Being in the fibers studio is strange and not strange. It feels almost like I never left. Everything is familiar and comfortable, but it’s strange that it’s the same…
I was hoping to be able to get on one of the 8 shaft Macomber’s that’s in the weaving studio but Jeanne wants us to work on the 4 shaft LeClerc’s because we don’t need more than 4 shafts for a plain weave sampler. 😦 Haha. I thought, “Okay, well I like LeClercs. So it’s no big deal.” …Wow. I can’t believe how different it is from Mac. After weaving on a Macomber for close to a year now, I just can’t get used to the way the LeClercs work!! I can’t believe I ever wanted one. *lol* I mean, it’s a good loom, it works and it weaves fine cloth, but I’m beginning to agree with the review I read when I was first looking at buying a loom. LeClercs are like your average car (Let’s say Chevy) and Macs are like Mercedes. Or at least something a little nicer than a Chevy. Mine’s a little old and beat up, but I think it’s somewhere like 20 or 30 years old. It still needs some minor repair work and DEFINITELY needs new heddles. That might have to be my next loom repair purchase.
The looms at school use wire heddles and the ones that were on my loom when I bought it were these weird, flat heddles. They’re a lot louder, heavier and less flexible. I think I’d like to try and get some wire heddles. I think I said I had been considering switching to Texsolv heddles, but I just can’t bring myself to use string heddles. I think they would frustrate me. I haven’t used them so I can’t really say. But I do know that it wouldn’t be a bad thing to have lighter shafts. Since Mac has metal shafts they’re a bit on the heavy side anyway. But perhaps if I had lighter heddles it might be less heavy. When you’re treadling, there’s a fine balance between tromping and pressing. You have to treadle with some force or the shafts won’t lift, but you really can’t tromp too hard or the tie up rods jump off and you have to craw under there and fix them. That may be something else I need to invest in. I need more tie up rods. I have just enough to use two rods on each shaft. And they’re all wonky and different heights which is bad because your shed isn’t even all the way across.
Now I’m so used to Mac that the LeClerc shafts are SOO light! It’s a light loom in general. Macs are sturdy beasts. I’m really glad I ended up buying Mac instead of a LeClerc. I’d never even used one I just felt like I wanted to try this thing that everyone was raving about. And when it came up on Craigslist for $450 (I talked him down to $400) AND in Lexington, KY (about 3 hours away) I couldn’t pass it up. Ben, as always, was sweet and supportive. I’m so thankful that he’s patient with me and puts up with my loom taking up about half of the living room in our little apartment. True, I have been able to make some money off the scarves I made on it, but he totally didn’t have to let me get it. Anyway, I’m thankful for my sweet Mac, my sweet Ben and being able to weave at home. 🙂 Speaking of which, I’ve got some napkins that I need to weave up!