you are ready to use that foot to engage with a treadle - you simply slide it towards the back of the loom and step down.

This photo is of my 56" which has the air dobby and thus the treadles are covered with a protective box. The other picture is of my 40" - a more typical foot rest set up.

There's an update on the treadle detecting device called TempoTreadle. Dawne has added many new features to the software and says she never will weave without it now! Check out her website and let her know if you are interested in giving one a trial.
40" with foot rest

Lastly - my newest community art project "Well Used, Well Loved" is fully launched. Eight hand-woven towels have traveled to households from London to Oregon. Kozo paper has traveled from Florida to Maine, to Texas and Washington, to North Carolina and New Hampshire. About 50 people are engaged in a compelling conversation about age and beauty. We have a close FB group for our discussions - but a public blog. Please check it out.

Happy weaving to all ~ Sarah

hand-woven towel getting well used and loved

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Weaving in a new community art project!

This week I launched a new community art project ~

Well Used, Well Loved

A community art project that explores age and beauty

Will you consider joining me in this reflection on age and beauty?

I am seeking 8 individuals or households to "adopt" a hand-woven linen towel to use for six months. You will be asked to record periodic reflections and observations in a small journal that will be provided. Each site will be invited to have a "kitchen table conversation" with me at least once during the time period.

At the end of the six months, I will collect the used towel, exchanging it for a new towel as a thank you for participating in the project.

The eight Well Used and Well Loved towels will be the centerpiece for an installation grounded in an exploration of aging and beauty.  The journals (or text from them) will also be a part of the final installation.

If you are interested I will ask you to sign a participation agreement. You will agree to use the towel, to communicate during the project's 6 months, to write in a journal, to return the towel at the end of six months.

Please visit the project blog and my website for more info.

Thank you!

Saturday, December 5, 2015

So clever!

Every now and then I have weavers share with me something that they have built to help with either weaving or warping their loom. This blog post will highlight two inventions that assist weavers to be more efficient warping alone and more accurate with  long treadling sequences.

The first adaptation is a device built by local weaver Dawne Wimbrowe and a colleague - she calls this device Tempo Treadle.  Here is a quote from her blog that helps explain what it does for weavers - "TempoTreadle is a very unique solution for hand weavers with traditional looms who want just a bit of technology to help make the weaving process more enjoyable, without fear of treadling mistakes.

Here is a link to Dawne's blog that will help explain it all! Please it check out!

The second adaptation called Trapeze Warping - is  especially for those who find warping long warps alone a challenge. I think this set-up has been around a while -  but it is new to me! Check out the above link to Weavolution for the discussion on this style of warping that uses weights and distance to create a steady tension for warping on your loom. There are also videos on UTube and books on this topic.

The trapeze set up here is on loom in Holliston, MA. The cool thing is that this trapeze was built from recycled parts - including the boom from a small sail boat!

Both of these adaptions might be beneficial for you and your weaving! Let me know what you think! Meanwhile in my own studio - I am back from my solo studio time at Hambidge. What an amazing experience - I think that subject warrants its own blog post!

Since I have been home I have been working on launching a new community art project called "Well Used, Well Loved" - a project that explores age and beauty via hand-woven dishtowels.
Eight dish towels ready to be used and loved.

More soon!

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Heddle Up! Road Trip!

Adding/removing heddles is easiest with the harness on a table.
Adding, removing and moving heddles is perhaps my least favorite part of setting up a loom. Recently I got a call from one of my customers who was having trouble with her harnesses not raising evenly - and after much detective work it turns out that she had too many heddles on one side of the harnesses.

Long story made very short here ......heddles should be evenly divided (right/left) and you should not have so many extras that they impair a straight path of your warp from front to back. One of the "golden rules" that I tell beginning weavers - is that your warp wants to go from the back of the loom to the front in as straight a course as possible. Too many heddles (or too many on one side) will impede this straight line front to back.

Ok - now you know that adding and subtracting heddles is part of your routine loom program. This past week I had to add heddles to two new harnesses that I added to my 40" loom.

The first step is to remove the harness from the loom by simply unhooking the S hooks and chains. Lay the harness flat on large table. Then unclip the heddle bar from the center and sides of the harness and slide the heddle bar to one side 

Match up the heddle bar on the harness and the transfer bar with the new heddles. Now you can easily slide the heddles on to the heddle bar. Be sure to clip everything back up when you're done.

To remove heddles - follow the same set up steps by placing the harness on a table. And instead of sliding new heddles on to the harness - slid them off - on to a heddle transfer bar.

In June I wrote another blog post about heddles and heddle bars Please explore that entry for more heddle information.

Use a heddle transfer bar to help slide the heddles on to the harness heddle bar.

On another note - and a pretty darn exciting one -- I will be an artist in residence at the Hambidge Center in Rabun Gap, GA. I will be there for two weeks, plus the long scenic drive from Maine to Georgia. During my time there I will be focusing on embroidering on my hand-woven linens as well as drawing and exploring the environs.

Also please check out my new Face Book public page - just for my art!
10 yds of line to weave before I go!
The Hambidge Center

Thursday, July 2, 2015

New Price List

Summer Buddha
After three years - Macomber Looms has finally raised their prices. This is about a 10 -12% hike in prices across the board - for looms as well as parts. It's been way over due as much of the manufacturing costs have risen for building the looms and parts. So here you have it the new prices lists.

As always - I TRULY appreciate your ordering parts and looms through me. I am a self employed weaver and your orders help me stay alfoat.
In gratitude ~ Sarah

I realize that these images are too small to easily see - click on the price list and it will enlarge. I am also happy to email yo the list. Just let me know!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

The right and left of heddle bars

Heddle bars hold the heddles inside the harnesses.
 Heddle bars are those slim bars of steel that hold the heddles inside your harnesses. They run horizontally from left to right across the harnesses allowing the heddles to slide from one edge of the harness frame to the other.

Here is everything you might want to know about heddle bars ~ 

  • Cleaning heddle bars - use a light weight steel wool to clean off any rust. Lightly spray with Silicon spray to help prevent further rust and to help the heddles glide from right to left.
  • Getting heddles to slide easily - clean the heddles bars as described above. I find that the inserted eye heddles will glide more easily while the flat steel ones seem to bind up more frequently.

  • Replacing heddle bars - you can purchase new heddle bars if yours are too rusty and cannot be cleaned easily. They are not too expensive - ie. 24" bar is $4. Give me a call to order these.
    Heddle bar ends (right/left) - at each end of your heddle bar is a small hole. There should be some kind of fastener or clip that prevents the heddle bar from slipping out of the harness....and your heddles dropping off! Over the years Macomber has tried a variety of ways to prevent the heddle bar from slipping off.  Here are the 3 variations that I know -
    1. The clip - only on one edge, breaks over time.
    the clip, the rubber stopper and the office brad fastener.
    2. Rubber stopper - falls out, gets lost.
    Brad office fastener- current option.
      Heddle bar clips hold the bar inside the harness.
    • Heddle bar clips - inside the frame - these clips hold the heddle bars in a horizontal position and attach them to the harness across the width.On rare occasion these will break - and can be replaced. Call me to find out more about this repair.
    • Re/moving heddles - Sometimes it is necessary to remove heddles from the harness frame. Reasons to do this include - too many heddles for the project and the unused ones will chafe the warp and impede it from going on a straight path from front to back of the loom. Or perhaps you need to move some from one harness to another, or from one loom to another, etc. To remove the heddles - lay the harness flat on a table and undo the fastener or clip and slide the heddle bar out enough so that you can easily slide off the heddles. I HIGHLY recommend that you slide the heddles on to a heavy cord or even better a slim heddle transfer bar (a thin strip of flexible stainless steel). There is nothing more frustrating than a pile of chaotic heddles that need to be threaded back on to the heddle bar. (Since writing this post I have learned that it is a challenge to find heddle transfer bars for sale. Macomber no longer sells them. If anyone finds a source - PLEASE let me know!)
      Heddle transfer bar.
    • I hope that this post gives you some new information tips on heddle bars! Read more about heddles bars in a past blog post  - "Little Jobs"