Friday, March 23, 2018

Big Bertha

Last Tuesday, Big Bertha was dismantled, loaded up and delivered to my Studio.  The number of weavers involved in this escaped is impressive.  Pat helped round up the spare parts, Linda lent me her tools and helped to load, Betsy was there to keep track of the pieces and help load my car and the truck that Jocelyn had offered, Ray and Polly and I worked hard to take the loom apart, all the while hoping that I could reverse the process at home on my own.  The ladies in the back row, made sure that the path was clear so that we didn't hurt anybody on our way to the vehicles, and Bonnie vacuumed the space Bertha left behind and then some. (I know I must be forgetting someone!)

Before too long, before lunch even, the loom was loaded and since the clouds seemed threatening we decided to go ahead and take her right to the Studio.  Polly, Jocelyn and I ran through a drive through and were on our way.  Our goal was to have the loom under cover as soon as possible, so as soon as we got there we unloaded all of the exposed pieces into one of the downstairs rooms, then we took a look at the big central portion of the loom that was still on the truck.  It had taken 4 of us to lift and load it.  We puzzled for a minute or two, until finally we used one of my favorite techniques to move things the are too heavy for me to lift on my own.  We lifted it carefully end over end from the truck to the front stairs, then from the stairs up to the front porch.  After that it didn't take much to lift it just a bit to get if into the front hall, where we left it because we knew that we were not going to be able to get that piece upstairs on our own.

We had our lunch and then Jocelyn went to an appointment in Oak Ridge and Polly and I headed back to the Center.  Polly needed the ride and I needed to gather all of the stuff that I had left behind in the rush to get the loom under cover.  Soon I was on my way back home because I wanted to get all of the loom pieces I could manage by myself upstairs before the second team showed up to move the heavy piece.  I took my time, and left the heavy cloth and warp beam and the treadle assembly for when I had help.  When LouAnn came we made short work of those final pieces, but we waited for Karin to come to get the big piece upstairs.  Karin came and before you know it, the job was done!  To celebrate we went out to dinner!

When I got home from dinner, I did go upstairs to make sure we had gotten all of the pieces, but I didn't start putting her back together,  I had done enough lifting and pushing and pulling for one day  I would do it in the morning.  I had a hot bath and did some spinning while I watched a couple of episodes of "Father Brown".  I will say that I slept really good that night!

By 9am I had done my chores and headed upstairs.  I remembered the tricky bits, and only had to redo a couple of times when I put something in backwards.
As I was putting her together, she just got bigger and bigger!  Released from being a storage rack at the Center, it seemed like she grew to take over the entire Studio!  I had had thoughts of being able to move another loom in here from the room across the hallway, but I don't thing that that is going to happen any time soon.

Yesterday, I wound a warp, my favorite Hollywood rug warp, and I set up to thread the warp through the reed and then through the heddles, and finally to tie onto the back beam.

Then I wound it onto the back beam inserting sticks as I went to keep the warp from burying down into the previous layers. Once the warp was beamed,  I cut off the uneven bits to tidy the  warp and I tied onto the front beam.

Late last night I used a little bit of t shirt material I had handy to spread the warp, and I weighted the 4 harnesses to keep them from rising when they shouldn't.  It will improve the size of the shed for the shuttle to pass through.

This is a fairly short warp for me, only 7 yards.  I have a couple of commissioned rugs to make for a friend, she wants some runners too, I will do those on a narrower loom.

LouAnn and I were talking today on our way to the Museum of Appalachia, about how 10 years ago, I would have had the loom together Tuesday night and probably had a rug done by now, but I have learned to listen to my body and to be kinder to it too.  I want to have a lot more years at the loom, don't you?

Until next time, Happy Weaving, Tina


Theresa said...

Enjoy the big beautiful loom!

LA said...

It takes a village to move Bertha!!!! LOL