Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Weaving in the rain!!

I know the song is actually singing in the rain....but these days here in Maine we have had 3 weeks of rain, with only four days of sunshine. One of those days was my birthday (thank you very much!!). The good side of this yucky weather is that it has been great studio time. I have had the opportunity to make head way on a commission that has been in the works for months. And here is a photo of a newly finished piece in a show at the Wentworth Gardner House, a historical house in Portsmouth NH.

Here's my artists statement about the piece: "Feeding the Heart" ~ This title is a direct quote from a credo attributed to Wallace Nutting, a NH photographer who once owned the Wentworth Gardner House. "America, with its abundant materials everywhere for dwellings that will outlast the ages, will fail disgracefully unless she can learn that the monuments which are nearer than any other to feeding the heart and enshrining history are old dwellings." This piece is hand-dyed, woven linen, rayon, metallic threads and hand spun paper with photographs on canvas. 26" x 56"

Now some thoughts about Macomber Looms. Many of you write to me about trouble with the little tie up hooks, especially those on the CP portable looms. I spoke with Eddie this morning to pick his brain again about this problem. He said that one typical cause of problems with these hooks it that sometimes folks fold the looms with the hooks still attached. You MUST unhook all the treadles from the lamms prior to folding the CP loom.

If you have an older style CP with the lamms with the dense cardboard on them often the holes get stretched out and do not hold the hooks tightly. If this is the case, you will benefit from switching to the new style hooks. I know I have written abut this issue before, but since so many of you still ask me about it, I thought it worth repeating.

Many folks have also asked me about a manual for the looms. There is no manual to speak of. If you purchase a new loom CP you will get a short booklet about your loom. With the type B looms you will get a 2 pages of information about unpacking your loom. That is one major reason I started this blog...to share information and help folks with their looms.

Keep the questions coming. Fingers crossed for sunshine here! Photo here of hand-over-hand weaving in a health care setting....sunshine for the spirit!


  1. I have both a B type and a CP and find it harder to get the hooks in the holes on the CP. I might have to consider new hooks.

  2. Beth:

    Yes, the newer super hooks were "invented" by Macomber because they could see the faults with the old style hooks. The new hooks can be used on the older style lamms or the new ones. Are both your looms the old style lamms? Sarah

  3. I hsve "fallout" issues with both style looms I own - a 30-yr-old 48" and a new "baby Mac" and with both style hooks. The larger loom has two different style lamms, since the original owner started with four and added four more. I weave for a bit, then notice one or more shafts are no longer lifting and have to crawl under and re-hook.

  4. may I suggest getting Macomber's permission to scan and upload as a pdf their catalogue? It's so helpful when one needs to order a new part and would be a great sales aid for people considering a Macomber!
    I have often told them that, if they had at least email, and some kind of online catalogue, it would save them a LOT of dropping what they are doing to go answer the phone and take an order that way. They can just attend to email orders once a day and do them all at that time.
    Are you doing orders for parts etc?

  5. Nancy:
    Brilliant suggestion...why didn't I think of that?? I will scan the price list and parts of the catalogue ASAP.
    And yes, I am taking parts orders, so you can email me directly. Then I call them in when I know Eddie will answer the phone. Plus I live about 3 miles away, so can drive orders over if necessary. Sarah

  6. Nancy: As far as your trouble with the hooks. Check to see if they are loose around the lamm. It should be a tight fit. If it is not, remove the hook, use a pair of pliers and squish the wire loop tighter (not a very technical description). I'll try to post an image of this too.
    Also, it might be a good idea to have all one style of hooks, I.E. all new ones.
    Thanks for your queries! Sarah

  7. Hi! I just received my order (which came in record time I might add!) and I was hoping a catalog would be included.... but it wasn't. I will probably be posting later when I try to put all the new parts on my "new" (1958) loom. One thing I forgot about is the heddles! What size does the ad a harness take? Do I have to use inserted eye, or can I use flat heddles? And what is the price? I guess that is all for now, am so glad to have found this blog!!

  8. Hi Vicki: Grretings from rainy (again!!!) Maine. Glad to hear that your order made it so speedily. The heddle size is determined by the harness frame size. There are only wire heddles available these days. They are hand-made in India and shipped by slow boat. But there are plenty in stock at the shop. I will need to know your loom serial and model numbers to order them. Sarah

  9. I think I need 12 and a half in. heddles. I was looking into getting inserted eye heddles because I have read that they are easier on the warp. Is this true? I have a model # B5 #1860. How much are the wire heddles per 100?

  10. HI Vicki:
    All the heddles now are inserted eye style. Yes, this is easier on the warp. The cost is $25 per 100 plus shipping. You can call me or email me directly with your order. Still raining here in Maine, Sarah

  11. I was given an Ad-A-Harness loom -Model CP portable - Patent # 2803267. I have a copy of the unpacking instructions. However, I am 100% new to this and have no idea what any of the parts are, etc. so cannot figure out how to relate instructions to the loom pieces. Is there a booklet with illustrations for setting up the loom and also illustrated weaving instructions?
    Any help would be GREATLY appreciated. Thanks!
    Nancy Hankin rhankin@nc.rr.com