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Loom Stories: Part Five | by Hillary Bird of Wabi Sabi Textile Co.

September 8, 2015

We have Hillary Bird on the blog again today!  This is technically her final installment of the Loom Stories series, but…  we’ve got a sneaking suspicion that her loom collection might keep growing, so maybe there will be more Loom Stories down the road!  But for now, read on for one *last* glimpse of her beautiful tools:

Hillary Bird of Wabi Sabi Textile Co

Hey, everybody! Hillary Bird from Wabi Sabi Textile Company here to give you the specs on my Crane Loom..

I’ve had so much fun sharing all my looms with you, so it’s with a heavy heart that I tell you this will be my last post for Loom Stories ?

Hillary Bird talks about her Crane Loom

I *may* have saved the best for last, because this is one of the few looms I own that is still available for purchase today. So, if you like what you see, and I can talk you into taking the plunge, you can go get this incredible loom for yourself!

Hillary Bird talks about her Crane Loom

The Crane Loom is 3 ft wide and adjustable from 4ft to 6ft tall – perfect for small rugs or giant tapestries (same thing, right?)!

The solid maple frame came unassembled but was super simple to put together. As you can see, once it was built, I immediately started weaving! No time wasted on removing stickers or anything..

Hillary Bird talks about her Crane Loom

For my first project, I decided to go “small” with a skinny runner, making it only 4ft tall and not warping all 3 ft across. Even so, it was a bit of a pain to warp! Not necessarily because of tension, though (which is what I’m asked about most), but because I had to kneel down, stand up.. kneel down, stand up.. over and over again – a serious workout!

To keep the tension as even as possible, I worked slowly, checking the “bounce” with each new warp. If it felt too loose, I gave it a little tug and kept going. In the end, I’d say it feels pretty even throughout!

Hillary Bird talks about her Crane Loom

Since this is my first piece of this size, I wanted to keep the number of colors and design minimal, as well as the expense, so I’m using “cheap” vintage acrylic yarn in colors I can easily find again once this stash runs out (fingers crossed ?).

The technique you see here is called wedge weave, which I’ve completely fallen in love with! With each new row woven, another layer of the zig-zag pattern is revealed. It’s such a simple but dramatic design! I find it particularly interesting because not only is it so striking, but because it was only practiced by the Navajo for about twenty years!

Hillary Bird talks about her Crane Loom

I bought the Crane as a birthday present to myself and for under $200 (plus free shipping!), I think it’s a great deal for such a giant, quality loom. It also came with this shed stick and a very long wooden needle!

Even if you aren’t ready to dive into projects large enough for this loom, Lost Pond Looms probably has something for you. They make beautiful looms in all sizes and weaving accessories to boot! They even have rotating heddles in a few sizes that you can buy by itself! Unfortunately, they don’t make one big enough for this guy.. ?

Hillary Bird of Wabi Sabi Textile Co

Now when I’m at home, literally swimming in my large collection of all things weaving, I feel like I’m right where I should be and am beyond thankful that I have friends and family who support my “addiction”. Even though I draw this series to a close, my collection continues to grow.. I just wish my little house could keep up! I’m already packed to the gills!

Since starting this series, I’ve acquired two very special looms I’d like to brush on..

Hillary Bird talks about her Triangle Loom

1.  This is a triangle loom gifted to me by one of my best friend’s aunt, who weaves and knits. An old engineer boyfriend of hers made it decades ago and she got years of use out of it. When I went to pick it up, she showed me blankets she made on it and explained the process of continuous strand weaving – just one more thing for me to learn!!

Even though it breaks down into three pieces, I decided to store it by hanging it on the wall because it looks so cool!

Hillary Bird talks about her Loom made by Collin Garrity

2.  Super talented woodworker, Collin Garrity, has recently started making looms for the intro to weaving class I teach and we’ve been going back and forth about the logistics of a loom like no one has seen before! I was immediately drawn to this one because of it’s unique landscape shape, so Collin and I did a little trade ? He’s now selling looms on his website, along with all his other marvelous wooden creations, so I encourage you to check him out!

Before I totally wrap this up, I’d like to thank my wonderful friends at Fibre Share, Ashley, Beth & Rainie, for being such humble hosts and working their butts off to get this amazing group of fiber friends together each month. No matter how seamless they make it look, I know it’s no easy task and I appreciate all their hard work! This month will be especially exciting with all the changes they’ve made, so make sure you sign up! Who knows, maybe I’ll be your partner and I’ll send you all kinds of unique vintage yarns… or maybe you’ll get me and send more fiber to fill my house with ?

In any case, this may be my last post, but it’s not the last time you’ll be hearing from me! I truly hope to have a chance in the future to continue to connect with all the amazing people (ladies? Do we have any fellas out there?) that make up Fibre Share.. and until then, thanks so much for reading ?

Hillary Bird

Follow along with Hillary’s continued loom adventures here:

Wabi Sabi Textile Co Website

Wabi Sabi Textile Co on Instagram

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