I am preparing for my first conference in June and realized that I am just not sure what to take as travel a kit!
I have been a weaver quilter for years and years, so I have my whole sewing travel set-up well organized. I know just which tools I like to take with, which are too bulky, and just how to pack it all in my car. But of course, that came after many trips and many chances to see how other quilters organized and travelled.
What do all you weavers like to bring with? What do you use to carry your things? What about the odd found item tools and treasures? How many reed hooks, and back up weights for broken threads? I have my list from the conference teachers and organizers, but nosing around and seeing what everyone elese brings with is an education I dearly enjoy.
Below is a list of items that I would take to a weaving workshop
Extra warp yarns
Bobbins (If you know what yarns you will be using for weft, it is helpful to wind some bobbins at home.)
Bobbin winder (if space permits)
Threading hook (only one is usually needed)
Sleying hook (only one is usually needed)
Sharpie fine marker
Tapestry needle (blunt point)in a size suitable for the yarns you will be using
Weights for errant warp ends
Small Post-it note pad
Screw driver and pliers (You never know when you might need to do a simple repair--either on your loom or for someone else in the workshop.)
oops, I just re-read and noticed that I meant to say "I have been a QUILTER for years and years..." instead of "weaver", which I have only been doing for a few years :) I willl fix it in the main.
weaver-dyer, thanks! What are your Weights? What do you use for weights, and what increment do you carry around? I have a bunch of S hooks, but am thinking I will just go get some fishing line weights that I can pop into a little bag.
What to Bring to the Workshop.
•Cash or check for the materials fee, payable to the instructor
•Notebook, pen, and highlighter
•Loom in good repair. Threaded without errors if pre-threading is required. Please put your name on your loom.
•Lunch, afternoon snack, beverage, & coffee mug, if requried
For personal weaving tools, here are some handy items to bring to the workshop.
Please be sure to label all your tools so if borrowed, they can be returned to you.
•Pick up stick or double pointed knitting needle
•Bobbin winder (1-2 needed to share)
•Packing material or “junk” yarn to separate samples, and labels, for identifying each sample on your warp.
•Small mirror (to check the underside of your warp)
•Screwdrivers (especially if your loom requires a special kind. Be sure to tighten your loom before the workshop begins.)
•Repair heddles or wire cutters (wire cutters to make quick repair heddles. But please check your pattern for errors and correct them before the workshop begins.)
•Weights (for a loosened warp.)
•Heddle hook and a few straight pins (in case you encounter a broken warp.)
•Quick release clamps, at least two
•Low tack tape, like graphic designer's tape
•Needle nose pliers
If I have the luxury of driving to a workshop, I would include a few extras to share with guildmates or to help someone if they have an incorrectly beamed warp—
•extra 15" rod
•slippery cord for lashing warps
•lots of slit (lengthwise) paper towel tubes (to use as warp packing)
•cable ties (to make an impromtu raddle on the back beam if needed)
•plastic water bottles, for rebeaming under tension
to mention the wine, bottle opener, and glasses. ;-)
Hip flask- Check!
And why are you bringing a 15" rod? Do you beat the students?
Also, what do you like for weights? And why the quick release clamps, and what kind do you mean?
The backstory: We just had Jennifer Moore come to our guild for a workshop, so your request was timely! At every workshop, there are always "loom" issues. If we can get those issues solved quickly, everyone usually has a good time, instructor included. (This is especially critical if you are participating in a round robin.)
Why a rod? At our workshop, a newbie weaver borrowed a Dorothy from the guild, her warp was not well-beamed or packed, and she had no second rod on the front to tie onto. (She arrived partially threaded.) We helped her finish threading, sleying, then rebeamed her warp (with paper towel tube) packing, all in about 1.5 hours so she could be weaving with the rest of the group after the lunch break. Thankfully, another participant had an extra rod for us to use. Otherwise, I would have tied directly to the apron bar, but the few places to tie onto were not optimal for starting an even fell line at the front. I like to lash the warp to a rod in smaller bouts, as that is a fast way to get even tension, and we were looking to complete the process fast!
Weights for broken warps - I use Dipsey Swivel Sinkers (a specific kind of fishing weights) in a variety of sizes. I like this particular kind (image attached, note special configuration at the top) because it has a flange that allows you to snap it onto an existing warp or selvedge thread, and you can also easily take it off if needed. (No, they are not nearly as big as the image, about half the size in reality.) Just don't put them in your pockets if you are going through TSA, right?
Clamps — The Irwin Quick clamps are small, and they have a mechanism that allows you to squeeze them into position, and a second lever for quick release. They have rubberized ends and are lightweight for their size, so I can travel easily with them when I fly my loom to workshops. Cost is under $25 for a set. I use them for everything! I clamp a table loom to the table so it won't slide around when weaving, or, in the case of our recent workshop, someone's gear broke. She would have been dead in the water because the loom would not hold tension, but we were able to clamp the flange down onto the gear, and the quick release made it easier to readjust frequently when advancing the warp. The small size and low profile meant in fit where it needed to, without blocking the beater. I also use them to clamp the raddle to the back beam, basically to clamp stuff to other stuff! (It could be because I HAVE these clamps, they are the solution to most of my problems! ;-)
They look like this (and are about 15-18" long, I think.)
What conference will you be attending and what class will you be taking?
Ahh, I love those clamps. I find it somewhat humorous that I have amassed a variety of clamp types only since I started weaving :)
I will be attending the ANWG Conference in Bellingham WA in June, for the full week! That means a three day class, a one day class, and a half day class. The 3 day is exploring warp-faced weave structure, with Kay Faulkner. The full day class is Summer & Winter on rigid heddle with Liz Walker. The half day is Warp-faced rep with Rosalie Neilson. Very exciting :)
You are in an *incredible* area of the country for great weaving access, lucky you! I like how your classes are all focused around a single topic, warp faced structures. I try to do that when I attend conferences too, to reinforce my learning in a variety of ways.
I attended a lecture by Kay F at Complex Weavers, so I know you'll have a great experience. Our guild also hosted Rosalie N last year, so you are in for some excellent instruction. I will be attending the Mid-Atlantic Fiber Association workshop weekend in PA in June. I don't know which workshop I will get yet, but they had several great choices offered, so I am anticipating a great experience.
Gosh—have fun—and yes, with that level of instruction for 5 days, you'll be needing the hip flask...