There is this big wind storm going on outside. Hopefully I won't lose power. The beautiful towel I received from Maureen McGuinness acts as the backdrop for my part of the exchange. Several months ago Maureen (long before the towel exchange) asked me if I had any of my wrapped silk brooches for sale. Alas, I had stopped making them because they were just too labor intense (and I am on this new kick to stop cranking out "stuff"). When Maureen sent me this lovely towel, I asked her if she would rather have a brooch in exchange. She examined some pictures on my website and gave me an idea of the size and colors she liked. I will ship it off today. Maureen is going to send me another towel sometime in the future so that I will also send her a towel.
My only requirement for the towel is some sort of label, so I can remember whose towel I am using. When I first decided (back in the 80's) I needed some sort of label, I hand printed them. I do not have any examples of that label. I began searching for a label company that would produce a custom woven label in reasonable small quantities. I went to the library and searched through the Thomas Registry (now available on line). At that time I found only 6 companies and wrote to them all. Of the 6, only the Minnewawa Label Company in Knoxville Tennessee produced a label that met my requirements. The top label was my first 1000 labels. They lasted me about 10 years. I had a friend redesign the label and ordered another 1000. (the middle label) They took me through the 90's. When I went to order another 1000, I discovered the Minnewawa Label Company was no longer there. I went on line and began another search and found ITC Labels(bottom label) I wish the label was more satiny, but the great part about this company is you can order as few or as many labels as you wish. Plus they send you a sample and you sign off on it before they make the labels.
If there are others out there who have a good label source, I would be interested in passing that along.
So I'm weaving along on my 10 year old Fireside Loom last night thinking how wonderful the piece is coming along---no problems. This morning when I went to start weaving, I noticed the slack tension. I went to give the toggle a little twist (as I have to do from time to time) and noticed THIS!
Words like GAK! ZOT! (a new word sent to me by a weaving friend, Russ) and others too terrible to mention, sprung from my lips.
Well, then I had to chuckle because I have often said there are an infinite number of mistakes to be made in weaving, and this was indeed a first. As you may or may not know, Fireside Looms is now located in Pennsylvania with new owners Larry and Michelle Lesniak(no longer in Washington state in easy driving distance from me). I started to write a pathetic whining email to Michelle, but I decided a phone call would be in order. She was most helpful and a new rope and assembly directions are being FedEx'd to me as I write.
I use my Fireside more heavily than most, so I'm not faulting the rope device for wearing out in 10 years. In fact, the tensioning system was one of the main selling features (along with the worm-drive and the removable breast bar) I didn't see a picture of the removable breast bar, but it is a thing of beauty. Anyone wishing me to take a picture of it and post it, let me know.
So "Gary", the loom has to take a little rest. Fortunately my ikat towel experiment is up and running on Grace, so my practice of weaving every day doesn't have to stop.