Introducing me and my loom
Greetings to Weavebird owners!
I began weaving in 2001, but it was tablet weaving and it took a while before I aspired to "shaft" weaving. After some false starts, I did add two table looms to my tablet-weaving equipment. Then, less than a year ago, I got the bug to have a floor loom. I wanted a dobby, because after the design freedom offered by a table loom, I couldn't bear the thought of being tied down by a tie-up. I investigated mechanical dobbies, the AVL, Toika, Louet (Megado), and Weavebird looms. I decided I wanted a computer-controlled loom with an "infinite" length of dobby chain. The choice of loom was not difficult. I wanted a countermarche action, which eliminated the AVL. I wanted a hanging beater, which eliminated the Megado. Finally, I wanted minimal automation, which eliminated the Toika. I had to travel to New England to see a Weavebird in action, where three generous Weavebird owners let me sit at their looms and throw a few picks.
I bought the Weavebird new and put it together (aided by two friends) at the beginning of September. I got the 36-inch width and 24 shafts. It was a few weeks before I could use it - some teething problems with the loom driver and cable adjustment - but eventually I got going. The first warp was a straight draw on all 24 shafts and I wove it in plain weave. On the second warp I used twenty shafts to make a five-block twill and the other four shafts for what was meant to be a basket-weave selvedge strip.
There has been a lot to learn. Floor looms are new, using weaving software is new, using an end-delivery shuttle is new and all that newness is a challenge for me to deal with all at once. But I'm having fun, and looking forward to planning the next warp.
Looking forward to hearing from the rest of you!
Carla in Bethesda, Maryland, USA