thinking about next weekend....

 The fort where I'm a docent has a few kinds of days where the docents show up and do things-  there are living history days (I'm the Dr's wife, so while I may be knitting or sewing while I'm there I don't do any weaving on those days) and there are demonstration days where we demonstrate how things were done in the time period and compare it with today.   We usually do 1846-47, but on the 18th we've got a demo day that portrays the years 1849-51 when the fort was still around, but starting to fall apart because of the California gold rush.  I'm not sure how accurate it would be to show the blanket factory for that day, and I was thinking of warping my table loom or my inkle loom and bringing it in instead to show some different form of weaving.  

Any ideas for 1849-51 California?  The fort itself has two reproduction barn looms and a couple of great wheels that we usually use for demoing the "blanket factory" that was run by native Americans, when the gold rush happened many of the fort employees ran off.  Sometimes I bring in my spinning wheel and spin.  I do know that one of the great wheels is on the scavenger hunt for the kids that day, but I'm horrible with those wheels, the person who is good with it doesn't usually come for summer events.

(Ideally I'd like to bring one of my floor looms and work on an overshot coverlet, both will fit in my car, but the smaller of the floor looms is occupied right now, and the bigger one I can't lift by myself, so I can't get it into my car.)


Posted on Fri, 07/10/2009 - 18:51

That's a tough one, mostly because there wasn't that much weaving of narrow-wares in California during that time period. Also, both inkles and table looms aren't really accurate to that time period, but if you're showing weaving now, they would be OK.

It's too bad you can't throw a warp on one of the barn looms and do an overshot on that--they're so spectacular.

Posted on Sat, 07/11/2009 - 00:31

 That's exactly why I'm wondering what to do, I know the table and inkle looms are not very accurate-  the looms at the fort are very primitive and are only two harness, so no overshot on them.  (with string heddles-  I so am not looking forward to when it's time to rewarp them!)  I was thinking of doing the overshot on the table loom and explaining that it would be something done in a much larger scale to make coverlets, since it's a demo day we can get away with doing some of "this is how we do it now, this is how they used to do it."  There are some pretty beat up rigid heddle looms that are used during the ELP program (kids who come and spend the night at the fort) that I probably would be allowed to use too.  We usually let the kids weave on the big looms, though with the little kids, there is usually one of us sitting in the middle and helping.  It's totally not a living history day activity.

If only I could get the big loom in and out of my house without help.  Sometimes there are issues with living alone!

Posted on Sun, 07/19/2009 - 17:31

 I ended up just warping and taking the inkle loom.  People loved it, and it was a lot cooler to be under the tree than in the room with the big looms.  I did explain that it wasn't a period loom!  Now I need to decide what to do with the band that has been woven by many people, mostly kids, but some adults, and myself...  I left about 3 because of the heat, but it was pretty slow by that time.

I always love when people ask for more information about weaving after having a chance to try it.   There was one cute little girl who was very good at it.