The Results of Neglect

Yesterday I received an antique loom from my friend, Mo. She got it from a weaving teacher who had still be using it.  It’s a little 24″ Leclerc Mira, which isn’t manufactured anymore. She is in very bad shape, the wood is dry and cracking in places and all the metal parts are covered in rust.

Mo mentioned several times that you can remove rust with vinegar, I had no idea, I thought CLR was the only thing you could use. However, you can’t use CLR on galvanized steel.

Yesterday I took all the shafts apart, removed the break and most of the screws, all of which were rusted, and placed them in the sink with Alan’s extra strong cleaning vinegar. This morning I started scrubbing with steel wool. The results are amazing!

For the wood, I mixed equal parts mayonnaise, lemon oil and olive oil and massaged that in, getting it into all the cracks.

I’m not going to sand out the marks and dents, I like the character and they don’t affect the way the loom works. I may clean everything with Murphy’s oil soap then use Tung oil, which will keep this old girl working for many more years.

On my Leclerc Fanny, I’m working on a deflected double weave piece. The grey threads are on one layer and the white threads are on a separate layer. The thread floats are what hold the piece together once off the loom. This is my prequel to double weave, double wide.

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The magic to deflected double weave is supposed to come when taken off the loom, the squares become circles. We’ll see!

Trying New Things

I’ve been trying new weaving patterns and experiments lately. There are an infinite number of patterns to try and the list just keeps growing and growing.

The first was a spaced and crammed point twill pattern using hand spun yarn, a light turquoise warp and orange/yellow/red weft.



I think I’ll make it into a cowl, it’s very soft.

The next technique I tried was spacing the warp out. I used a fine commercial tartan yarn at 30 threads per inch, then a 1″ gap and another 30 threads, etc… I was really pleased with the results.

Lastly, I tried Huck lace for a table runner in 8/2 cotton at 16 threads per inch. My test was in grey then the final in gold, for a client.

I’m currently warping another 16/2, 30 threads per inch project, this time deflected double weave where you have 2 or more separate layers (depending on the number of shafts on your loom) intertwined.

Weaving has an infinite number of possibilities and never gets boring!

What kind of weaver am I?

They say there are three kinds of weavers; pattern, colour and both.

I think I’m a colour weaver. I recently planned another place mat project in natural white and blue cotton threads. I planned it, warped it then started weaving. I had two threading errors so lost a lot of warp fixing it.

I quickly grew bored of the same colours and pattern and lost my place in treadling. I’ve discovered that I’m much more excited by colour, and lots of it! I mean I guess I already knew that but it really hit me with this project. I derive so much joy from weaving my hand dyed, hand spun, multi-coloured scarves. I love taking them off the loom and giving them a big squishy hug!

My next weaving project may be a throw using whatever handspun I have in my stash regardless of colour or texture and just plain weave, which I also love.

Improvisational Weaving

Yesterday morning I started to wind a warp using odds and ends of my handspun I had used on my multicoloured poncho. I didn’t really count, just wound until I couldn’t put any more yarn on my warping board. It was chunky wool so it was only 60 ends which I estimated would be 6 ends per inch on the loom.


I’m getting better at warping and it only took a few minutes to wind it onto the back beam. Threading the heddles and reed also went quickly and I was off to the races. I pulled random balls of handspun from my big basket and wound off just before 3 p.m.!

Because the main fiber in this scarf is Blue Faced Leicester, it’s super soft and huge, 86″ long (not including 12″ of fringe) by 14″ wide, almost as big as Lenny Kravitz’ scarf!

I think I have enough handspun left in my basket to make another huge scarf, I think I’ll make the next one wider but just as long.